Google gets into the DNS business

4 Dec 2009

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Google has introduced a new Domain Name Server service aimed at making your internet experience faster and more secure.

The company says that as part of its ongoing effort to make the web faster it has launched Google Public DNS to eradicate the complex work that goes on in the background as the users’ computer tries to connect with the destination domain.

User expectations

“When you type www.wikipedia.org into your browser’s address bar, you expect nothing less than to be taken to Wikipedia,” Prem Ramaswami, product manager, Google, explained on the official Google blog.

“Chances are you’re not giving much thought to the work being done in the background by the DNS. 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 — eg, www.google.com — into the unique internet protocol (IP) numbers — eg, 74.125.45.100 — that computers use to communicate with one another.

“The average internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading. This can slow down the browsing experience.

“Our research has shown that speed matters to internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users’ web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable.

Instructions online

Google has posted detailed instructions on the Google Code Blog on how to set up Google Public DNS on your computer or router.

“As people begin to use Google Public DNS, we plan to share what we learn with the broader web community and other DNS providers, to improve the browsing experience for internet users globally.

“The goal of Google Public DNS is to benefit users worldwide while also helping the tens of thousands of DNS resolvers improve their services, ultimately making the web faster for everyone,” Ramaswami said.

In related news, TechCrunch this morning reported that Google has silently launched its own dictionary at Google.com/Dictionary.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Google has launched Google Public DNS in an effort to make web navigation faster.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com