Acrylic is a local DNS proxy for Windows which improves the performance of your computer by caching the responses coming from your DNS servers. 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 7 SE, is available to anyone under the GNU General Public License.
Download Setup for Windows
Download Delphi Source Code
Futhermore a great system tray monitor for Acrylic is available at dev.arqendra.net for free.
What's new in version 0.9.26 released on April 4, 2015
- The DNS server response dissector has been improved.
- UPX compression of executables has been removed due to the higher probability of anti-virus' false alarms.
- The hit log can now be produced in legacy (0.9.24) mode to ease compatibility issues with already existing log analyzers.
What's new in version 0.9.25 released on March 29, 2015
- EDNS & DNSSEC are now supported (via UDP only).
- Handling of DNS server failure responses has been improved.
- All executables are now compressed with UPX to reduce the size of the setup package.
- Preconfigured to point to Google Public DNS servers instead of OpenDNS servers upon installation.
- The AcrylicController application now supports silent operations (no dialog boxes) for easier automation.
- The AcrylicController application now looks for files in the installation directory instead of in the current directory.
- Added support for the '>' shortcut character inside the AcrylicHosts.txt file for matching a domain and all its subdomains.
- Logging has been improved everywhere with better request and response dissectors available in the debug file and in the hit log.
- Loading performance of the AcrylicHosts.txt file when hostnames are sorted alphabetically in ascending order has been improved.
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.