Find a Fast DNS Server with NameBench
There’s no shortage of DNS Server options out there, with Google DNS, OpenDNS, your own ISP’s, and the gazillion of others available to use. The question remains though, which of these DNS servers is going to be fastest for you? And how do you know which is fastest? That’s where NameBench comes in.
NameBench is a free application that will run a set of benchmarks based on your web browsing history and tcpdump, and will report back the fastest domain name server(s) for you to use. In some cases, switching to the suggested domain name server can be a considerably speed increase, with noticeably faster page loads, making this a very worthwhile tool to try. It’ll run in Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, but of course we’re focusing on the Mac here.
Using NameBench to Find a Faster DNS Server
It’s free, super easy to use, and only takes a moment to run, check it out for yourself:
- Get Namebench from the project home page
- Launch NameBench, enter your existing name servers (which is often just your wi-fi routers IP or firewall), then click the “Start Benchmark” button and let it run
Results will come in fairly quickly and will look like this:
Don’t be surprised if Google’s 188.8.131.52 public DNS server is the fastest, it’s reliably speedy for almost everywhere in the USA. Everything is benchmarked against your current DNS settings, and you’ll get a “percent faster” report telling you how much quicker the found alternatives are.
If you find a faster DNS server available, and chances are good that you will, just pop them into your Network settings to see how they go… head over to Apple menu > System Preference > Network > Advanced > DNS > and add your new servers.
That’s all there is to it, enjoy your faster internet and web browsing. Pretty great, it works!