Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Find fastest DNS servers with Google namebench

Google code
Google released an application called namebench, which will find the best DNS servers for your computer to use, by analysing usage patterns and calculating the fastest DNS service available.

What is DNS?

Every computer online has a unique IP address. The DNS (Domain Name System) is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses. This is very helpful because humans easily remember domain names since it uses the alphabet (e.g. it's easier to remember www.google.com instead of

Whenever you type a website address in your browser, a DNS server then resolves the domain name by translating it to an IP address and loads the website. There are several DNS servers around the world which does this translation for your computer. The big question is, is your computer currently using the fastest DNS service or not?

Normally your ISP automatically assigns it's own DNS servers to do the job for you. Since it's perhaps the closest DNS servers to you, it's assumed it's the fastest but sometimes that is not the case. Everyone has experience downtime at some point in their life where your internet connection appeared to be dead right? A lot of times it was simply your ISP's DNS servers that was down which effectively meant there was no way for you to browse any websites, since there was no service to translate that web address into the corresponding IP address.

Google namebench

Google namebench tests a number of DNS providers like Public DNS, OpenDNS, UltraDNS, including your own ISP's DNS. It takes a few minutes for the test to complete, a report is then generated which will list the performance of each, indicating the best DNS providers for you to use.
Namebench runs on Windows, Mac OS and UNIX.

If the generated namebench report suggests there are faster DNS servers than the ones you're currently using, perhaps you should consider changing it to enhance your all-round browsing experience.

Related links
Google's namebench and your name server


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