Google launched a Public DNS service yesterday. They claim that by using their public DNS, you can:
- Speed up your browsing experience.
- Improve your security.
- Get the results you expect with absolutely no redirection.
In the introduction page, Google criticised other “open DNS resolvers”:
open DNS resolvers are vulnerable to being used to launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on other systems. To defend against such attacks, Google has implemented several recommended solutions to help guarantee the authenticity of the responses it receives from other name servers…
Sometimes, in the case of a query for a mistyped or non-existent domain name, the right answer means no answer, or an error message stating the domain name could not be resolved. Google Public DNS never blocks, filters, or redirects users, unlike some open resolvers and ISPs.
OpenDNS has responded to it:
People use OpenDNS because we are pioneers and innovators in the DNS space, offering the most secure recursive DNS service around. We run the largest DNS caches, the fastest resolvers, and we offer the most flexibility in controlling your DNS experience.
Google claims that this service is better because it has no ads or redirection. But you have to remember they are also the largest advertising and redirection company on the Internet. To think that Google’s DNS service is for the benefit of the Internet would be naive. They know there is value in controlling more of your Internet experience and I would expect them to explore that fully.
Pros and Cons
From my personal experience, it seems that Google Public DNS is faster. It is not just me. See Manu’s test results. He provides a shell script for testing.
In my tests, Google DNS consistently outperformed both OpenDNS and Level 3. For Americans the Level 3 server (188.8.131.52) might offer as good performance as Google. But if you are living outside US and you care about your browsing experience you should switch now :)
Google Public DNS does not perform blocking or filtering of any kind. Good. OpenDNS hijacks search from address bar and shows yahoo search results which I hate. But they provide features like web filtering. If you are a network administrator, you run an internet café or you want to block your kids accessing unneeded sites from home, OpenDNS is the cheapest way to have web filtering.
That said, I’m going to stick with Google for the time being. At least, they bribed me with a Rs 11000 adsense cheque recently. :p
- Introduction to Google Public DNS
- Some thoughts on Google DNS by David Ulevitch, Founder, OpenDNS.
- OpenDNS Forums: Google Public DNS on purpose misleading people against OpenDNS
- OpenDNS : Privacy issues, conflicts and covert redirection
- Google Gets Into The DNS Business. Here’s What That Means.
- Google Rocks for International Users
- Using Google Public DNS
- Replacing OpenDNS with Google Public DNS