NameBench: Ten Minutes to a 30% Boost in Network Speed

NameBench

OK, so this question is just a little bit geeky for a cocktail party, but I’ll ask anyway: are you sure that you are using the right DNS servers?

For a couple of years I thought I was in the know by specifying Google’s public DNS servers, 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. They are fast and very reliable, but after a little research I found a pair of local (NYC) DNS servers hosted by my Time Warner, my ISP. They offered a noticeable improvement, but I kept the Google servers in spots three and four.

And then today I came across NameBench, Google’s open source DNS benchmark utility. It took about 2 minutes to download, and five minutes to run, and three minutes to update my DNS settings. (That comes to ten minutes right.)

Did I mention it’s FREEEE?

From the site:

Are you a power-user with 5 minutes to spare? Do you want a faster internet experience?

Try out namebench. It hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use. namebench runs a fair and thorough benchmark using your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation. namebench is completely free and does not modify your system in any way. This project began as a 20% project at Google.

namebench runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX, and is available with a graphical user interface as well as a command-line interface.

So take ten minutes to give it a try, and post your results below. Good luck.

NameBench

 

And the output of the test included this summary and the following performance graphs:

 

NameBench-output

NameBench-output2