Google just announced that they are making available their own public DNS server. For those that don’t know, that stands for Domain Name Server, one of the central services that makes the Internet work. It basically takes a domain name like “radoff.com” and translates it to the numeric IP address, which allows you to connect to services by name.
The stated goal is that they want to make using the Internet faster and more secure. I think those are great goals. Making it faster is important to a larger number of companies who depend on fast response-times to increase revenue. While at Amazon.com, Greg Linden has reported that:
In A/B tests, we tried delaying the page in increments of 100 milliseconds and found that even very small delays would result in substantial and costly drops in revenue.
Now, we don’t know how much this would impact individual websites, because DNS is something you only need to check once—not for every page you visit (because your computer caches DNS data once you’ve visited a site). It might help smaller sites (who you haven’t cached) appear faster when you click on random links from a Google search results page.
I wanted to know whether the Google DNS is actually faster than what I’m already using, and there’s a good DNS benchmarking tool for this purpose. You can download it for free. Unfortuantely for Google, I found that:
- My existing DNS provider (offered as part of my Verizon FIOS service) is pretty damn fast — faster, in fact, than Google and every other public DNS server that the benchmarking tool makes available. FIOS has really engineered one hell of a network; phone companies take a lot of criticism, but in this case, Verizon should be congratulated.
- Google was also slower than 30 other public DNS services I tested against.
- Still, it is faster than a lot of other servers. In some cases, much faster. So the Google DNS might be an improvement for you.