Golden Frog launched VyprDNS today, a secure no-logging DNS service that is available for free for all VyprVPN customers and Giganews Platinum and Diamond account customers.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the cornerstones of the Internet. It is best known for translating domain names such as ghacks.net to numerical IP addresses 188.8.131.52.
Most Internet users use the DNS service offered by their Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it is possible to switch to another service entirely and it is usually the right thing to do.
While it is comfortable to use your IPS's DNS, as you do not need to configure a thing, it may not be the best option as performance, privacy, security or reliability may suffer.
Performance suffers if look ups take too long. If the DNS is slow or maxed out by too many customers, it can slow down the loading of websites in your browser among other things.
Privacy may be an issue if the IPS sells the data or uses it for marketing purposes,and reliability comes into play if requests are blocked, censored or redirected.
Some ISPs hijack domain requests that cannot be resolved, for instance because of a typo, and display special error pages, often with advertisement or other marketing information, to the customer.
Blocked resources and some country-wide censorship methods can be circumvented with a change of DNS provider. If a website is blocked in a company network, airport or hotel, you may be able to access it using a different DNS provider.
And since your connection is encrypted, no-one can just read the data that is being exchanged.
Companies like Google, Open DNS or Yandex are making available public DNS services. Many services are free on first glance, but free usually means that the data is logged, that ads or other contents may be injected, or that the data is sold right away to third-parties.
VyprDNS addresses all of these concerns. The DNS service has a zero-logging policy which means that none of your requests are logged by Golden Frog. Google DNS for instance logs IP addresses, the websites that you have visited, geolocation data, request types, transport protocols, the response code or the client's ISP.
The DNS service is managed by Golden Frog, which means that it is not making use of third-party servers which might monitor, log or manipulate data.
It benefits from the same server locations that are being used for the company's virtual private network service, which means servers on all continents and many different countries.
Setting it up
VyprDNS is part of VyprVPN which means that it will run automatically whenever you connect to the VPN. You can either download and install apps -- available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android -- or configure the VPN connection manually instead.
The Android application uses the new DNS service automatically for instance as you can see on the screenshot below.
It is still possible to change the DNS provider manually in the options if you prefer to use a third-party DNS provider instead.
The new DNS service is a no-brainer for Giganews Platinum or Diamond customers as well as existing VyprDNS customers, as it is available without extra charge.
The inclusion of a privacy-focused DNS service may persuade others to give the service a try. A 3-day free trial is available to test the VPN service. A basic account offering unlimited data usage and one connection at the same time is available for $6.67 per month.
Pro and premier accounts add more features such as NAT Firewall inclusion, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and Chameleon protocols support, and additional connections.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm a happy Giganews Diamond customer and as part of that I'm getting VyprVPN Pro free of charge. I have configured the service manually on my Windows 7 system.