Google today launched a new, free DNS service—called Google Public DNS—aimed at making your web browsing experience even faster. Here’s how it works:
For those of you who are unfamiliar with DNS (and it’s cool if you are—as long as DNS is working, most people never need to know what’s going on), Google offers an explanation:
Most of us aren’t familiar with DNS because it’s often handled automatically by our Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it provides an essential function for the web. You could think of it as the switchboard of the Internet, converting easy-to-remember domain names – e.g., www.google.com – into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers – e.g., 126.96.36.199 – that computers use to communicate with one another.
Google Public DNS, then, aims to replace your ISP’s default DNS with a (hopefully) faster, safer, and more reliable alternative. Google Public DNS isn’t the first freely available alternate DNS we’ve seen. OpenDNS is an excellent DNS alternative (it boasts keyboard shortcuts, parental filters, and more), but—for better or worse—we’re guessing that even more people may be interested in Google’s offering.
To set up your computer or router to use Google Public DNS, hit up Google’s instructions (they’ve got specific instructions for Windows, Mac, Linux, or your router).
I swapped my DNS to Google’s service earlier today and so far my page loading seems to have a spring in its step, but you know how these things go. If you give it a try, let’s hear whether things are feeling snappier for you in the comments.