Why Is Verizon Wireless Blocking OpenDNS?

from the this-won't-go-over-well... dept

The Washington Post recently ran an interview with OpenDNS founder David Ulevitch, where he notes that Verizon Wireless appears to be blocking OpenDNS, such that users cannot easily route around Verizon Wireless' own DNS services. This seems like an odd decision for Verizon Wireless -- especially at a time when the government is seriously considering network neutrality regulations. You would think that the company would recognize that blatantly blocking a competing service from being used might attract some attention. Perhaps Verizon Wireless is hoping that people won't care because "OpenDNS" sounds boring? Or perhaps they're still working on this belief that "wireless" plays by different rules?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    "Or perhaps they're still working on this belief that "wireless" plays by different rules?"

    I think the appropriate spin would have to be:
    "Or perhaps they're still working on this belief that Verizon plays by different rules?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    ilya brook, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    no surprise

    Time Warner has been forcing subscribers to use only its own DNS for over a year. They do it so they can monetize the error pages with ads. Its just one more reason they are beloved by their customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Jungle, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    Re: no surprise

    I've been using OpenDNS on my TW connection for a couple years. No issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    If I try to use the open internet I have DNS problems I know that because a number of pages don't show up, but mysteriously it all works good when I'm using TOR, it just loads the pages I want because the requests are done on the otherside.

    And that is why I'm seriously looking into alternatives for the internet that don't depend on these infra-structure prone to censorship.

    Hint: Use SOCKS 4a or SOCKS 5 to request DNS queries from the otherside.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Shane C (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Sprint's forging DNS responses

    We ran into a problem with Sprint wireless redirecting all DNS traffic to their servers. So instead of blocking it, their servers were/are masquerading as the server you're trying to reach, and responding as such.

    We figured this out when we were trying to setup dynamic DNS. Any updates going to the server (over port 53) were never making it to the server, yet the client was establishing a connection, to what ended up being the Sprint servers.

     

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  6.  
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    Karl Scrote, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Another BS story loaded with misinformation.

    You tin hats find the boogerman everywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Lonny Paul, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Net Neutrality - An absolute necessity

    Open DNS is a great service - reliable (much more so than Comcast) and free! What could be better? I use OpenDNS at my home on the router side, allowing all devices to use it.

    While I've never considered changing DNS servers on my phone, this article has opened my eyes to that potential possibility (or not since I'm on VZN).

    I'm not sure how any carrier can currently FORCE their DNS on you (considering you can hard code it in both Windows and in your router) unless they are blocking the ports for any other IP destination.

     

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  8.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Another BS story loaded with misinformation.

    Another BS story loaded with misinformation.


    Let me explain how this works. When you accuse us of providing "BS" or "misinformation," it then is your responsibility to let us know what is wrong, so that we may fix it. Simply declaring it full of misinformation doesn't help anyone and, if anything, only makes us question your motives.

    You tin hats find the boogerman everywhere.


    I'm sorry. I don't quite see how that applies to this post. We're not "seeing" a boogerman anywhere. I'm just pointing out that Verizon Wireless is blocking OpenDNS. Are you claiming this is "BS" or "misinformation"? I'm not suggesting any conspiracy theory -- just noting the fact and that it's probably not in VZW's best interests. You are arguing otherwise, apparently, but I'm not quite sure I understand the basis of your argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    ilya brook, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re: no surprise

    I should have limited my observation to TW in Southern California.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Net Neutrality - An absolute necessity

    I'm not sure how any carrier can currently FORCE their DNS on you (considering you can hard code it in both Windows and in your router) unless they are blocking the ports for any other IP destination.

    It's very easy for them to block or redirect and IP addresses they choose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Using TW and OpenDNS in SoCal

    I have been using OpenDNS on time warner cable for about 1 year and a half with no problems in Los Angeles (the valley).

    What prompted me to switch was that TWC DNS servers went down often for a while and all of a sudden you could not get anywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Another BS story loaded with misinformation.

    I guess you really needed to get out of your way to look like a retarded douche on the Internet. Feel better?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Kaega (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Another BS story loaded with misinformation.

    He is right you know. Simply declaring something without trying to back it up tells us one of two things. 1.) You simply want people to believe the store is BS 2.) You are twelve and he started it Maybe you're even lying to yourself. If the story is BS as you say then you should be able to show this is true. If you have no evidence then we would ask you to take a leap of faith and consider that maybe, possibly, a chance that... you may be wrong, and this story isn't BS. But I believe I have as much faith in you as you have faith in this story. Whenever you will, I will be ready for your one sentence name calling reply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Pixelation, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    No Rules

    "Or perhaps they're still working on this belief that "wireless" plays by different rules?"

    What rules? That's a likely reason for doing what they are doing. Hopefully rules will follow stopping behavior like this. Too bad it will likely be necessary since more rules often create more problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    user.bin, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    do what i did, build your own dns server.

     

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  16.  
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    Kingster (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: no surprise

    Using openDNS here in Maine without an issue...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Raptor85, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Verizon does this on DSL as well

    I have verizon DSL at home (just started being offered a few years back, so it's that or 28.8 dialup from earthlink), they do the same on their DSL lines here.

    DNS isn't outright blocked though, they're masquerading as whatever server you're trying to connect to, which is horrible as their DNS servers go down a LOT and I end up not being able to access a ton of websites. On throwing DNS errors or failing a domain lookup, instead of properly throwing an error you end up on a verizon "help" page...

     

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  18.  
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    Vince McCabe, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    My URL IS being treated as "INVALID"

    And conmunicating with India does not HELP AT ALL !!!verizon has not been "friendly" at all; no assistance at all.
    Why do you make everything so difficulty to do business with you. Why not view a class URL company like "AOL" way of doing business,i.e., such as stop constantly asking for "Password" and "Id". OR YAHOO;GOOGLE or any other URL.
    NO OTHER URL DOES THAT. WHY ???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Another BS story loaded with misinformation.

    Well on the strength of his argument alone I am convinced Karl Scrote is a moron.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Find the fastest DNS

    To find the fastest available DNS server go to http://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm and run the DNS benchmark test. It has the added benefit of Identifying lots of DNS servers that might work for you and it could tell you if you are being redirected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    ebk, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:30am

    Update needed

    Dave Ulevitch corrected this info himself on HackerNews this weekend, OpenDNS isn't blocked by Verizon (read the first comment):
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1946133

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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