February 15, 2012
Google Public DNS was launched over two years ago and according to the company it now handles more than 70 billion requests a day and is accessed by tens of millions of users.
While most of us aren't aware of DNS as it's handled automatically and behind the scenes by our Internet Service Provider (ISP) as we surf the web, it's an essential part of the Internet. Essentially, the Domain Name System acts like a giant telephone directory.
DNS converts domain names into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers that could be considered the "real" addresses of web sites and other resources connected to the Internet.
With many Internet users performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day (each time a web page is requested), and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups, this can the source of a bottleneck and slow down the browsing experience. With growth of the Internet showing no signs of slowing, these bottlenecks may become more frequent; particularly in areas with already poor infrastructure.
Google's goal with launching Public DNS was to "help make the web faster for everyone". Users of the service override their default settings to access the service.
Google believes their offering uses different approaches that make it more secure while offering better performance and says it helps to reduce load on ISPs' DNS servers.
While touting better security, Google Public DNS supports EDNS0 extensions, which means that it accepts and forwards DNSSEC-formatted messages; but it does not yet validate responses.
According to a statement from Google, its Public DNS service is now the largest of its kind in the world. While maintaining a strong presence in North America, South America and Europe; the company has also added servers to other countries, including Australia.
For those interested in using the service, view this page: Using Google Public DNS.
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