Friday, January 01, 2010

Choosing a DNS: What namebench showed me

I use OpenDNS for its domain blocking properties and I switch OS X Location to GoogleDNS when I want to bypass the filters [1]. I used to use my ISP's (Qwest) DNS servers.

So what did Google's free cross-platform Namebench DNS Server testing utility show me?

OpenDNS was my fastest option at 72 ms. [2]However OpenDNS is "hijacking" "" and "". Google didn't have any good explanations of this, but (interestingly) Bing did (first time I've had Google fail and Bing succeed).

The hit Google omitted, but Bing showed, explained that OpenDNS proxies Google because of an evil trick Dell and Google have played on Dell customers for two years. Funny how Google missed that one.

I couldn't find any explanation of OpenDNS hijacking of "".

After OpenDNS came UltraDNS then General Mills-MG1 US and Google Public DNS. Google was 50% slower for us than OpenDNS.

[1] Even in Snow Leopard every machine user gets the same Location settings and, except for Simple Finder, any user can change it. Sooner or later the kids will figure out how we are getting around OpenDNS blocks and we'll have to do something else.
[2] There's a meaningless 1ms overhead because the LAN DNS is my AirPort which in turn goes through my Qwest modem.

Update 1/24/10: When I revised some DNS information at Dreamhost, OpenDNS updated quickly but Google didn't.

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