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Is Google DNS Better Than Your ISP’s?

Recently, Google introduced their own DNS service for internet customers.  With the latest iteration of their service, along with OpenDNS and a few other DNS Service providers, they have started to use CDN’s (Content Delivery Network) to increase performance.  This helps latency issues that your ISP is typically unable to address by gathering and using data stored on DNS servers based on the requestor’s location.

Previously, depending on which service you were using, if you were in Portland, Maine you could theoretically be reaching out to a server in Portland, Oregon for DNS information.  This great distance, along with server and network latency means that a user may be waiting longer than he or she needs to for the browser to retrieve the information it needs to show the website.

Just in case you didn’t know what DNS is, it turns human readable domain names like computingondemand.com into IP addresses that networks recognize like 172.10.29.9.

To test how your ISP’s DNS performs, you can download a utility called Namebench.  Not only will it tell you how your ISP’s DNS is performing, but it will also tell you what your fastest option is.  In my case, not only did it tell me that my ISP’s DNS was slower than some of the free options out there, it also told me that Google DNS was the fastest option for me.

The results from the Namebench benchmark test show that Google DNS responds in about 40ms whereas my ISP’s DNS takes more than double that time.  In the results, are other top DNS contenders too, should you decide that you want to rely on more than one service for DNS.

So what does switching to Google DNS mean for you? It means that you will potentially spend less time waiting for your browser to find websites.  This doesn’t do anything for download or upload speeds though, that is all on your ISP to take care of.  What should you do now? Download the utility and see what your fastest option is… then come back here and tell us about it.

About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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14 comments

  1. My router          31.09 ms
    OpenDNS          48.82 ms
    SuddenLink US  51.84 ms
    Google              56.33 ms

    SuddenLink is my ISP 

  2. Smart people improve the world by cleverly influencing change. 
    Being rude simply decreases that influence.

  3. Where do the graphs even reference google DNS?  I see everything *but* google present..

    If you simply switched your router’s nameserver to the google DNS public addresses, that’s not a good test.  The router’s nameserver implementation could be caching responses, which would improve the “perceived” speed.  You need to ensure 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4 are configured directly on the system running namebench for this test to be somewhat valid.

  4. I tested mine and comcast was also fasted (my current setup).  Maybe you are just not in a well connected area. 😉

  5. My Router 40ms Google 52ms.  It listed my present setup as fastest.

    • Impressive, it usually doesn’t work out that way. I’ve run the test on Verizon, Century Link, Comcast, Optimum Online, and Brighthouse Networks.  None of them were faster than some of the free DNS options incuding, but not limited to, Google DNS and OpenDNS

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