Symantec Corporation has just announced the “retirement” of their Norton ConnectSafe DNS service.
If you have a PC that’s running any version of Norton Antivirus, your machine could also be using Norton ConnectSafe.
If so, you’ll need to switch to a different DNS service by November 15, 2018 to prevent your Internet service from coming to a screeching halt.
Important: This change won’t affect Norton Antivirus users who aren’t also using the Norton ConnectSafe DNS service.
If you’re unsure about which DNS service your computer is currently using, this handy tool will tell you in a jiffy.
If you’re unfamiliar with what DNS servers do, they basically translate the web addresses we type into our browsers’ address bars into the actual IP addresses of the websites we want to visit.
The reason for having this service is simple: It’s a lot easier for us humans to remember a web address like www.RicksDailyTips.com than it is to remember a server’s numerical IP address.
But there’s a problem that afflicts all DNS services…
If the DNS server your computer is using goes offline (as Norton ConnectSafe is going to do on November 15) your computer will no longer be able to visit any websites unless you know the IP address of the server (and none of us really know any website IP addresses).
Of course most popular DNS servers do more than just translate web addresses, but that translation function is their core reason for existing.
As you can see, if you use ConnectSafe it’s imperative that you switch to a different DNS service before Norton pulls the plug on it next month.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to switch. There are several popular DNS services out there, but the one I use and recommend is OpenDNS.
Home users can use OpenDNS for free. All you have to do is visit this page and sign up for a free account, then follow their simple instructions for switching your computer’s DNS settings from ConnectSafe to OpenDNS.
Note: Open DNS also has paid plans for businesses, but if you’re a business owner you can always choose a free plan from a different DNS provider if you would prefer not to pay. Simply type the term free dns services into your favorite search engine and you’ll find plenty to choose from.
Bottom line: If you use Norton’s ConnectSafe DNS service you’ll need to switch to a different one before November 15 or you’ll no longer be able to use the Internet on your PC.
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