Employees at OpenDNS feel a sense of ownership and pride in what they do. Open communication is highly valued and leaders aim to keep everyone in the loop through weekly meetings, lunches and dinners. 



This review is based on 110 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 5.48. It was published on Sep 26, 2014. 8557 Visitors

What You Should Know

Employees feel safe, sound and well-compensated at Internet security firm OpenDNS. All employees at the San Francisco-based company take pride in working with top-notch colleagues to protect some 50 million computer users. Managers keep everyone in the loop through weekly company meetings and over lunches and team dinners. Employees are rewarded with competitive pay and perks like catered lunches, free food, and an annual Lake Tahoe ski trip. OpenDNS also stands out as scrupulously fair — 94 percent of employees saying leaders avoid playing favorites. Those who thrive in a fast-paced startup environment and love their work will likely fit right in. "Our employees are very passionate and highly vetted to ensure a successful and meaningful working relationship, which contributes to the development of trust and accountability," says one employee. 


OpenDNS provides Internet security through a cloud service that protects all devices, including phones, tablets and laptopsThe company's network protects more than 50 million users daily across 22 globally distributed data centers.

Website: www.opendns.com US Headquarters: San Francisco, California
US Sites: 1 Major Locations: San Francisco; Vancouver
US Employees: 167 Employees worldwide: 33
Founded: 2005 Industry: Information Technology

Great Challenges

How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?

Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At OpenDNS Inc, 94 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 4 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.

OpenDNS employees provide Internet security. The company has approximately 167 employees in the United States and 33 employees worldwide. They operate out of a single office in the United States.

An overwhelming majority of employees surveyed (97 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and almost as many (95 percent) say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For a significant majority of employees (97 percent), their work at OpenDNS is more than just a job: the chance to make the Internet more secure for users provides special meaning.

At OpenDNS, 91 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers. While it is often difficult for companies to ensure that promotions are awarded fairly across organizations, at OpenDNS Inc, 94 percent say that promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them, exceeding what one can typically expect even at the very best companies in the country.

Supporting Employee Development

  • Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 40 hours
  • Along with OpenDNS's in-house training sessions, the company holds a monthly learning and development series. Topics of the series have included negotiations, financial planning, public speaking and intro to Excel. 
One of our company values, 'It's your ship,' gives people such an awesome amount of ownership. Most of the tools for you to do your job are laid out before you when hired and what you do with those tools is up to you. I think that freedom inspires employees to run and run fast. It is amazing to see a newbie transform into a pro in a matter of months. This also speaks to hiring the best and brightest. 

Great Atmosphere

What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?

At OpenDNS Inc, 98 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 1 percent sometimes benefit from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.

Open DNS's new San Francisco headquarters is furnished with shared work spaces and features standing and walking desks for those who need them. There is a Ping Pong table and a lounge area with couches and board games and a well-stocked kitchen. Yoga classes are held on the building's rooftop. For employees who can't always leave Fido at home, the office is dog-friendly.

Fun and Celebrations

  • The company celebrates with food at birthdays and work anniversaries, and on other occasions. The company has a spontaneous lunchtime celebration three times a week, when they bring in catered eats for their employees.

Caring and Support

  • The company provides support to employees who experience hardship. It has provided flexibility in work schedules, allowing an employee to work remotely, and it has given employees extended leaves of absence. 
  • There is also both maternity and paternity paid leave for employees that have been with the company for a year or more and work-from-home options after the birth or adoption of a child. 
People celebrate special events around here.
OpenDNS has built a work environment where various departments are actively engaged with each other and share a unique level of camaraderie. If a department hits a stretch goal the entire company is rewarded and the success is celebrated together. This has led to a level of interdepartment interest and engagement that I have never been a part of before.



Great Rewards

What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?

At OpenDNS Inc, 93 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 5 percent report they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.

The perks are awesome! I work remotely so I don't always get all the in-office perks (but no commuting is a perk itself, no?) and the company is willing to pay for co-working space when I need to get out of the house. When I am in town on a business trip they take care of all the expenses. My manager is always asking what I need or if I have any suggestions to improve the way things work. 


$50,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Customer Service Representatives $120,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Software Engineer
90% Company-paid health coverage for employees 70% Company-paid health coverage for dependents


  • 401(k) or 403b plan
  • Pre-tax savings account


  • Free snacks during the day
  • Free lunch on a regular, daily basis
  • Onsite package/mailing service
  • Free beverages during the day
  • Free breakfast foods on a regular, daily basis
  • Fitness classes


25 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment


  • Lactation rooms
  • Elder care resources
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.


  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug subsidy
  • Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
  • Vision care
  • Mental health care
  • Fertility treatments


  • Flu shots
  • Subsidized offsite gym memberships

Great Pride

What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?

At OpenDNS Inc, 98 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 2 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 100 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.

OpenDNS aims to improve the Internet by reducing the risk and impact of security breaches. Its customers include Fortune 100 companies, global enterprises, higher education institutes, retail, hospitality and health care services.  In 2013, the company grew by more than 100 percent, year over year, for a fourth consecutive year, adding 3,500 new business customers, while achieving a 97 percent annual renewal rate from existing accounts. At the same time, the company grew its staff by nearly 60 percent. 

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
I love everything about working here right now. OpenDNS not only is a fun place with a great culture, but we're getting things done, making waves. It's the most challenging place that I've worked at because my colleagues and I push each other to be better.

Supporting the Community

  • The company’s CEO is on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has helped build more than 500 skateboarding parks across the United States, and is also involved with Charity: Water, an organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to developing nations.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
We provide free services to the public. This allows us to encourage people to try out our services and gives people 'something for nothing'.

Great Communication

How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?

At OpenDNS Inc, 94 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 5 percent sometimes have this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.

