Daniel Eran Dilger
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Google launches free Public DNS

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Google has opened up public access to a new Domain Name System (DNS) service that allows users to look up Internet hosts quickly, accurately and securely.

Google launches free Public DNS.
The new service enables users to bypass their own Internet Service Provider’s DNS to use Google’s performance-optimized name lookup servers. Internet users constantly access DNS in the background every time they enter a URL in their browser, click a hyperlink, send email, or perform any other task that requires resolving the IP address of a given host name.

A user’s currently assigned DNS server may be overburdened, slow, or even maliciously poisoned to provide bad information. That makes Google’s new service both potential performance and security improvement.

Users can try the new service by entering Google’s easy to remember DNS IP addresses (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) in place of their existing DNS settings, either individually on each computer they use, or centrally on their AirPort base station or other router, which will then access Google’s DNS to perform all network host name lookups.

No redirection, blocking or filtering

Other free DNS services are already available, but most cover their costs by redirecting failed lookups (for mistyped or incorrect URLs) to ad supported pages that suggest alternatives. So far, Google isn’t performing any such commercial redirects. Instead, the company is providing the service for free as a way to collect information about how users use the Internet on an anonymous and aggregated level.

In its Google Public DNS information page, the company states, “Sometimes, in the case of a query for a mistyped or non-existent domain name, the right [DNS] 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.”

Google also provides detailed instructions on how to use its new service, including toll free telephone support. It also explains the performance benefits and security advantages of its new service.

Google’s network savvy and capacity to handle huge volumes of public requests make it uniquely positioned to offer such a service for free to the public. The company itself indicates the service is being offered in order to make the web faster, as every typical web page a user loads in a browser involves several or even many DNS lookups, each of which may stall the page loading progress if it cannot be resolved rapidly.

  • ChuckO

    Back at it already?! Wow.

    Also taking a much more conciliatory tone with Google since the erm, incident. Kidding.

  • Imapolicecar

    Beware. DNS is a concealed message:

    Daniels Not Safe! :)

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  • enzos

    Blow me down! It bloody well works… Must have had the world’s slowest DNS here in Fiji because now things are moving much more smoothly. At 256 kbs, it’s more like warm honey than quicksilver but better than the refrigerated treacle I’m used to.

    Thanks for that, Dan, and heads-up on Click2flash. (and Safariblock has chipped in by blocking 68,000 ads so far.. ).

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  • David Dennis

    You know, this is really pretty interesting – you are giving them access to every single web site you ever visit, something they should be able to easily tie in to IP addresses uniquely identifying your computer in many cases.

    Of course they are only going to use this to serve ads, but it gives them an amazing amount of information and power. There are certainly very interesting things that could be done with this information, and that’s worth a thought or two before signing up.

    My DNS is sufficiently fast that I don’t really care so Google has an uphill battle here. I did a quick time nslookup awebsiteinevervisited.com and it came up with 0.118 seconds.

    D

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    @Daniel

    Great to see you up and running.

    @David

    “Of course they are only going to use this to serve ads”
    Great comment. This was exactly the sentence I needed to put the message in a context and understand what is going on.

  • marian_

    The main advantage is that it’s easy to remember.
    8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

    Once, the DNS wasn’t working, and I couldn’t go to http://www.opendns.org to get the address for OpenDNS simple because the DNS was not working and the browser coudn’t solve the domain http://www.opendns.org

  • http://macsmarticles.blogspot.com Derek Currie

    There is already an excellent, free, fast, no BS alternative DNS service called OpenDNS. You can access it via these IP addresses:

    208.67.222.222
    208.67.220.220

    http://www.opendns.com/

    So what is G00gle *actually* doing?
    G00gle is watching you (.) (.)
    :-P