Cisco dismisses OpenDNS contracts for MSPs: it’s time to evaluate alternatives

Alternatives to OpenDNS for MSPs, how to choose a competitive solution

Alternatives to OpenDNS for MSPs are available, and the moment has come to make an informed decision. Cisco established the final date for the termination of OpenDNS contracts for MSPs. July 31, 2022, will be the last available day to renew subscriptions to the program, which will not be automatically renewed afterwards.

1. It’s time to choose an alternative to OpenDNS

It’s time to choose an alternative to OpenDNS. Cisco has set the final date for the termination of OpenDNS contracts for MSPs. July 31, 2022, is the last available day to renew subscriptions to the program. Starting from August 2022, the partners who would like to keep on using the service will have the option to migrate to the Cisco Secure Managed Service Provider Center within the Cisco Umbrella DNS-Essentials/DNS-Advantage program.

This means that the automatic renewal processes will be disabled starting from the same date. The move by Cisco is part of a process that aims to centralize the Saas offer within the Cisco Secure Managed Service Provider Center. Through the platform, MSPs will purchase the various services offered by Cisco. This decision by Cisco represents the right opportunity to review your choices and consider an alternative to OpenDNS. The market offers several options that, keeping quality constant, allow you to save on costs and much more.


>> FlashStart is leader in competitiveness → Request an offer


2. How do OpenDNS and DNS filters work?

A DNS filter is a system that allows you to filter Internet contents at the DNS level, i.e., by controlling the Domain Name System of a given website. The DNS corresponds to the numerical IP address associated with the name of the Internet website that the user types into the search bar. This “resolution” is necessary since computers can only process numbers. For example, when a user types flashstart.com into the address bar of the navigation program, the device actually requires access to the IP address number 151.139.128.11 and it does so in a totally transparent way for the user.

Therefore, a DNS filter controls the numerical IP address that the user wants to access, verifying its conformity with specific rules and allowing or blocking the user from accessing the website. In this way, DNS filters halt dangerous contents, which would trigger a malware or a phishing attempt, as well as offensive contents, like porn sites, online gaming platforms and websites that are not suitable for minors.

Therefore, the DNS filter activates a check on the website which the user wishes to access and verifies whether it is present within specific databases (blacklists). The quality of a DNS filter, like the one offered by FlashStart, depends upon the width and the distribution of the server network (Anycast) upon which the service is based.

Moreover, a DNS filter is preferred to all other types of filters since it does not depend upon any domain name. To make a simple example: in order to try and bypass less accurate filters, hackers could try and record an apparently “harmless” domain that, at a first sight, hides the dangers linked to it. Well, a DNS filter cannot be bypassed in this way exactly because it is based upon the IP and not upon the domain name.

How many times have we received a text message that invites us to urgently input our username and password into a website whose domain name is very similar to the official one? A DNS filter that can count on a wide Anycast network, distributed and continuously updated, would be much more difficult to circumvent.

3. Why choose the FlashStart DNS filter?

There are several reasons why a Managed Server Provider should consider an alternative to OpenDNS. First of all, one should ask himself if the solution he wants to leave behind has satisfied all the needs of his clients. Some aspects to be evaluated are, for example, the effectiveness of OpenDNS towards Ads, the frequency and duration of OpenDNS service unavailability, the direct and indirect costs of OpenDNS or, even, the customization options and the operation of OpenDNS.

More in detail, the DNS filter designed by FlashStart for MSPs has some distinctive features compared to the competition. Below, we list the main ones:

» Near – Zero latency. Response time on the local network are imperceptible to a human operator, thanks to the use of a wide and well distributed Anycast infrastructure (28 data centers) and to its CloudBox.
» Protection. The DNS filter by FlashStart is a tool that protects you at 360 degrees. It can block access to pages that include malware, especially ransomware, botnets, phishing and DDOS attacks.
» Geoblocking. FlashStart allows you to prevent access to websites that are physically hosted in servers located in countries deemed at high risk for malware and compromising.
» Artificial Intelligence. Updating the blacklists is fundamental in order to supply a high quality DNS filter. Thanks to the use of AI, the databases to which FlashStart has access are continuously updated. We check up to 220 thousand websites every day, support 24 different languages and recognize 90 categories of websites based on their content.
» Integration with Microsoft. FlashStart is natively integrated with the Microsoft Active Directory, which allows network administrators to apply different protection policies to the single user groups.

In conclusion, this is the right moment for MSPs and partners to consider an alternative to OpenDNS. A highly competitive DNS filter that grants maximum quality.

4. Special offer for MSPs migrating from Open DNS

FlashStart decides to welcome all MSPs migrating from OpenDNS with a special offer!
All MSPs migrating from OpenDNS who sign up for a FlashStart plan will be able to use the Filter free of charge for their customers until 30 September .

This is a decisive opportunity to benefit from a DNS filter that can protect all users in all settings from malware and inappropriate web contents.
Our global Anycast Network and Artificial Intelligence ensure fast, reliable and up-to-date Internet protection everywhere.

Our service is ideal for MSPs and ISPs due to its easy installation and compatibility with any device, innovative, customizable, and highly-detailed features


>> FlashStart protects you from a wide range of threats and prevents access to malicious websites → Start your free trial now and navigate safely towards the future


You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on any sort of Router and Firewall to secure desktop and mobile devices and IoT devices on local networks.

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