If the DNS servers were not, we would have to memorize each and every one of the IP addresses that correspond to our favorite websites. Not even the most fanatical person in numbers would like the idea. However, these servers are the order of the day, and there are several of them that are alternatives to those provided by our ISP. But what should I consider in order to choose them?
In addition to our Internet provider, we must consider our current location. Inevitably, if we are far from the DNS server we are targeting, the response time will be longer and a slower connection speed will be perceived. Alternative servers such as OpenDNS, Google, Cloudflare and many more, they are known mainly for speed since they have servers spread all over the world.
However, we need a tool that guides us to know as accurately as possible, which DNS server is best for us to configure according to where we are geographically, and not only that, but also for our operator. Remember, you can change the DNS addresses of your network adapter via cable or Wi-Fi as many times as you need, and you can even do it directly on the router so that any device uses these DNS servers in a completely transparent way thanks to the router’s DHCP server.
Tools to perform DNS server benchmarks
The concept of benchmarking It consists in making comparisons, having references of variants of the same thing to make decisions or draw conclusions. In the case of DNS servers, a benchmarking tool will be of great help in comparing the performance of the different DNS servers. Here are some tools widely used for this task.
It is downloaded, installed and ready. No additional steps. It is one of the lightest and easiest tools to use. In a few minutes you will have your DNS server benchmark. In addition to analyzing the different public DNS servers available on the Internet, it also does so with manually configured addresses, such as your operator’s DNS servers. In this way, you can make the best decision about which server is best for me, if your operator or a DNS server such as Google.
With just one click (in Run Benchmark), you can start scanning all available free DNS servers, including the pair you have configured on your network adapter or computer. This scan takes a few minutes and in the meantime, the graphics associated to each DNS address are generated. They have three colors:
- Red. Represent the Cached Lookups. It consists of the time it takes for a domain name to resolve, even while in the server name cache.
- Green. Represent the Uncached Lookups. It consists of the time it takes for the subdomain name that is not in the server name cache.
- blue. Represent the Dotcom Lookups. It consists of the time it takes for the “dotcom resolve” chosen from the name server to search for a dotcom name.
Once finished, you can access the «Tabular Data » which reports in more detail the status of each of the DNS addresses. On the other hand, you have the “Conclusions” tab where it explains what is mentioned in more detail, but with a focus on the current settings of your computer or router.
Note: It is highly likely that the locally configured DNS addresses appear to be the fastest because they are much closer to us by the configuration itself. However, if you still perceive speed problems or if you need more security, changing DNS addresses for those that support DNS over TLS or DNS over HTTPS is a good practice.
You can access the download by clicking here. Available for Windows and Microsoft operating system emulator Wine (Mac and Linux).
It is the comparator designed and developed by Google. It serves to find the best domain name server considering more factors such as browsing history and standardized data sets. Consequently, the analysis is more personalized and the results will differ from person to person.
How does it work? Simply, you must indicate which DNS addresses you want to analyze and compare. You can choose the servers of your choice, request the inclusion of global DNS providers and / or request that the best available DNS services be included according to your region. Not only can you indicate what you are going to analyze, but also add certain considerations:
- Censorship reviews: In addition to speed, it identifies the servers that limit censorship actions for reasons of geographic location.
- Data sources: This is where it indicates the sources of data that will serve as the basis for the analysis. By default, it will consider your browsing history. If for some reason, you want to change, there is an alternative that considers the 2000 most important websites.
- Performance Review: Depending on the bandwidth contracted for the Internet, you can use this option that will test between 10 and 40 DNS servers.
- Number of queries: Choose the number of queries sent to each of the DNS servers.
You can access more details of this Google solution by clicking here. Available for Windows and Mac. You can also download the source code to customize it based on other systems.
DNS Performance Test
It is another free tool based on 10,000 web pages to determine the performance of DNS servers. However, that list cannot be verified by the user, so it has the only option to start performing the performance test. You will have a pair of tabs, the one of Charts to visualize the information graphically and that of Stats which displays the information in more detail.
All information is accessible even when the test is still running. You can download this solution right now by clicking here. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Take advantage of alternative DNS servers
If you choose OpenDNS, you can create an account on the portal of this great alternative. From there, it is possible to activate protection against malware and various web filters in general. In short, you can use the service with complete peace of mind since its policies do not allow you to share your data with third parties.
The use of additional protection measures ensures that you can have a good and, above all, safe browsing experience, especially in the face of constant threats of malware, ransomware and more.
All these customizations depend on the pair of alternative DNS servers you choose. Some offer more customization options than others, but if your priority is to have faster speed, simply opt for the pair of addresses that best perform in your current location.