Acrylic is a local DNS proxy for Windows which improves the performance of your computer by caching the responses coming from your DNS servers. The reason why I wrote it is explained in this article.
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 page contents 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. With Acrylic you can also gracefully overcome downtimes of your DNS servers without disrupting your work, because in this case you will at least be able to connect to your favourite sites and to your email server. In addition Acrylic can help you to effectively block unwanted ads prior to their download through the use of a HOSTS file with support for wildcards and regular expressions, optimizing your navigation experience even further.
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, is available to anyone under the GNU General Public License.
Download Setup for Windows
Download Source Code
Futhermore a great system tray monitor for Acrylic is available at dev.arqendra.net for free.
What's new in version 0.9.24 released on January 3, 2014
- It is now possible to disable the address cache altogether making Acrylic work as a forwarding-only DNS proxy.
- It is now possible to specify query type affinity masks for DNS servers (defining which server is going to resolve requests for particular query types). (*)
(*) The configuration option previously used to set the host name affinity mask for DNS servers has been renamed for consistency.
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 OpenDNS 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 executable files: 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 first have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you have improvements to suggest, problems to report or whatever you can always 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 Enable Disable Debug Log item under Programs\Acrylic DNS Proxy\Support in your Start menu.