Cisco Umbrella Review

Customization allows us as consultants to tune web content filtering for the SMB market.


Valuable Features:

Custom whitelist/blacklist/block page allows us as consultants to tune web content filtering for the SMB market.

Improvements to My Organization:

OpenDNS supplements other security solutions to allow for blocking through DNS requests, which is common for malware to use to bypass other security mechanisms.

Room for Improvement:

This product needs policy scheduling for enforcement by category. Notice in all the packages, there’s no scheduling. In the Insights or Platform package offerings, you can now essentially have multiple ‘policies’ per AD user or network group. What’s missing is that I still can’t set enforcement to block certain website use at this time of day or these days of the week. For instance, a company may allow streaming audio sites for music only for night shift workers to help them keep awake and versus dayshift workers.

Use of Solution:

I have been using the web-based, small-teams edition since 2007 (nine years).

Deployment Issues:

We have never encountered issues with general deployment.

Customer Service:

We would rate customer service and tech support after the Cisco acquisition a 5 out of 10.

Previous Solutions:

We’ve used and deployed ZScaler, Websense, and other UTM-based blocking solutions. This product is not always the best if you need complex policy and scheduling, and other user soft-pass through authentication.

Initial Setup:

Initial OpenDNS setup is straightforward if you have a static IP address and you apply the DNS forwarders appropriately. This is literally a five-minute-or-less change.

Implementation Team:

We always implement for ourselves and for others in-house because of ease of use. Implementation-wise, companies should be aware that changing DNS forwarders might impact their global DNS operational needs. OpenDNS servers are also slower than something like Google DNS.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Pricing needs to be reduced for SMB based on the blocking capabilities and the lack of other features that you just cannot do in DNS, such as authentication-based filtering.

Also, scalability-wise, the pricing is more of a challenge for enterprise-class environments because of the pricing model.

Other Advice:

OpenDNS is either a good complement to your existing web content filtering solution at the enterprise level, or it is a good free or easy-to-deploy alternative for home and SMB use.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 Comment
CacheGuardUserTOP 5

Is it possible to have your own white or black list of URLs? What about the maintenance process of those lists?

12 January 18
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