Do you think you are getting faster browsing speeds?
Here are some empirical results that may answer the question Is google DNS faster ?
Is Google DNS faster?
Google claims that its DNS service is faster than others, so I tested by running the nslookup command at the command line in a simple batch file that also displays start and finish times to see how long it takes to complete using a specified DNS server's address. I tested on a PC located in New York City using Verizon as the ISP.
The differences are in tenths and hundredths of a second, but over the course of a day's Web surfing, that can add up, especially for sites that require multiple DNS lookups. I noticed that more obscure sites, such as www.atomische.com
, took longer than popular sites on the first try—since the DNS server being used would have to fetch the IP address from another authoritative server the first time, and after that, my chosen DNS server would usually have cached the address, making subsequent lookups much quicker. Strangely, after this first lookup, the more obscure sites actually were faster than the popular ones.
Here are my results:
Regular ISP Connected Machine (Seconds to URL lookup)
Site Default DNS Google DNS OpenDNSwww.ebay.com
0.12 0.09 0.09www.pcmag.com
0.25 0.12 0.14www.gearlog.com
0.31 0.15 0.16www.atomische.com
0.11 0.54 0.07www.thesportscircuit.com
0.11 0.24 0.04www.brillianttees.net
0.26 0.31 0.20www.brillianttees.net
0.26 0.31 0.20
Average 0.19 0.24 0.12
Another way to check speed is to use FastNext.com's DNS timing test. I tested this with my three DNS server on several sites as well, and the differences were even less significant than my test with nslookup:
Fastnext (ms) Google ISP OpenDNS
radiouslerand.com 91 91 90
races.com 90 94 91
adobe.com 86 82 80
blippr.com 81 79 80
cooliris.com 61 58 58
purpletrail.com 45 45 45
Average 75.67 74.83 74.00
I can't imagine the vast majority of users will bother changing their DNS settings, or even know what they are—unless of course they're peeved by their ISP hijacking "not found" pages with unwanted search results. That's one nice, if minor, benefit of Google DNS.
As far as the privacy of your surfing habits goes, either you trust that Google is doing what it says it is or you don't. Overall, I don't see speed as a reason to switch to Google DNS, as local ISP DNS servers will usually be adequate, and OpenDNS is marginally faster than either. Still, if you're given to tweaking your computer and suspect that you're not getting all the speed you could (and who doesn't, sometimes) you might want to point to a different DNS server. Personally, I'd recommend OpenDNS, based on my tests. If you do change DNS servers, let us know about your experiences in the comments section of this story.