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Every time I search for a single word in the Firefox address bar I am redirected to OpenDNS Guide search rather than my default search engine. How do I stop this? I have tried changing Keyword.URL in about:config, which is what every single solution to this problem I have seen says to do, but it hasn't worked. Single-word searches still go to OpenDNS. Searches with multiple words go to the default search engine. Does anybody know how to fix this? It's driving me nuts! I want to use a good search engine, not the piece of garbage that is OpenDNS Guide! Thanks for your help!

EDIT:

Okay, I've found a workaround. I installed the the add-on InstantFox, which lets you set search keywords. I know that this feature is already built into Firefox, but I was able to use InstantFox's "Standard Search Without Shortcuts" option and set a standard search URL. Everything works fine now. Not the most satisfactory fix, but at least it works.

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1 Answer 1

The way this is working is that rather than sending askubuntu.com to opendns to convert the name to an IP address, you are sending simply askubuntu. instead. Of course there is no askubuntu., and if their DNS server was doing what it should, it should send an error code back to you. Instead, whenever there is no domain name matching what your computers send, it is returning the IP address of its own search service. (67.215.65.132) is what I just received. Ads there are probably how they pay for the service they offer.

There are ways to block this address, but there's no reason to believe they won't just change it. And, if you did block it, you would have your browser just spin and spin waiting for the blocked site to get back to you.

Your browser won't and can't know the difference.

I'd suggest instead that you use the DNS server provided by your ISP. You are paying for it so that's probably a reasonable thing to do.

Another approach is to use google's public DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. I've heard they consider DNS server problems to be a threat to their business so they decided to provide their own DNS service as a public service. I suppose the question is whether you trust them. Their privacy web page indicates they are sensitive to privacy issues, but you should decide whether their policies are adequate for you, and whether you believe that they will adhere to them. Here's the page.

Here's an article with a list of public DNS services. I personally use my ISP's with one of google's as a backup. I'd research level 3 if I didn't want to use my own ISP's, opendns', or google's since their business is bandwidth rather than ads or content.

If you are OK with your ISP's service but it isn't completely reliable, maybe you could list it first and opendns or another open service listed second. That way the public service only get's your lookups (after a couple second delay) when your ISP's server is down.

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Okay, thanks! I'll have to look into that. How come other browsers don't do this though? –  SirCumference May 25 '12 at 1:56
    
Chrome doesn't send single words to be resolved, it figures you want a search and sends the request to search engine. I don't know about the others. You could make a point that Firefox should do something different. Maybe someone else will answer your question with an idea for changing the Firefox configuration. –  John S Gruber May 25 '12 at 3:56
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