Why Google Public DNS Sucks For Aussies

Google Public DNS is designed to speed up browsing, but depending on the kind of content you want to access, it can often have the reverse effect.

Dan Warne at APC points out that while Google Public DNS (or other alternative DNS services such as OpenDNS) can speed up general browsing to sites by resolving domain names faster, it will often have a damaging effect on services like iTunes and Windows Update which use Akamai's load balancing technology to spread server load. Using Google for lookups will convince Akamai that you're actually located in the US. It will also (as several Lifehacker readers have noted in the past) play havoc with any unmetered content your ISP offers (such as iView access), since it won't be routed through the appropriate servers.

My own feeling is that it's rarely worth messing with your DNS settings unless you're trying to solve a very specific problem (such as a misbehaving router). Alternative DNS servers can help alleviate against DNS hacks, but if your PC security is up to spec, that's not going to be an issue either. Got your own approach to maximising performance with these kinds of services? Tell us in the comments.

Why using Google DNS / OpenDNS is a bad idea [APC]


Comments

    iiNet's DNS servers are utter crap. I have to use Google's or OpenDNS's servers otherwise it takes 30 seconds for a name to resolve. It would be nice if Google brought out location specific servers with IP addresses as easy to remember.

      I find it the opposite. iiNet's DNS server always responds instantly for me. It also updates very quickly.

      Make sure you're using the proper one, dns.iinet.net.au (203.0.178.191 - multicast address).

      Is there the slightest chance that you've accidentally misconfigured your dns or firewall? iiNet DNS servers are fine for me.

        I didn't configure anything for iiNet DNS, I just accepted the server assigned DNS servers.

    I tried using google dns but the only noticeable difference was iview basicaly died. That said, it would be great to get a local alternative dns..come on googs.

    Hmm, if it makes sites think your in the US, then you can watch HULU. This is what I use Hotspot Shield for ;)

    How does your PC security protect against 'DNS hacks' - which are usually along the lines of feeding the DNS server false information?

    Even the 'DNS hacks' link is about server-side problems and the suggestion is to use OpenDNS. That solution brings us back to the problem of your DNS server doesn't provide the local content mirrors like iTunes/Akamai =\

    Why don't people want to use their own ISP's DNS or setup a separate DNS service on their own network?

    lololololol
    this can be used to IF god forbid the net does get filtered.
    Cause i doubt the aussie goverment will block google.

    I have Telstra. I switched to Open DNS and I found no speed improvements but it didn't slow which is good. Only thing is iView worked fine because Telstra doesn't offer that unlimited. The only thing was that YouTube of all thing went weird. Although it has been improving. I haven't watch any movies from iTunes so I might try that sometime. Anyway I staying with.

    I use NameBench to determine the fastest DNS settings. This can change over time, so usually wind up running it once a month. Works a treat.

    http://code.google.com/p/namebench/

    I use these Public DNS servers for quite some time already

    4.2.2.{1-6}

    Go figure ;-)

    Google now have DNS servers hosted in Australia. This type of service is also good for a business with redundent Internet links with different ISP's.

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