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OpenDNS Slow to Update

I updated the DNS records for over eight days ago. Everyone quickly came to the new IP address. Everyone except OpenDNS customers, that is. OpenDNS has not yet updated. I didn't notice until I got a few emails from people asking why NSLog(); was 404ing on them.

I logged in to the old server to put up a page telling folks that OpenDNS may be slow. If you want to temporarily change your DNS servers ( and, you can see the message.

I didn't think anyone actually used OpenDNS, but at least a few of my readers apparently do.

16 Responses to "OpenDNS Slow to Update"

  1. Yes...I was one of them. Temporarily switched from OpenDNS to my ISP's DNS because it took them so long.

    Seems OpenDNS needs a little work. 😉

    My other sites have no problem, when I changed their DNS, OpenDNS knew within a reasonable amount of time (about a day or so). This is kind of strange for them. It'd be great if someone could mention when OpenDNS does work correctly for NSLog, as I'd like to switch back at some point. 😀

  2. Another one here. I was like crazy refreshing the site several times a day. It didn't occur to me it was a dns problem.

    Thanks for the page at the old one!

  3. My brother was hounding me a lot a while back to use OpenDNS because it would make my internet experience so much better he claimed, but I never bothered because web brosing was going fine for me. This is evidence that wasn't a bad move to just stick with my ISP's DNS.

  4. I got the CEO's email address from a David Pogue article on OpenDNS and I've emailed him. Perhaps he can fix the issue and explain just what went wrong. The issue may have not been with OpenDNS, after all. I don't know.

  5. John Roberts from OpenDNS here.

    We've cleared cache on all OpenDNS servers, and now points to which I expect are the correct servers. If that's not true, please let me know ASAP.

    So, you moved your domain on Nov 3rd, right?

    Did you lower your TTL before you moved the domain? Since you're clued, I expect so, but I'd like to confirm. OpenDNS never holds a domain beyond the Time To Live.

    However, with our large caches, we usually hold a domain for the full TTL. So, if you move your domain without lowering TTL beforehand, we don't know that the address has changed. Neither does anyone else, but most people's DNS caches are so small that they have to refetch much sooner than TTL expiration.

    We're going to offer a web front-end to our cache-clearing tool so that anyone who's concerned about what's in our cache (as a domain owner) can confirm for themselves, and ask us to proactively clear cache ahead of TTL expiration.

    Sorry you've had a problem. All of us are VERY reachable from the information at the bottom of every web page on our site.

    Understand your frustration, but I hope this explanation helps.

    John Roberts

    1. i used opendns, i must use it, because my sister , girl 8 years old so aggresive doing internet connection, time to time i watched her, since i use opendns, i wasn;t worried anymore, but about 5 days ago, i've got something that in the future won't happened. Each time i start my connection, there are still about 5 minutes to see clear enough porn site, and even if blocking action already run, that porn site that already open still remain there, i am afraid my nephew know this, since even she is young she is clever enough, anyone can solve this proble, please

      now i must watch her again and again 😥

  6. I've noticed problems on at least two other sites since I started using OpenDNS. Both were fine when I tried them from work. It seem they might not be as reliable as they claim.

  7. [quote comment="22833"]Did you lower your TTL before you moved the domain?[/quote]

    No. I've moved a few hundred sites and have never updated the TTL. All have "moved" within a day or two. These aren't co-located servers and I don't control the DNS servers - I rely on the hosting companies to provide DNS for my hosted domains.

  8. Marc, please let us know about any problems you see.

    contact at opendns dot com gets to a few folks right away.

    John Roberts

  9. Yay, it's back!

    Heh, I was wondering when I kept getting the 404 and then later the "OpenDNS Sucks" page.

  10. Marc,

    This isn't about "reliability" (I contend we're the most reliable recursive DNS service on the planet) but it's really about freshness. If a DNS record has a two week TTL then we'll keep the record for two weeks. We don't typically restart our software or our servers very often so a record with a one month TTL can stay that way.

    What you trade in having your other ISPs working and OpenDNS handing back the old record is speed and comprehensiveness in cache responses.

    What we really need is to either let you "check" (thereby telling us to recheck) a domain or do it on our own automagically. We've got some interesting developments in the works which might actually obviate this issue also. 🙂

    Erik, Thanks for sending the email to me and I'm sorry your DNS got impacted.

  11. I for one love open DNS and have been using it since day 1. 😀

  12. Erik,

    The cache-clearing tool that John mentioned earlier was just launched.

    Check it out:

  13. [quote comment="32231"]The cache-clearing tool that John mentioned earlier was just launched.[/quote]

    Thank you for coming back and providing the update. Major kudos and brownie points to you.

    So long as OpenDNS hijacks my non-TLD'd queries (i.e. type "nslog" and press return - get list of search results instead of letting Safari auto-try and, I am unlikely to use the service. I realize that search results are one way you can recoup costs, but the tradeoff for a little bit more speed isn't worth it for me. I lose that speed every time I'm forced to type ".com."

  14. For what it's worth, the OpenDNS search generally has what I want, if I were to type something like "nslog". Am a fan of getting error messages instead of a search page, but the speed increase is pretty noticable on my crappy cable connection.

    Thanks for the update, Aaron! I'll use this next time I move a web site, just to make sure everyone can access it.

  15. [...] Now that OpenDNS has fixed the "caching" issue, I'm down to one reason not to use them: the removal of the "" feature wherein I type "apple" in the location bar of my browser and it dutifully tries first the local network before quickly switching to ""1 This feature even works with subdirectories, like "apple/trailers" and is quite useful in my day-to-day life. [...]