The Dynamic Name System (DNS) is used to translate domain names (www.bestvpn.com) into the numerical IP addresses (18.104.22.168) used by computers to uniquely identify every computer, service or resource connected to the internet. This translation service is usually performed by your ISP using its DNS servers, although as we explained in this article, it is possible to change your internet connection setting so that you connect to third party DNS servers, the most well-known of which being Google Public DNS and OpenDNS.
With the recent and ongoing Edward Snowden revelations however, plus the growing trend in many countries of blocking or censoring certain websites (most notably those accused of copyright infringement), it is becoming increasingly clear that anyone who values privacy on the internet and who does not wish to have their access to the internet, should not trust privately owned centralised companies who can be bullied into blocking website addresses, hand over information about who is trying to access certain website, and who can have domains seized from them. Google, OpenDNS and your ISP all fall into this category.
Enter OpenNIC, a non-profit, decentralised, open, uncensored and democratic DNS provider. Designed to take back power from governments and corporations, OpenNIC is run by volunteers and provides a completely unfiltered DNS resolution service, with DNS servers located all across the world.
OpenNIC can resolve all ICANN TLDs (Top Level Domains, e.g. .com, .net, .co.uk, .es etc.), and so appears seamless in use,plus it has added a number of its own which can only be accessed if using OpenNIC. These are indy, .geek, .null, .oss, .parody, .bbs, .fur, .free, .ing, .dyn,.gopher, and .micro (plus it cooperatively operates the shared TLD .glue, which is shared among alternative domain name systems).
Membership in OpenNIC is open to all, internet users and decisions are made either by democratically elected administers or direct vote, with all decisions appealable by a vote of the general membership.