OpenDNS Alternative

Many businesses have started looking for an OpenDNS alternative, as while Cisco’s DNS filtering and cloud security solution in an accomplished and comprehensive product, it is rather expensive and a lot of the features of the solution are over and above what many businesses need.

While it is possible to reduce the OpenDNS Umbrella cost by opting for the most basic package, this will create gaps in security, which is far from ideal. One of the most important features in a web filter is the ability to filter out all malicious and unsavory content. For that to happen, it is essential to have SSL inspection. SSL inspection allows you to decrypt, inspect, then re-encrypt encrypted content – websites that start with HTTPS. SSL inspection is not included at all in the most basic Cisco Umbrella package, and only partial SSL inspection is included in the middle package. If you choose an OpenDNS alternative, it will most likely not have the security gaps and will also be available at a much reduced cost, as the price of Cisco Umbrella is at the top end of the price spectrum for a DNS filter.

What is clear is you will need to have a DNS filtering solution in place, as the threat of web-based attacks has increased considerably in recent years. As spam filtering solutions have improved, threat actors have turned to the web to deliver malware and ransomware and to conduct phishing attacks. If you fail to filter out malicious content, the cost to your business from malware, ransomware, and phishing is likely to be well above the cost of implementing a DNS filtering solution.

OpenDNS Umbrella Pricing

OpenDNS Umbrella pricing increased following the acquisition by Cisco and there was a further price increase when the Professional, Insights, and Platform packages were changed to the new OpenDNS Umbrella packages, which are:

  • DNS Security Essentials
  • DNS Security Advantage
  • DNS Secure Internet Gateway (SIG) Essentials

The most basic DNS filtering solution – DNS Security Essentials – is the lowest cost solution, which only includes basic DNS filtering features. This product is best suited to small businesses – coffee shops for instance – that only want to provide a secure and safe Wi-Fi service.

The next tier, DNS Security Advantage, includes all the features of the basic product with added features such as a selective proxy, SSL inspection for risky websites, and Umbrella Investigate for more in-depth investigations. This version also makes integration with other tools and systems more straightforward. The top-level solution includes a secure web gateway, cloud-delivered firewall, cloud access security broker, and all the features of the second-tier package. Price increases with each product package.

OpenDNS Umbrella pricing is complicated by the fact that there are many add-ons, which come at an additional cost. Many OpenDNS alternatives include these as standard, such as full product support (only basic email support is included as standard with the Umbrella packages). You must also pay extra for “on the go” remote agents and software updates.

You will not find details of OpenDNS Umbrella pricing on the Cisco website, instead you need to submit an enquiry to obtain a custom quote due to the complexity of the Cisco Umbrella pricing policy.

Based on prices obtained from previous Cisco customers that have made the switch to WebTitan, we have compiled a price comparison table below to show you the potential cost savings from switching from Cisco Umbrella to WebTitan. Note that these prices were correct as of the start of 2020 and compare the basic package - DNS Security Essentials - and there have been price increases since. The top tier package may cost more than $5 per user, per month, although there are discounts available on OpenDNS Umbrella pricing for larger organizations with more end users to protect.

You will need to pay extra for the Enhanced and Premium support packages with any of the three Cisco OpenDNS packages, and also for access to training resources. The Cisco Umbrella cost must also be paid upfront as there is no option for monthly billing.

What are the Best OpenDNS Alternatives?

If you compare the cost of Cisco OpenDNS with virtually any OpenDNS alternative, you will quickly discover there are considerable cost savings to be had if you choose a different provider. That does not mean you have to have a product without some of the most important features. For most businesses and MSPs, any alternative to OpenDNS will provide protection from online threats and allow you to control the content that can be accessed by users on and off the network.

Out of all the OpenDNS alternatives, WebTitan Cloud is one of the most powerful, cost effective, and easy to use DNS filtering solutions for businesses and managed service providers. In many respects, WebTitan Cloud is a direct swap for Cisco OpenDNS, as it includes all the key features of Cisco OpenDNS with some important added advantages, but has a starting price of less than $1 per user per month with no add-ons required and no hidden costs. The comparison chart below shows how the two products compare:

WebTitan Cisco Umbrella Comparison Chart

WebTitan Cloud – An Ideal Cisco OpenDNS Alternative for SMBs, MSPs, and ISPs

Many businesses seek an alternative OpenDNS solution as they have realized there are significant cost savings to be gained by doing so, without having to suffer a reduction in performance. WebTitan Cloud has the added advantage of being easy to use, with users benefitting from industry leading customer support if ever they have a problem. Full SSL inspection is included for all, and the cost is made more affordable by choosing monthly billing.

WebTitan is much loved by SMBs and MSPs across all key categories assessed on the independent software review platform, G2 Crowd. Bear in mind that WebTitan outperforms Cisco Umbrella yet is available for less than half the cost!

Managed Service Providers benefit from being able to host the solution with  TitanHQ, in a private cloud, or locally, whereas OpenDNS Umbrella only has the Anycast option. WebTitan Cloud can also be supplied as a white label ready to take an MSPs branding, which is not possible with OpenDNS, and MSPs get the option of monthly billing, easy integration into their backend systems, exceptional customer support with a dedicated account manager, and generous margins. It is for these reasons that TitanHQ is the leading provider of cloud-based email and web security solutions for MSPs serving the SMB market.

The easiest way to evaluate WebTitan Cloud is to implement the solution and try it out for yourself in your own environment. The full WebTitan Cloud DNS filtering solution is available on a 14-day free trial, which includes full product support as if you were already a WebTitan customer. During the trial you will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the solution as an OpenDNS alternative, discover for yourself how easy it is to use, and if you decide it ticks all the right boxes, you simply pay for the license at the end of the trial and continue without any service interruption.