OpenDNS Inc has two offices, one in San Francisco, CA and another in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The company currently has 147 employees in the San Francisco office, 40 in Canada and 15 working remotely. Most people work either as software engineers or customer service representatives. With most employees working in the company's San Francisco office and some working remotely, people feel the lines of communication are open. A significant majority of employees surveyed (96 percent) say that managers make their expectations clear, that they can ask any reasonable question and get a straight answer, and that their leaders are approachable and easy to talk with. Almost as many (95 percent) say their leaders genuinely seek and respond to suggestions and ideas. More than nine out of 10 employees say their managers keep them informed about important issues and changes.

There is a focus on transparency.  We have weekly company town hall meetings where we review numbers, status on key projects and offer a platform to recognize 'awesomeness.'

Great Bosses

What are managers' leadership strengths?

At OpenDNS Inc, 94 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 5 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.

OpenDNS employees widely appreciate the company pride and sense of ownership that their leaders inspire and the friendly and collaborative atmosphere they encourage. Employees give their leaders top marks on business acumen and integrity with nearly all (99 percent) describing them as competent and ethical in their business practices. Ninety-six percent describe leaders as having a clear view of the company's future and how to get there. The same number give their managers credit for matching their actions with their words. In addition, more than nine out of 10 say their leaders show a sincere interest in them as people and would lay them off only as a last resort.

The executive team is shockingly available -- and goes out of their way to make themselves available via lunches or team dinners. It's great to be able to talk to leaders, hear their vision and provide feedback. 

Great Perks and Programs

  • Annual Company Trip to Lake Tahoe: The company takes employees and their families to Lake Tahoe, California, for a four-day ski trip at the beginning of each year. They stay at the Ritz Carlton, and only the first day is devoted to work.
  • Anniversary Trip: On an employee's five-year anniversary, she/he gets a 10-day, all-inclusive vacation anywhere in the world. This year, the company sent employees to Europe, Japan and Hawaii. 
  • The OpenDNS Art Experience: All employees are invited to participate in this company-wide art show where mediums ranged from music and rap lyrics to canvas and colored paper. Talented employees from every department also joined together to create multimedia creations.
  • Lots of Freebies: The company provides catered lunches and facilitates onsite dry cleaning pickup and delivery. The kitchen is stocked with gourmet coffee and teas, sodas, mineral water, filtered water, and beer and wine for special occasions. 

Employee Quotes

Great Rated! collected feedback from OpenDNS Inc employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.

"Not many places have the ability to truly change the face of the Internet and how people use it as much as OpenDNS does."

"I like that there is support given to social activities that co-workers want to engage in. If you want to start some kind of club for like-minded co-workers, management is supportive of that. I like that there is transparency about our financial state of affairs. I like that the management is neither stuffy nor traditional. I like that I can feel comfortable discussing any issue and knowing it's not going to be a problem."

"A lot of effort goes into making sure new hires will fit in with the team personally, and not just on a technical level."

"They know what kind of people/personalities to look for and hire. It's made it easy to gel and love everyone that joins the company. We all have something that sets us apart. I truly feel that I am working alongside very talented, professional and fun people. It's a great feeling to have to know that everyone feels the same way I do about the company."

"Everyone at OpenDNS truly understands the full potential of the company and is empowered with the tools, resources and senior level support to achieve our individual and company-wide goals. There are a variety of on- and offsite company-sponsored events that are intended to build cross-departmental camaraderie and operational synergies."

"It's a very communicative environment with weekly all-team meetings and one-to-ones. I feel very appreciated here due to the overall attitude of management and surprise perks turning up nearly every day! The training process is also amazing, with an emphasis on learning a bit about all aspects of the company, not just your department. It really gives a good feel for how the company operates as a whole."

"There is definitely a unique and sincere sense of organizational unity and drive at OpenDNS. Our employees are very passionate and highly vetted to ensure a successful and meaningful working relationship, which actively contributes to the development of trust and accountability amongst one another."

"Everyone that works at OpenDNS are leaders in their field. It is inspiring every day to push yourself, and to work with people who expect the best from you. It requires you to come to work and be engaged with those around you, which produces great work, great relationships and a great team message."

"We often have parties and events, but what I really appreciate are the small surprises. We get company "swag" on a constant basis. If it's hot outside, we will get surprise smoothies or ice cream to cool us down. We had a vegan co-worker recently join our team, and within days we had tons of vegan snacks just for her. "

"OpenDNS has an incredibly friendly and collaborative culture. You can talk to anyone across organizations and have a great conversation and learn something new and exciting. I love our 'three fun facts' tradition, where each new employee shares three interesting facts about himself or herself in front of the whole company. It's really exciting to find out about the amazing talents people have outside of work, for instance. We have amazing birthday treats at the end of every month, plus our very own Toastmasters Club that nurtures our growth in public speaking."

"The culture here is fantastic. Everyone behaves like an adult. There are never shouting matches out in the open, or in meetings. People have a shared vision and are willing to work together to resolve disagreements. Management treats everyone like adults. The executive team has a clear vision for the company, they communicate it clearly, and they stick to that vision. The CEO doesn't change the direction of the company every six weeks."

"I'm a remote employee but I've never felt remote from the company. I've been included in many of the great events that have happened through the company's history and management has always kept me in the loop. I've progressed through responsibility levels and been challenged to step up and reach further."

How to Get Hired

We asked OpenDNS Inc for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

The first thing potential candidates should do is go to our website and take a look at what we do, who we are, and what opportunities are available.  We maintain a careers Web page at: www.opendns.com/about/careers/

Hiring Outlook

39%Job Growth 150Average number of applicants per opening
4%Total voluntary turnover in past year 2236Applicants in past year
70Openings in past year 48%New hires by employee referrals

Related Companies