Mostly Harmless

Mostly about my amusement

Google Public DNS or OpenDNS?

Disclaimer: one of my brothers works for Google, I like Google and I hope they are wildly successful.

Google announced that they are offering a fast, highly available, and secure public DNS. It’s not a TLD registrar like Verisign but it’s supposed to be fast. I’ve been using it for a couple of hours and the name resolution is zippy.

It’s not OpenDNS and I don’t think it’s intended to be.  OpenDNS has about the same things only it also provides you with an account and a dashboard where you can set options such as filtering.  OpenDNS is a developed service and it’s well thought out and implemented. You can read on their blog some thoughts from OpenDNS on this new development.

That all said, I think mixing the words “Google” and “DNS” will be bad for OpenDNS. They probably have competition but I can’t think of one.  The OpenDNS is free and many people use it. Google’s public DNS is only a resolver and has no features. Now it looks like Google has entered that area and I think it will be successful and more people will move over to it.

I took 100 unique DNS names from my web proxy log (squid proxy, don’t you run one at home too?) and ran a simple command

dig hostname @8.8.8.8

The output contains a line like this

;; Query time: 21 msec

I ran those 100 dig commands and added up all the query time milliseconds and came up with 7550 milliseconds or 7.5 seconds for using Google.

The OpenDNS server IP address 208.67.222.222 with the same exact queries and took 1347 milliseconds while FIOS’s 192.168.1.1 (my cable mode that forwards to the real DNS IPs) ran for a total of 1668 milliseconds.

That’s not really a comprehensive test but it looks like OpenDNS is faster for now and it is very feature rich. But this should be interesting to see how this plays out since Google aims to have their solutions work best.

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