The Road Less Traveled

With so much traffic in cyberspace, it's about time someone blazed a direct trail to the internet.
This story appears in the January 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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The Domain Name System--essentially cyberspace street addresses that consist of a machine-readable number system--has been used for decades to help direct internet traffic. While the age-old technology provides the necessary navigation tools for internet users, David Ulevitch was tired of being stuck in traffic, so he appointed himself air traffic controller. Devising a new system for cyberspace travel, Ulevitch founded OpenDNS in 2005 and launched his own DNS service that features a faster and more reliable internet connection, automatic correction of URL typos and the ability to configure settings so that entire website categories--like phishing sites--are completely blocked.

Backed by a $2 million investment, Ulevitch, 26, has already signed on nearly 2 million users and created a San Francisco-based business with impressive potential. As Ulevitch says, "When you have technology that is so fundamental but hasn't changed in 20 years and is also being abused, there's a huge opportunity to build a great service and improve on [the system]."

Edition: November 2016

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