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Google launches Public DNS

Google launches Public DNS

Google's Public DNS service offers users a faster, more secure nameserver - but gives Google every domain you visit.

Google is continuing its attempts to speed up the web - or to gather as much information about your browsing habits as it possibly can, depending on your perspective - with the launch of a public DNS service.

As announced on the Official Google Blog, the search and advertising giant has decided to launch its own domain name resolution service - the technology which converts friendly names such as www.bit-tech.net into IP addresses - using technology it believes will speed things up for everyone.

Although Google is far from the first company to have this idea - the popular OpenDNS already offers free access, a service supported via the redirection of invalid or mistyped domains to a sponsored search page - the company has opted to make the service completely free, and promises that there will be no additional advertising or hijacking of invalid domains.

For anyone interested in the technicalities, Google's Public DNS relies on prefetching to reduce the number of resolver-side cache misses - which, in theory, should certainly increase the speed of name resolution. Additionally, Google has implemented various tricks to minimise the chance of response spoofing - including the randomisation of case in query names and including additional junk data in its DNS messages.

Despite these security tweaks, Google insists that its new service "complies with the DNS standards," and promises that it will give its users "the exact response his or her computer expects without performing any blocking, filtering, or redirection that may hamper a user's browsing experience."

Switching to the service is pretty straightforward, using as it does the memorable 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as the IP addresses for its public DNS servers. Interestingly for a free service, Google has opted to include telephone support for anyone having difficulty - although it will involve a long-distance call if you're outside the US.

If you're concerned about exactly what information Google will record about your DNS lookups, the company has published a privacy policy for the service.

Will you be making the switch to Google Public DNS, or does the idea of giving Google even more insight into your browsing habits give you the fear? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

28 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
tad2008 4th December 2009, 12:31 Quote
If they stick to their privacy policy and don't correlate the DNS data with their existing user data then it all seems like sunshine and roses, but I still can't help but wonder just how useful and potentially valuable that information would be to them should they decide to correlate the two or if they should ever become legally obliged to do so.....
ChaosDefinesOrder 4th December 2009, 12:54 Quote
A potentially useful way for Google to "use" the "failed" DNS results would be to re-direct to Google search results for the site searched for... oh wait some browsers do that anyway...
Edge102030 4th December 2009, 13:21 Quote
Brilliant!, what a coincidence, been having troubles with isp's DNS all day(not working) switched to using these now. Always have dns issues...
zimbloggy 4th December 2009, 13:38 Quote
Yikes! Google is slowly getting closer and closer to becoming skynet.
paisa666 4th December 2009, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloggy
Yikes! Google is slowly getting closer and closer to becoming skynet.

:o

Dude... Google IS SkyNet

http://googleisskynet.blogspot.com/
flibblesan 4th December 2009, 16:22 Quote
I use OpenDNS. Does the same thing Google are offering.
UncertainGod 4th December 2009, 16:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
I use OpenDNS. Does the same thing Google are offering.

Just without all the rubbish and filters that OpenDNS use.
Sir Digby 4th December 2009, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666
:o

Dude... Google IS SkyNet

http://googleisskynet.blogspot.com/

I love the fact that they use Blogger for that website.
NuTech 4th December 2009, 18:35 Quote
Awesome, been looking for a replacement since OpenDNS decided to show you Yahoo search results instead of proper DNS protocol.
evoyear 4th December 2009, 19:30 Quote
not really sure about dns connection, but the google is skynet is really good point
Star*Dagger 4th December 2009, 19:51 Quote
Everyone knows that Google is US Gov intel right?
dire_wolf 4th December 2009, 22:42 Quote
Sorry for asking a probably very dumb question with a probable easy answer but what advanage do you have in using this or opendns over the dns server your isp provides?
smc8788 4th December 2009, 22:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dire_wolf
Sorry for asking a probably very dumb question with a probable easy answer but what advanage do you have in using this or opendns over the dns server your isp provides?

They're faster and more reliable (usually anyway, it varies depending on the ISP).
woodshop 5th December 2009, 00:10 Quote
I used OpenDNS, so just switched.. anything is better then my isps.
NuTech 5th December 2009, 00:40 Quote
Here's a blog post regarding potential speed increases using Google's DNS.

TL;DR - quite a large improvement over using your ISP's DNS or even OpenDNS, especially if you're in Europe accessing US websites.
confusis 5th December 2009, 07:35 Quote
google dns is actually slower for me. with speedtest.net using a test server in the UK (almost opposite side of the world from me) i had a 15% loss of speed using googles dns!
Mystic Pixel 5th December 2009, 10:03 Quote
@confusis: bullshit, you speedtest.net results actually have nothing to do with your DNS servers (well, properly, any DNS speed changes would be in O(n) time -- and any speed test where DNS servers make a 15% difference is obviously a flawed speed test.)
steveo_mcg 5th December 2009, 14:11 Quote
What is the most reliable way of checking the difference? I'm unconvinced I really need this but i'm willing to have a go.
confusis 5th December 2009, 19:28 Quote
@ Mystic Pixel - well thats my results! tested it 3 times on each one and thats the average. maybe it's my funny isp
flibblesan 6th December 2009, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
I use OpenDNS. Does the same thing Google are offering.

Just without all the rubbish and filters that OpenDNS use.

Explain exactly what rubbish you mean? And filters are off by default.
talladega 6th December 2009, 18:59 Quote
Will this help me in Canada?
MiNiMaL_FuSS 6th December 2009, 19:33 Quote
I've been suing this for 24hours, cant say there's any noticable speedup or down, back to my ISP i think
Cupboard 6th December 2009, 20:58 Quote
I have been using this for a bit (set it up yesterday) and I think I have seen an improvement. Only time will tell but I think it is O2's DNS servers that have been causing be to fall off half of the internet* regularly.

*As in Spotify, IRC and the sites I already have open still work, any new ones fail miserably for a period of ~10 minutes every so often
Pyr0 8th December 2009, 18:43 Quote
according to benchmarks, virginmedia have faster dns servers for me
richman 8th December 2009, 18:55 Quote
This is a no go because i dont believe they are not mining my data.
shaffaaf27 8th December 2009, 21:59 Quote
would this reduce ping on games to us servers?
smc8788 8th December 2009, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaffaaf27
would this reduce ping on games to us servers?

No.
steveo_mcg 8th December 2009, 23:14 Quote
I just changed mine to this. The only thing i've noticed is that the ad servers for bit don't seem to lag as much but that may be coincidence, i'll try it for a few days and see.

Pyro what bench did you use?
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