Acrylic is a local DNS proxy for Windows which improves the performance of your computer by caching the responses coming from your DNS servers and helps you fight unwanted ads through a custom HOSTS file (optimized for handling hundreds of thousands of domain names) with support for wildcards and regular expressions.
When you browse a web page a portion of the loading time is dedicated to name resolution (usually from a few milliseconds to 1 second or more) while the rest is dedicated to the transfer of the web page contents and resources to your browser. What Acrylic does is to reduce the time dedicated to name resolution for frequently visited addresses closest to zero possible. It may not seem such a great optimization but in a few weeks of Internet browsing you will probably save an hour or so, which is definitely not such a bad thing. Furthermore Acrylic's sliding expiration caching mechanism, simultaneous forwarding to multiple DNS servers and support for background DNS updates are able to improve your browsing experience independently of the browser.
With Acrylic you can also gracefully overcome downtimes of your DNS servers without disrupting your work, because in that case you will at least be able to connect to your favourite websites and to your email server.
Another good thing is that Acrylic is released as open source, which means that it's free and its source code, written with Borland Delphi 7, is freely available to anyone under the GNU General Public License.
Download Setup for Windows
Download Delphi 7 Source Code
Download Portable for Windows
Acrylic files are downloadable from external servers. If you want to check the integrity of the offered files have a look at the Acrylic Hashes page.
Finally there's a great system tray monitor for Acrylic, called Acrylic DNS Proxy Monitor v2, available at dev.arqendra.net for free.
What's new in version 0.9.27 released on July 9, 2015
- A "portable" version is now available. (*)
- Added a better description to the Acrylic DNS Proxy service.
- Fixed a mismatch between implemented DNS query types and IANA codes.
- Better handling of the '>' operator for wildcards within the AcrylicHosts.txt file.
- Service name changed from AcrylicController to AcrylicServiceController. The service display name though is still "Acrylic DNS Proxy Service".
(*) It is truly portable only if you use the console version. If you use the Acrylic DNS Proxy service you still have to register it using one of the provided batch files.
For a complete list of Acrylic's releases have look at the Acrylic Change Log page.
How do I install Acrylic?
Step 1: Installation
- Launch the Acrylic.exe file and click on the "Next" button.
- Read and (if you like it) accept the license agreement by clicking on the "I Agree" button.
- Choose the installation folder (the default is "Program Files\Acrylic DNS Proxy") and click on the "Install" button.
Note: Installation should be performed by a user with administrative rights over the system.
Step 2: Configuration
All of the Acrylic configuration can be set by manually editing a text file.
Upon installation Acrylic is preconfigured to point to the primary and secondary Google Public DNS servers. If you need to change that you can select the "Acrylic DNS Proxy\Config\Edit Acrylic Configuration File" Start menu item (for detailed informations about the many available configuration options have look at the Acrylic Configuration page.) If you need to edit Acrylic's HOSTS file you can select the "Acrylic DNS Proxy\Config\Edit Acrylic Hosts File" Start menu item.
In order to use Acrylic you have to tell your computer that the DNS servers to be contacted for name resolution is no more your ISP's but Acrylic. How to do it depends on the version of the OS you are running:
Note: If you have a firewall on your computer you may have to create a rule to allow incoming traffic directed to Acrylic executables: AcrylicService.exe and AcrylicConsole.exe.
How do I uninstall Acrylic?
Just select the "Acrylic DNS Proxy\Uninstall\Uninstall" Start menu item.
The uninstall process will take care of stopping the service and deleting all traces of Acrylic from your computer.
How do I upgrade Acrylic?
Since a specific upgrade path is not provided for Acrylic the best way to upgrade is simply to uninstall the old version and install the new one.
Before uninstalling the old version you may want to make a backup of some of your configuration files as they will be all deleted by the uninstall process.
How do I contact the author?
If you have questions please first have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you have improvements to suggest, problems to report or whatever you can contact me at msmfbn [AT] gmail [DOT] com
How do I report a problem in Acrylic?
In case you are reporting a problem in Acrylic it would be nice if you:
- Activate the debug log.
- Try to reproduce the problem.
- Send me your AcrylicConfiguration.ini, AcrylicHosts.txt and AcrylicDebug.txt files along with a description of what you expected from Acrylic and what you got from it instead.
To activate the debug log you can use the "Activate Debug Log" item under "Programs\Acrylic DNS Proxy\Support" in your Start menu.