How To Find a Faster DNS Service with Namebench

We previously looked at how to add Google Public DNS to your home network, and also how to setup OpenDNS on your Router. Today we’re going to test them and a few others to help determine which is fastest.

1. Download and run Namebench from the Google Code site…no installation is required. The cool thing about Namebench is it’s cross-platform and will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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2. When you first kick off Namebench, you’ll see OpenDNS, option to include Google Public DNS, and your local IP DNS server addresses. According to the developers, the default options should be fine for most users. Just click on Start benchmark.

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you or anyone on your home network isn’t downloading large files, watching Netflix, or using a torrent client before running the test.

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3. Wait while the scans take place…about 5 minutes in our tests. After it’s done your default browser opens up with the results.

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4. There are charts and graphs that include detailed information on different tests that were run.

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5. If you run Namebench consecutively there will undoubtedly be different results. The developers advise to go with the first test you run. The more times you run it, you’re repeating the queries and will skew the results to the name server that is closest to your location.

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6. One way to work around this is to change between the Alexa and your favorite browser history source.

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7. After switching to the Alexa dataset from browsing history, we got a result that was more comparable to the first time we ran it.

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8. Namebench also includes a feature to export the results to a comma separated Values (CSV).

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If you’ve been experimenting with different DNS services, Namebench is a helpful utility for finding the fastest one. There are other free DNS speed testing utilities out there and we’ll be taking a look at them in future articles.

4 thoughts on “How To Find a Faster DNS Service with Namebench”

  1. I’ve already tried this and I should tell you – It’s the right way to find an awesome DNS server that’s fast and reliable for your location. Be sure to take a break while it’s performing the tests since it’s gonna take awhile.

  2. Pingback: HuonFM Tech News and Blues 14 Mar 2011 « David Coldrick’s Blog

    1. NFL – all DNS servers can log DNS inquires, so it comes down to speed. If Google’s DNS servers are faster (for you) – you might as well use them vs. your ISP’s DNS servers…

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