Public DNS services may offer advantages over the DNS servers used natively by Internet Providers. These advantages may not be limited to speed only as you may get additional functionality on top of that.
This may include filtering options, for instance to block malicious sites or phishing sites straight away, but also options to bypass network or country-wide Internet filters.
ISPs in Spain for instance blocked access to The Pirate Bay website recently on the DNS level and a workaround for that was to switch to a global DNS service to access the site again.
There may be other advantages. Some ISPs may display custom error pages when look-ups fail in order to earn additional revenue. If you prefer to see the browser's error page instead when that happens, you could switch DNS providers to ensure that.
Speed may not seem important at first but since DNS is one of the cornerstones of the Internet and used a lot during Internet sessions, you may be able to load web pages and resources faster and improve the overall experience as well.
There is a third factor of importance: privacy. Since the selected DNS provider processes all of your connections on the Internet, you end up revealing information that you may not want to reveal to some companies.
The program used for the test is Namebench, a DNS benchmarking system. The following settings were used in the benchmark:
In addition to those settings, the following providers were added to the list of nameservers:
The following providers are included natively by the program:
For your own tests, it makes sense to include regional DNS services as well as they may provide faster access than global providers.
Note: It is highly recommended to run the tests on your end as well. The reason for this is that access time and overall performance may differ depending on your location in the world. A provider in France may work well for central European users for instance but not so well for someone from Australia or Japan.
|188.8.131.52||Google Public DNS-2||google-public-dns-b.google.com||103.02||23.2||3500|
As you can see, there are major differences between providers. While average may not always be the best metric for comparison, you will notice that the fastest response time of some providers is slower than the average response time of the fastest providers.
Run your own benchmark on your computer
It is easy to run your own benchmarking test to find the fastest DNS provider.
Changing the provider
There are two core options when it comes to changing DNS providers: you can change them on individual devices or in routers or servers. The latter has the advantage that all devices connecting to the router or server use the provider automatically.
I suggest you check out the instructions on the Open DNS website for that. They cover all scenarios including home routers and computer workstations, laptops and mobile devices. Note that you need to switch IPs if you don't select OpenDNS as your provider of choice.
Now You: Which provider is fastest and which are you using on your systems?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.