Dear Mr. OpenDNS:

I like what you offer.  I really do.  But you gave me a shock today.  One that I’ve seen with other subscription model vendors lately.

It’s what happens when a subscription service changes the rules and the pricing and you have to then figure out if that service is really worth it and how hard it is to move off of it.

Today’s example of that is  I’m a fan.  Used it since it first came out.  Didn’t just use the free service but as they inched the product up from the free service to a paid service went along for the ride.  It’s only fair as I like to pay for things that give me value.  So when the ability to filter and block specific urls went out of the free product, into the deluxe and I had to pay $5 a year per user, I was cool with that.  So I get the notice that they are closing down the Deluxe plan and only offering Enterprise, I was cool with that.  Okay the price will go up a bit.  As long as it’s reasonable price, I have no problem with it.

Until I heard how MUCH it was going up. 

Assuming I had 50 users in the office (which I don’t, we’re smaller than that) the pricing went from $5 a year to $30 a year for 50 people.  Their lowest OpenDNS enterprise plan is 1-50 users for $1,500.  Yes you read that right, $1,500 for their lowest sized plan.

Oh but Susan, you are now on the Enterprise plan which is so much more!  Dude, it’s DNS forwarding with a extra web filtering.  A solid firewall can do the same in the web filtering department. 

But Susan it’s phishing and botnet protection.  Dude, Exchange defender and a Calyptix box are of better value. 

But Susan we can offer you 500 domain black list.  Dude, block craigs list, ebay and facebook and that covers a lot right there.  I don’t NEED 500 domain black lists.  I’m not sure I even KNOW 500 domains.

This where all of these subscription models hit the fan.  Everyone wants me on a monthly cash flow plan.  We’re in a economy where you need to give value for me to pay you every month, month after month.  And if you increase your fees by THIS much? Dude, you’d better be increase the value to me by that much as well otherwise I’m going to look elsewhere.

It was nice using you, OpenDNS but what you just did in your pricing?  Wow.  This is not small business pricing for sure.  I can’t put that much value to what you are bringing me.

It was nice knowing you, thanks for the ride, but I’m getting off now, thanks.

P.S.  Looks like you are removing filtering for free accounts as well as of 3/15!/mindflux/status/162326061152092160

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the time today and being a valued customer.  Per our discussion, the standard pricing for 1-50 employees is $1500/yr including support.  We can offer an upgrade discount of 30% and get the pricing down to $1000/yr ($83/month) including support.  You will not see an industry increase of more than 5-10% in the following years.  This discount will expire on 2/29/12.  Let me know if you can take advantage before then as your Deluxe will expire in April.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

I’ve included 2 video links, feature set, and data sheet for your review.

Enterprise Package

Bypass Blocked Pages Video

Our Special Enterprise package will give you all the added features such as:

* Premium Content Filtering/Anti-Phishing Protection
* Malware Site Protection
* No More Ads!
* Enhanced Block Page Options (you can even host your own!)
* 500 Domain Black List/White List (or white list only!)
* Enhanced Stats&  Reporting
* Delegated Admin with Audit Log
* Enterprise SLA Support
* CIPA compliant! (schools)

Let me know if you would like to get set up, we can have you up and running same day.

Yesterday’s letter:


You should have received an email yesterday from our CEO, David Ulevitch, about upcoming changes to your OpenDNS account. I’m writing today to follow up on that email and let you know I am here to answer any questions you may have.

If you choose not to migrate to OpenDNS Enterprise when your current Deluxe subscription ends, you will continue to receive the same, best-in-class recursive DNS services for free without any usage limits, however filtering functionality will no longer be available.

If you would like to retain content filtering, you may upgrade to OpenDNS Enterprise. OpenDNS Enterprise includes everything that your Deluxe subscription has, as well as many more features, including:

  • Enhanced Botnet, Malware and Phishing protection
  • Unlimited number of networks
  • Unlimited access to stats and logs
  • Best in class customer support

For more information about OpenDNS Enterprise you can view our Datasheet here.

