There are all kinds of public DNS providers out there that claim to be the fastest available, and personally I’ve always gone with using Google’s DNS servers (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52). I’ve always been under the assumption that given their size they would probably have the best response times for me, but I never ran any tests to confirm that. Using Domain Name Server Benchmark I was able to run a DNS performance tests to see exactly which DNS servers I should be using.
Domain Name Server Benchmark takes several minutes to run, and when it’s done it will provide a DNS performance report highlighting which public DNS servers provided the fastest results to you. It takes into account all of the following aspects when generating the stats:
- Cached lookups – the time to return a domain name that is already in the resolver’s name cache.
- Uncached lookups – the time to return a sub-domain name that is not already in the resolver’s name cache.
- Dotcom lookups – the time to consult the nameserver’s chosen dotcom resolver(s) for a dotcom name.
- Reliability – the number of queries not replied to (lost) during the benchmark.
- Rebinding protection – whether the resolver blocks non-routable private IP addresses.
The app will also highlight the name servers in a tan color that direct you to one of the provider’s custom pages when a domain name doesn’t exist rather than returning an error. I’m personally not a big fan of when that happens so I’m happy to see that this tool highlights those cases for me.
The differences between many of these may not be all that great since the time is measured in milliseconds, but given the number of DNS requests that are made from your system every day those numbers can really start to add up. So it may be worth taking a peak at how your DNS servers are performing for you by using this app.
Domain Name Server Benchmark Homepage (Windows; Freeware)