Open Source DNS server

A group of experts has released an open-source alternative to the BIND DNS server software that boasts higher performance and better security.

The new DNS server — dubbed Unbound 1.0VeriSign logo

Unbound is a recursive DNS server, which is used by ISPs and enterprises to support DNS look-ups by users. DNS is the feature of the Internet that matches domain names with IP addresses, and it is used for Web browsing, e-mail, and Internet-based telephony.

Unbound was released Tuesday to open-source developers by NLnet Labs, VeriSign, Nominet and Kirei. NLnet Labs, a nonprofit research firm based in The Netherlands, will provide ongoing support for the software.

From its first prototype in 2004, Unbound was designed to be a faster, more secure replacement for BIND. Unbound supports DNS security extensions ( DNSSEC ), which authenticate DNS lookups but are not yet widely deployed because they rely on a public key infrastructure.

“One of the main advantages is that it’s high performing. We designed it from the beginning to be fast,” says Matt Larson, director of DNS research with VeriSign. “We also designed it from the beginning to support DNSSEC. Other DNS servers had to bolt that on, but we were able to start fresh.”

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