Blogs

RedMonk

Skip to content

Three Quick Thoughts on Google Public DNS

Because I couldn’t quite get this down to 140 characters:

  1. I’m really glad I’m not in OpenDNS‘ shoes today.
  2. For those wondering why Google did this, it’s not complicated: it’s all about the data. When people say it’s not about the data, it’s about the data. Just as they built 1-800-GOOG-411 for the phonemes and Gmail for the contextual advertising and content mining, free DNS service will give them more data.

    Even if folks use Bing.

  3. For those arguing that it’s Google being evil, well, ok. Is what Google knows scary? Sure. But I have to get DNS from somewhere, and am I really that much “safer” sticking with Time Warner? Or whoever the DNS provider is for the wireless at the coffee shop? At least I know what they’re storing and for how long.

Will I use it? I’m open to arguments otherwise, but probably. Speed is a feature, and so far, Google’s DNS is quick.

Update: After tkjunkmail’s comment below, I thought I’d take a look at the Google vs OpenDNS. The results:

Google
sog@drake:~$ ping 8.8.8.8
PING 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=1 ttl=241 time=28.7 ms
64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=3 ttl=241 time=30.8 ms
64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=4 ttl=241 time=28.3 ms

OpenDNS
sog@drake:~$ ping 208.67.222.222
PING 208.67.222.222 (208.67.222.222) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 208.67.222.222: icmp_seq=1 ttl=54 time=21.9 ms
64 bytes from 208.67.222.222: icmp_seq=2 ttl=54 time=22.6 ms
64 bytes from 208.67.222.222: icmp_seq=3 ttl=54 time=21.7 ms

Which means that Google’s average time of 29.27 is seven microseconds milliseconds slower than OpenDNS’s 22.06. So the difference is more like 33% than 50, but still, interesting.

Update 2:
From Corey Gilmore comes some more data on Google DNS’s performance. The net? Google looks to be marginally faster on not likely to be cached sites, but OpenDNS is significantly faster on popular properties. Even Google.

dig @208.67.222.222 uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com

; <> DiG 9.4.2 <> @208.67.222.222 uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 13093
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. 43200 IN CNAME [redacted].com.
[redacted].com. 60 IN A 174.[redacted].32

;; Query time: 329 msec
;; SERVER: 208.67.222.222#53(208.67.222.222)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 3 15:39:01 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 76

$ dig @8.8.8.8 also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com

; <> DiG 9.4.2 <> @8.8.8.8 also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 60582
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. 43200 IN CNAME [redacted].com.
[redacted].com. 60 IN A 174.[redacted].32

;; Query time: 327 msec
;; SERVER: 8.8.8.8#53(8.8.8.8)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 3 15:39:16 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 81

$ dig @208.67.222.222 twitter.com

; <> DiG 9.4.2 <> @208.67.222.222 twitter.com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 41725
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;twitter.com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
twitter.com. 20 IN A 128.121.146.228

;; Query time: 2 msec
;; SERVER: 208.67.222.222#53(208.67.222.222)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 3 15:40:28 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 45

$ dig @8.8.8.8 twitter.com

; <> DiG 9.4.2 <> @8.8.8.8 twitter.com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 62466
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;twitter.com. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
twitter.com. 15 IN A 168.143.162.52

;; Query time: 40 msec
;; SERVER: 8.8.8.8#53(8.8.8.8)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 3 15:40:41 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 45

Categories: Data, Privacy.

  • tkjunkmail

    OpenDNS & the Comcast DNS servers were 50% quicker than Googles

  • http://stage.vambenepe.com/ William Vambenepe

    In update 1, you mean “millisecond”, not “microsecond”, right?

  • http://www.michaeldolan.com Mike Dolan

    I’m getting 38% faster than my ISP, 3% faster than OpenDNS here. I can honestly say I haven’t thought about DNS resolver times since my consulting days, but it blew me away to discover that my ISP is 38% slower than an external DNS server… way to under-invest Mr ISP.

  • http://thesalmonfarm.org Glen

    Do I think Google is better the TW or Comcast ? probably not. My concern was the concentration of data. With the power of analytics, the more data you have the more analysis you can perform and the better your results. This is key if you generate your revenue directly or indirectly from your analytics. The data retention and use policy (thanks for the direct link) is interesting. i was not able to find out just how unique is the “Client AS”. This is significant for the “privacy concerned”. In the near term this may be moot as Google does not appear to be fast enough often enough.

  • Pingback: Should I use Google Public DNS? « Differences found in a day