Google Public DNS Makes the Web Slower

Posted in Windows 8, Windows 7 by Steve Sinchak

Today Google announced a new public DNS service with the goal to make the web faster.  Every time a domain is typed in a browser, such as wingeek.com, a DNS server must resolve the domain to an IP address so the computer can connect to the server. Google hopes to speed up the web by resolving domains faster than the DNS servers provided by a users ISP. The response time of the DNS server is critical because a single Web page can require a number of DNS resolutions which can slow down the loading of a Web page. Since there are already a few public DNS services that offer improved performance how does Google stack up? I put them to the test and the results are surprising.

To test the response time of Google's DNS servers I used a windows version of the classic *nix tool called dig to resolve domains 5 times and average the response time.  I included the results of the same domains using OpenDNS and my ISP's DNS servers for comparison.

Google DNS (8.8.8.8) Speed Test

  • 29.0 ms - Tweaks.com
  • 29.4 ms - Wingeek.com
  • 29.0 ms - Google.com
  • 28.2 ms - Bing.com
  • 29.0 ms - Yahoo.com

OpenDNS (208.67.222.222) Speed Test

  • 17.4 ms - Tweaks.com
  • 18.2 ms - Wingeek.com
  • 18.6 ms - Google.com
  • 16.6 ms - Bing.com
  • 18.2 ms - Yahoo.com

My ISP DNS (68.87.72.130) Speed Test

  • 17.4 ms - Tweaks.com
  • 27.6 ms - Wingeek.com
  • 17.0 ms - Google.com
  • 17.4 ms - Bing.com
  • 17.4 ms - Yahoo.com

The results show Google has some work to do.  If I deployed Google DNS settings on my home network I would actually slow down the web. For now I suggest users avoid Google's public DNS servers until they improve the performance.  Some degradation may be attributed to the flood of new users after the announcement today and the new servers may not yet be fully distributed geographically for best performance. If you are looking for better DNS server performance I suggest using OpenDNS.

Update: How is your expereince with Google Public DNS?  Test your response time with dig and post your results in the comments below. Dig command line syntax: dig @dns_server Domain.com

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