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  4. Welcome to Halforums!

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  6. Welcome to Halforums!

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Google has DNS - it might be faster than yours...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by stienman, Jan 20, 2012.

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  1. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    Google apparently (and thankfully!) provides DNS services so you can replace your DNS provider with them if you suspect your provider is slowing you down.

    If you often see "looking up somedomain.com" in your browser while waiting for a page to load, your DNS provider is slow. The lookup should be so fast you never see it.

    Set your DNS to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 and you'll be all set.

    http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/docs/using.html <-- instructions for setting it up
    http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/faq.html <-- more questions? check out the faq

    The reason I'm having problems is not the provider, but that I'm at a client's site, and they are using a cheap router for the two dozen users here. The router attempts to be a DNS server, but does so poorly (too little memory, slow processor, etc). Lookups were taking seconds to complete. Switch to google, and suddenly the internet works again! Woo!

    They have a fast connection, and if I were more interested I'd figure out their ISP and use their DNS servers, which should be even faster than googles since it's fewer hops, but I'm satisfied for now, and this setup will work at any client site, consistently.

    Anywho, I figured there might be a few people here interested in this tidbit of info.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Dave

    Dave Demi God Staff Member

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    Once I leave work today I'll probably be offline until Sunday. When I get reconnected I'll check out my home PC.

    Let's just say I don't have to worry about this at work...

    speed test.png
    • Really? REALLY?!? Really? REALLY?!? x 1
  3. GasBandit

    GasBandit Forum John McLaughlin

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    I use google DNS both at home and work (and I have our work router set to use it, so our DHCP clients are all de facto using it). We used to use opendns, but they got flaky after a while.

    Ironically enough, most often the message I get on slowly loading pages is "waiting for apis.google.com" or google analytics.
  4. Shegokigo

    Shegokigo Lady of sLAUGHter

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    I'm trying to make heads or tails of most of that, a bit "dumbed" down as to what this entails? I feel like my ISP is throttling me pretty hard and I'm curious if this has something to do with that.
  5. @Li3n

    @Li3n Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.... id does seem to load pages a bit faster...
  6. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    If your ISP is throttling you, chances are good this won't help. But the instructions to set up your computer to use google's DNS servers is pretty easy, so you can test it out and if it doesn't help change back to your original settings.

    Long explanation as to what DNS is and does for you, and how it affects your browsing experience:

    The internet is made up of numbers. Each computer and server has an IP address, and if you want your computer to talk to Amazon's server, you have to tell your computer the IP address for amazon's server.

    People aren't big on numbers, though, so the Dynamic Name Server (DNS) was created. This translates the domain "AMAZON.COM" into 72.21.194.1. Click on that and you'll see that is indeed Amazon's IP address.

    DNS is designed to be distributed throughout the internet, which means that your ISP hosts their own DNS servers that talk to all the other DNS servers to figure out the name/number translations. A good DNS server keeps local copies of the translations for all the websites their customers go to, and checks them often enough that when IP addresses change, they get the update eventually. This is why you'll sometimes see people say, "We've changed servers/locations/IPs but it might take a day or so to propogate" - they already changed their DNS servers, and the root servers are probably changed, but local DNS servers might take up to a day to refresh their entries, so you might get the old IP address for awhile.

    With your local DNS server at your ISP, your computer sends out a packet with "amazon.com" to the DNS server, and it sends one back with "72.21.194.1", then your computer goes to that IP address and gets the webpage:

    1. Look up IP address (DNS). Browser status is "Looking for Amazon.com"
    2. Establish TCP/IP connection. Browser status is "Connecting to Amazon.com"
    3. Download web page, images, javascript, CSS, etc. Browser status is "Loading..."

    If you ever see the browser status message "Looking for..." then your DNS server is not keeping up. There are a lot of reasons this might be the case, but usually it because you're a power user, and your router is acting as a DNS server. Your router doesn't have the brains or power to really keep up, though, so it's just acting as a middle-man for your ISP's DNS, and slowing things down. If your ISP's DNS is slow as well, then using Google's DNS server is not a bad option.
  7. @Li3n

    @Li3n Well-Known Member

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    Side note: i never understood this argument about people not being good with big on numbers... amazon is 1 word, while seven two two one one nine four one are 9... no matter how good with numbers you are one word will always be easier then nine.
  8. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    I didn't say "good with numbers", I said "big on numbers".

    English is more expressive for ideas, concepts, and even names than numbers are, so a system to allow people to work with a more expressive language than a numerical language will be easier and more intuitive for most humans than a strictly numerical language.
  9. @Li3n

    @Li3n Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's about english, but more about people being better at concepts then at rote memorization...so it applies to all languages..

    Well, my point still stands, and i didn't mean to imply anything by it, it just came out that way...
  10. PatrThom

    PatrThom Guerrilla Tutor

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    There are free tools out there to let you tune and maintain your DNS lookups, but using/interpreting the results is left up to the user.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of OpenDNS/GoogleDNS just because they like to redirect if they can't find a page. I'd rather just get the "couldn't find that page" message.

    --Patrick
  11. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    Ouch, I hadn't heard that! I'm going over to the client's tomorrow, so I'll see what happens. I don't want a DNS to waste my time sending me to a website telling me that it couldn't find the one I asked for - that's stupid.
  12. PatrThom

    PatrThom Guerrilla Tutor

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    Don't get me wrong, it's an easy number to remember. I used it to 'fix' the broken wireless at my doctor's office (they 'protect' their wireless network by not assigning a DNS provider when you get a lease), but it's not something I want to use on a daily basis.

    --Patrick
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