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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.