Category: Internet

Test Driving Google Public DNS (Updated with OpenDNS comparison)

Google announced its Public DNS service this morning, claiming enhanced performance and security; I took it for a brief test drive with the following results.

(See bottom of post for an update running similar tests on OpenDNS.)

Methods: I searched Google for keywords that I believed fell somewhere between obscure and common and collected the first ten hostnames printed on the screen. I then used local installations of dig to query a collection of DNS servers for the hostnames’ A records and collected the response times. The different resolvers used were:

  • A local BIND installation (127.0.0.1, cache empty) with Comcast Internet connectivity;
  • A Comcast DNS server (68.87.69.150) via Comcast Internet connectivity;
  • My employer’s internal caching DNS;
  • Google (8.8.8.8) via my employer’s Internet connectivity (mostly Level 3);
  • Google (8.8.8.8) via Comcast; and
  • Google (8.8.8.8) via an Amazon EC2 instance in us-east-1a.

Anticipating a bimodal distribution of results, I assumed high latency responses were cache misses, while low latency responses were cache hits, and categorized results correspondingly.
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