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Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

Colin1234
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 11-04-2008

Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

Is anybody using Norton DNS? It is a DNS server run by Norton. This is a free service and replaces your existing DNS server with a more secure one. All you have to do to use it is to download a client which redirects DNS requests to the Norton one, which blocks any dangerous sites. Have a look at the web site http://nortondns.com/
I have started using it today. You can revert back to your existing DNS Server by uninstalling the downloaded software. Tell me what you think?  Smiley
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,378
Thanks: 634
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

This is why I won't use it:
Quote
Why don't I just get an error when I mistype a domain in the address bar?
Part of the benefit of Norton DNS is that you get guidance versus a useless error page with no information. When you mis-type an address, the Norton DNS service will "guess" what you meant and offer you the right link and/or links that you are likely to be interested in.

Having read the faq you could have tried it by manually changing your DNS servers in your network settings and without installing the software - if I had been tempted to try it that's the method I would have used.
This is incorrect:
Quote
Does Norton DNS make my web browsing faster?
Everyone will have a different experience, but in general, you can expect that Norton DNS will perform better than your default DNS provider.

Plusnet's DNS servers are located in the same locations as the gateways you connect through. Generally they must therefore be faster (there's software tools for benchmarking DNS lookups if you want to prove it for yourself).
Here's the tracerts:
Plusnet
C:\Documents and Settings\John>tracert 212.159.13.49
Tracing route to cdns01.plus.net [212.159.13.49]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dg834 [192.168.0.1]
  2    13 ms    12 ms    12 ms  lo0-homesurf.pte-ag2.plus.net [195.166.128.73]
  3    11 ms    11 ms    12 ms  ge0-0-0-505.pte-gw1.plus.net [84.92.4.97]
  4    11 ms    12 ms    11 ms  te2-2.pcl-gw01.plus.net [212.159.0.185]
  5    14 ms    12 ms    12 ms  vl63.pcl-lb01.plus.net [212.159.2.252]
  6    11 ms    12 ms    12 ms  cdns01.plus.net [212.159.13.49]
Trace complete.

Norton (the tracrt doesn't complete)
C:\Documents and Settings\John>tracert 198.153.192.1
Tracing route to 198.153.192.1 over a maximum of 30 hops
  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dg834 [192.168.0.1]
  2    14 ms    13 ms    12 ms  lo0-homesurf.pte-ag2.plus.net [195.166.128.73]
  3    18 ms    16 ms    16 ms  ge0-0-0-505.pte-gw2.plus.net [84.92.4.98]
  4    16 ms    14 ms    15 ms  vl23.thn-gw2.plus.net [212.159.4.20]
  5    13 ms    12 ms    12 ms  te-3-4.car5.London1.Level3.net [217.163.45.181]
  6    12 ms    13 ms    76 ms  ae-2-52.edge3.London1.Level3.net [4.69.139.105]
  7    *      23 ms    17 ms  teleglobe-level3-xe.london1.level3.net [4.68.63.106]
  8    13 ms    13 ms    13 ms  if-0-1-0-62.mcore3.LDN-London.as6453.net [195.219.83.2]
  9    14 ms    16 ms    15 ms  if-11-1-3.mse1.LRT-London.as6453.net [195.219.195.22]
10    *        *        *    Request timed out.

If you want a backup DNS server for when the Plusnet servers fail use Google (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4). These do not give you sponsored links when you enter a duff URL (Norton have to fund this free service somehow!). You should put these after the Plusnet servers.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

Treaceroutes to the servers only tells you the latency between you and the servers, not the time it takes for the DNS servers to respond, your test was not a test of DNS at all, if you want to check the speed of DNS then use a tool like this, in general, and especially it seems in the US where alternative DNS services were born, many ISP don't invest money into their DNS and they are slow and prone to outages.
I use OpenDNS because of the management tools and stats they provide combined with the anti virus, anti-malware stuff they do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,467
Thanks: 280
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

I think I will be ignoring Norton DNS as it's response times are dreadful !
I just benchmarked together - Two Plusnet DNS servers, Two Google DNS servers, Two OpenDNS servers, and Both Norton DNS servers. and got the following results -


As you can see BOTH Norton DNS servers take around twice as long to respond than any other server.
So don't bother  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

One query even timed out  Grin that very bad for a service marketed as an alternative.
Google also offer a free DNS server http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/
*Jelv: what tool did you use to run your tests?
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

Quote from: Colin1234
All you have to do to use it is to download a client which redirects DNS requests to the Norton one, which blocks any dangerous sites. You can revert back to your existing DNS Server by uninstalling the downloaded software. Tell me what you think?  Smiley

Thats one reason I would never try it. Since when have you ever had to install a program to use someone elses DNS? - You can configure it yourself in windows its not hard to do. Anyone who knows what DNS is would know how to do it and as such it seems odd that Norton want you to install their own bit of software which you then have to uninstall to stop using their servers. I call that strange and suspicious. Who knows what else that software is doing.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,467
Thanks: 280
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Norton DNS - Is anybody using this?

My guess is that the Norton application is there to 'protect' the users PC having the DNS settings altered by yet another shock horror malicious application, to give the uninitiated PC user another layer of false sense of security.