To make sure every Deluxe user who wants to take advantage of these additional features can do so, we are running a promotion for Deluxe users who elect to upgrade to OpenDNS Enterprise. This promotion is a limited time offer and will only be available to you until February 29, 2012.

If you are interested in receiving more information on upgrading to OpenDNS Enterprise, feel free to respond to this email directly


Valued customer,

OpenDNS has provided services that make the Internet safer, faster and more reliable for five years and today has more than 30 million users around the world.  As a user of OpenDNS Deluxe and an early adopter, I deeply value the trust you’ve placed in us and hope you’ve found the service useful for filtering content on your network.

As our company continues its rapid growth, we’re realigning our product family with an eye toward better fitting our customers’ needs and goals.  We’ve decided to implement some changes that will impact your use of OpenDNS when your current subscription expires.

First and foremost, we’ve decided to discontinue support for OpenDNS Deluxe as we deepen our focus on providing world-class security for businesses through OpenDNS Enterprise.  After evaluating the benefits OpenDNS Deluxe offers to businesses and speaking to many customers, we concluded our efforts are better spent on improving OpenDNS Enterprise, which launched two years ago and now has more than 3,000 customers.  It includes significant additional functionality over Deluxe — in particular, malware and botnet protection services, as well as block-page bypass functionality for more granular content filtering.  And don’t let the name fool you; while we are proud to have some of the largest companies in the world using OpenDNS, our business offering is competitively priced for organizations of all sizes.

We recognize that some of the previously intended functionality was not added to OpenDNS Deluxe, and we recognize that for some of you, it was that intended functionality that drew you to OpenDNS Deluxe in the first place.  Our aim is to do right by all of our customers, so we’re offering all OpenDNS Deluxe subscribers a discount over our published rates on OpenDNS Enterprise.  If you choose not to migrate to OpenDNS Enterprise, you will continue to receive the same, best-in-class recursive DNS services for free without any usage limits, but all filtering functionality will be disabled at the end of your current OpenDNS Deluxe subscription.

Your account manager will be following up with you over the next couple days to discuss the changes, and address any questions you may have.  If you would like to speak to your account manager right away, you can contact them directly at the address and number below.  Or if you have questions about your OpenDNS Deluxe subscription, simply reply to this email and we’ll follow up promptly.


David Ulevitch

7 Thoughts on “Dear Mr. OpenDNS:

  1. Curious why a small business would consider OpenDNS. In my experience in testing for small networks it resolved very slowly for the the “search” landing pages, and broke several Google sites (granted this was back in 2006) In fact I spent half a day troubleshooting issues on my father’s network in Southern Cali only to realize it was because OpenDNS was not properly working with about 10% of the sites he visited.

    SBS servers don’t need forwarders, they can just use root. They just don’t see the traffic levels that external DNS would provide benefit to.

    DNS-based blocking of phishing/malware is too slow, and you might as well use easylist or another subscription service that focuses solely on malware/phishing sites.

  2. Bill V on January 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm said:

    Susan… This should be posted on the SBS forum as a ‘sticky’ post. Have to wonder if everyone is aware about this. It’s too quiet in the forums for such an alarming change in this widely used DNS service.

  3. bradley on January 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm said:

    It’s being lightly talked about in the OpenDNS forum.

  4. Bill V on January 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm said:

    Too lightly. I just chimed in there as well.


  5. Susan,

    I agree with you. As a MSP with hundreds of Small Business customers OpenDNS must be having a laugh if they think the majority of small businesses are going to pay those prices because we both know they won’t.

    I can’t really grumble about them taking the service away, but the way this has been managed by them in such a vague way and them refusing to answer direct questions has seriously put me off continuing to pay them anything at all.

    They are very likely going to lose our custom, the entire thing seems to be biased against Small business, which is unfortunate as their service is refined and works well.

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