TelOne is Zimbabwe’s largest ADSL Internet Service Provider and their Internet packages are affordable and meet most people’s basic Internet needs. A complaint that I’ve come across many times on the TelOne facebook page and from talking to users of the TelOne packages is that the data bundles they offer seem to get used up before their expiry date.
There are a number of reasons for this, the first being that customers are usually ignorant of how much data their devices actually use even when they are not browsing.This can be a lot of data because computers, smartphones and tablets tend to automatically download and update their software in the background without your knowledge.
Secondly there have been glitches and security holes in the TelOne billing system in the past that either left some subscribers without any data bundles or for the lucky few, with unlimited Internet access. As far as I can tell, TelOne has patched these holes up and even improved their service offering.
Now it’s up to the home user to keep an eye on their usage and save money. In this post, I will show you how to use a service called OpenDNS to 1. give you a more stable Internet experience, 2.allow you to restrict access to some websites, protect your network and save on data.
OpenDNS is a company that provides DNS servers and content filters for small to large networks.
To use the OpenDNS service, you need to sign up for an OpenDNS account first and add your home network to your dashboard. This basically means telling OpenDNS what your IP address is.TelOne IP addresses are dynamic and always changing, so you need to download a piece of software provided by OpenDNS that will keep their servers updated with your current IP address. Doing this is necessary to enjoy the full benefits of using the system. Once you have created an account and installed the IP Updater software, you need to update the DNS settings in your router to use the OpenDNS servers which are 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
Check the documentation that came with your router for instructions on how to do it for your home router.Updating the DNS settings will make all the devices in your network use OpenDNS servers as opposed to connecting to your service provider’s DNS.
A DNS server, put simply is a server whose core function is to locate the web addresses of the websites you visit. All Internet Service Providers(TelOne included) make you connect to their DNS servers by default. These servers are not always reliable as they may go down or be slow and this affects your Internet experience. OpenDNS have made a reputation out of offering a robust DNS service and best of all, it’s free for home users.
The immediate result of changing your DNS to that of OpenDNS is that you may find the lag on your connection dropping, meaning less time spent waiting for websites to load. Less time spent waiting for pages to load makes your connection appear to be faster. Fast is good.
To get the most out of this service, you need to setup a content filter. A content filter will allow you to choose what websites can be accessed within your network. Websites can be blocked individually by specifying the website address or by the website category. Blocking entire website categories is easy, say for instance you wanted to block pornography, adult-themed websites, social networks and general time wasters you could do so from the dashboard with only a few clicks.
Whenever a device in your network tries to access a blocked website, OpenDNS will not allow the connection and the website isn’t loaded.
Being able to filter which websites can be accessed in your network means you’re in a better position to limit access to websites that are either inappropriate or data-heavy(e.g Filesharing websites and social media sites like Youtube and Facebook). The great part about all this is that its free, simple and you only have to set it up once and forget about it.