Google Says Public DNS Is About Speed, Not Ads

18 Comments

Google (s GOOG) today launched a product called Google Public DNS that can be installed as an alternative to the DNS systems offered by network providers. If you want to configure your network to use it, go here.

Google says the purpose of Public DNS, which resolves domain names to IP numbers, is to make the web run faster for users, and early reports confirm a noticeable speed increase. The company says it will not block, filter or redirect DNS responses — which is what competitors like the startup OpenDNS provide as a service to prevent users from phishing and other attacks and to monetize domains that aren’t yet resolved. (Personally, I can see the benefit of those redirecting services, but it irks me that they mess with my precious Firefox URL bar “I’m feeling lucky” searches.)

However, Google does say it will step in to combat spoofing and denial-of-service attacks by doing things like checking the validity of nameservers’ responses, making requests more random and removing duplicate queries.

Plenty of people fear Google’s big brotherish tendencies, and this service may not be for them. But the company maintains that this is not some new personalization and ad targeting scheme. Google Public DNS will only store IP info for 24 hours, and will not connect with users’ Google account or the company’s advertising products.

David Ulevitch, Founder of OpenDNS shares his thoughts on Google DNS and the importance of DNS in the internet infrastructure. “When you use Google DNS, you are getting the experience they prescribe. When you use OpenDNS, you get the Dashboard controls to manage your experience the way you want for you, your family or your organization,” he writes.

18 Comments

Miles

Google’s DNS might respond a bit faster for users near Taiwan and London, but, they are (currently) giving results as if the requester is in the United States, which will drastically slow down any site that uses CDNs like Akamai. So, you may improve a few milliseconds on a DNS lookup, but then lose a boatload of time going to the wrong CDN location to get the site’s assets. It (currently) will be a big overall slowdown for a lot of users.

DistortedLoop

Oh, goody, another new way for Google to track, index, and find a way to market everything in my life!
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How many “sheeple” will sign up for this without a second thought?
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It’s bad enough that most people let Google track all of their searches, read all of their emails (Gmail), read all of their voicemails (Google Voice), read all of their whatever-it-is-you-do-on-Google-Wave, and maybe even record/keyword-scan all of their voice calls (Google Voice) without a second thought; now they’ll rush to let Google track every website they visit, whether they googled it or not.
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That company is really getting frightening in its new and creative ways to spy on everything we do.

mark

I’ll stay with Open DNS thank you. I trust Google like I trusted Microsoft in the 90’s, not at all.

dave

frightening, this will give elGoog more data than anybody out there (and they already have more data than anybody out there)…is there a reason why you didn’t even allude to their ability to aggregate traffic patterns?

willemijns

look for “vivilproject dns” on a search engine and list a lot of public DNS other than google dns and opendns… i do not love my private surf can be tracked for ads reasons :-(

jack

Also, I don’t think early reports show them being faster, quite the contrary. India and some parts of Asia we’re not as fast, but that’s quickly changing. North America we’re faster from what I’ve read and heard.

Sac

It will be only naive to think that it is really the speed that they are after. Every project in Google is evaluated for cash flow opportunities..

Drew Breunig

That’s right it’s not about ads, it’s about:

  • Speed, so you can search more often and get served more ads.
  • Data, so they learn habits better and serve you better ads.

Nope, not about ads at all.

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