July 21, 2018

Cisco Umbrella :: Secure Your Home Network For Free

(Last Updated On: 24th June 2017)

Every time you visit a website, in the background your device/s will request something called an IP address for the website that you have just entered, this is called Domain Name System (DNS) resolution. Keeping our focus on home networks, your provider would have normally already configured the relevant DNS settings for your network, which are normally configured to resolve at your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

For the average home user, having the pre-installed settings configured is enough, I mean hey, as long as you have Internet connectivity you’re fine right? Well the short answer to that is No! I mean yes you have Internet connectivity but most probably you have no protection from potentially dangerous websites. Yes you might have an anti-virus solution installed on your device/s but in this day and age it isn’t enough.

What would you do if you one day you browsed to Facebook and you came across an unmissable offer so you decided to click the link and less than one minute later you were redirected to a malicious website that bypassed your anti-virus settings and infected your device?

What if your child was innocently browsing the Internet and they clicked on what looked to be a free game and then all of a sudden derogatory content began popping up on the screen?

If those questions suddenly got you thinking, this article could assist in helping you mitigate such a potential problem.

Cisco Umbrella, formally OpenDNS is a DNS security solution that can protect against visiting malicious websites. OpenDNS Home is FREE and users can take advantage of the following benefits should they choose to change their DNS settings.

  • Faster loading of websites and 100% uptime
  • Over 50 custom content filtering options to help parents control what websites their child visits
  • Cisco Umbrella blocks websites that try to steal your identity and information (phishing attacks)
  • No software required for networks just using Umbrellas DNS addresses

Cisco Umbrella offers three different home versions, OpenDNS Family Shield, OpenDNS Home and OpenDNS Home VIP.

Click here to see the difference in the three options.

When visiting Cisco Umbrella you have the option to register or you can use Cisco Umbrella without signing up. Should you decide to use Umbrella without signing up you won’t have the ability to manage your account and content filtering. Signing up will most likely require you to download the OpenDNS client-side dynamic IP updater which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux machines. This software is required because home networks often have IP addresses assigned to them which periodically change, this means that your Umbrella account needs some way of knowing that your IP address has changed in order to keep the same settings applied. Depending on your home network deployment you might have the ability to input your OpenDNS settings on your router but again, this is dependent of the device.

If you are a user that just wants to protect your network against bad websites and you don’t want to sign up, you can change your device/s DNS settings to the following IP addresses:

208.67.222.222

208.67.220.220

Once you have changed all DNS settings you can validate your protection by clicking ”Test Your Settings”. The same link will provide you with guidance in configuring your devices.

So what are you waiting for, click on the link above and increase the protection on your home network today.

 

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Security Solutions Consulting Engineer @ Cisco - CCNA R&S/CCNA Security, CCDA & CCNP R&S - Currently working on CCIE Security. Sharing my knowledge and passion for technology. All views are mine and NOT of my company.

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