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 Post subject: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:33 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:25 am
Posts: 54
In the latest issue MaxPC said that switching your DNS server is the best way to eek out that last bit of speed from the web. The problem is, I have no idea which servers are fastest and have only a vague idea how the technology works (convert IP to dotcom domain). I know I could just find some providers and web surf to find out what's the speediest, but that doesn't seem very efficent.

I live in the Minneapolis area with Comcast 32Mbps service, using an ASUS RT N66U router and Xfinity Triple Play DOCSIS 3.0/Phone modem.

Right now my DNS server address is the same as my router according to ipconfig, but I'm not sure if the router is actually converting the address or serving as a bridge to a Comcast DNS server. I tried the GRC benchmark recommended but can't make much sense of it. Here are the conclusions:

Spoiler: show
ý Only the built-in default resolvers were benchmarked.
Please consider taking the time to create a custom resolver list.
This is a reminder about the tremendous benefits to be gained from benchmarking the "Top 50" resolvers that are found for you by the Benchmark's custom resolver list builder. When you have time, don't forget to give that a try. The results will astound you! You can find the option to do this on either the application's System Menu (Alt-Spacebar) or on the Add/Remove nameservers dialog on the Nameservers page.


ý System has only ONE (router based) nameserver configured.
It appears that only one local (router gateway) DNS nameserver, with the IP address of [#########], is currently providing all DNS name resolution services to this system. This configuration is not recommended because most consumer-grade routers provide inefficient and under-powered DNS resolution services.

Unless the DNS resolvers your router is using is under your control, it may not be providing the best or complete name resolution services. For example, is it using multiple redundant DNS nameservers?

Users of GRC's DNS Spoofability system have determined that consumer-grade routers can be crashed by the receipt of specific DNS reply packets from the Internet. This opens the possibility that Internet-based criminals could acquire access to your router from the Internet as well as to the private network in controls.

Many consumer-grade routers fail to provide the full range of DNS lookup services. This may have been detected by the benchmark and noted below.

Recommended Actions:

Unless you have some specific reason not to, you should give serious thought to disabling your router's provisioning of DNS services (which it is providing for all computers on your local network). After this is done, a fresh reboot of your computers will likely reveal the multiple DNS nameservers provided by your ISP. This is a superior configuration, without an under-powered router acting as a incompetent middleman and impeding all DNS access.

Note that if you can determine the IP addresses of your ISP-provided nameservers (which may be visible in your router's web configuration) you could manually add them to the nameservers being tested by this benchmark, while also leaving your router providing DNS. This would allow you to compare the performance when running through your router versus "going direct".


þ System's sole nameserver is alive and replying to queries.
Although this system has only one DNS resolving nameserver, at least it is alive and replying to DNS queries. (If it were not, you would likely be painfully aware, since it would be difficult to accomplish anything requiring Internet access.)


þ System nameserver is faster than ALL public alternatives.
The DNS resolver your system is using is responding faster than any of the 100% reliable publicly available alternative DNS nameservers this benchmark utility just tested. Therefore, there would be no performance benefit from switching to any of those publicly available nameservers. However, since you only have a single system nameserver configured, it might be useful to use some of the fastest public nameservers as backups if that's possible in your situation. Please also note that this best performance appraisal assumes that this system's nameserver is 100% reliable. See the next item below for an appraisal of your nameserver's reliability.

Note: If there appeared to be one or more faster public alternative nameservers, there was enough uncertainty created by the spread of benchmark timing results that it was not possible to be at least 95% confident that any of those faster seeming nameservers really were reliably faster than the nameserver this system is currently using. So it made no sense to alarm you about the need to change things when there was insufficient evidence.


þ This system's nameserver is 100% reliable.
DNS reliability is extremely important, since lookup requests that are dropped and ignored by nameservers cause significant delays in Internet access while the querying system waits for a reply. The system is then finally forced to reissue the query to the same or to backup nameservers. While your system is patiently waiting for a reply, you are impatiently waiting to get on with your Internet access.

During this benchmark test, the system's nameserver tested returned a reply for every request sent. It doesn't get any better than that. Very nice.


The test was done via wireless if that matters. Also, I have an Athlon 64 based 2GB RAM Ubuntu webserver set up nearby, and if setting up a DNS server on that box would be the fastest I'm all for it.


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:59 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5259
The default DNS server is provided by your ISP. If you want to change it, you do it in the network properties if you want to do it per device. Otherwise you can change it in the router if you want it on the network.


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:22 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:25 am
Posts: 54
I know how to change my DNS server, I'd just like to know how to tell which ones are the fastest and a bit more about the tech (performance depends on CPU, network speed, etc)


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:34 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5259
A DNS is basically a phone book, it translates web domains into an IP address.

Changing between DNS's on a basic level will only improve response time from the server in question, if you're accessing it via a domain name. However, for security reasons, some people can 'poison' the DNS server or your DNS cache, meaning you may think you're going to a website when in fact you're not going to the right IP address.

So basically: response time may improve only if you're using a domain name. It will not improve your network speed. If you're direct connecting via IP, it won't matter.


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:00 am 
Thoroughbred
Thoroughbred
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 1955
Location: Bing! O_O
Finding a proper DNS is a bit of sticky business because you have to be sure your working with a secure server. OpenDNS is a free DNS service with a couple DNS servers around the world. You can sign up to use their services for free if you want to try them out but really theirs no guarantee you'll load websites any faster then typical.

Google and Norton both also offer public DNS servers.

Google (FAQ)
IPv4 addresses

8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

IPv6 addresses[7]

2001:4860:4860::8888
2001:4860:4860::8844

Norton has a couple servers available, some of which block out pornographic or non family friendly sites for young children.


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:40 pm 
Million Club - 2 Plus
Million Club - 2 Plus
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:44 am
Posts: 2681
Location: Up in you attic...Wi-Fi is delicious
There is DNS Bench.


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 Post subject: Re: DNS server switch?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:09 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
^ Yes. And odds are there is a Level 3 Communications server near you. Use 4.2.2.5 and 4.2.2.3 and you'll find a noticeably snappier experience.


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