Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/164981/how-to-switch-to-opendns-or-google-dns-to-speed-up-web-browsing/
Your local internet service provider probably doesn’t have the fastest DNS servers, and that can slow down your browsing, since your browser needs to look up the IP address of every web site you try to view. Here is how to switch to either OpenDNS or Google DNS for faster browsing times.
I've read in a few places online that OpenDNS and Google DNS are not well suited for the UK. Anyone know if this is true?
Is it better to change the DNS setting on the adapter or on the router? Clearly the advantage to making the change in the router is all attached devices gain the benefit from one location but is there better performance if the change is made in the adapter? My network is all wireless. I use ethernet only when certain maintenance requires a wired connection.
Excellent question. I too look forward to this answer.
It is much better and easier to do it in the router, and recommended by OpenDNS and security experts everywhere. That changes DNS for your whole network including all devices wired and wireless. That is the standard advice in every article and I am surprised it was not even mentioned. It does the community a disservice.
OenDNS is preferable to Google as it provides browsing safety as well. It provides a router configuration wizard at
OpenDNS Home Plan hereBy default, this changes the DNS but you must set up an account with DNS in order to customize it for the best use. Just plugging in the DNS addresses gets you their DNS but little protection, which may be what you want. No intrusions. You can set a filtering level from high (almost everything including social networking) to none. You can customize, so set it to high for example, but turn off social networking prohibition. Moderate protects against all adult-related sites and illegal activity, etc. There are 26 configurable categories. There are other settings to turn on phishing protection, botnet protection etc. Useful for geeks and the slightly knowledgable.
OpenDNS also has a default 'family plan' that automatically (without any configuring) blocks unhealthy sites (porn/phishing/drugs etc) and is what should be used particularly for families with children. Sign up is optional, not required. Router Wizard is Family Plan DNS hereThose DNS servers are 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. You can just enter that in your router now, and you are done.
All far superior to Google in my opinion.
See also their video tutorial. They make it easy.
Additionally, you are not impacted by DNS outages at your ISP. COX has had major lengthy outages due to DNS and they never impact me.
It's a no brainer.
I have also read that UK users (in fact anyone outside of the US/Canada) shouldn't use alternative DNS providers.
The reasoning I read was to do with CDN (Content Delievery Network) data - that the Google and OpenDNS servers will always give you a US based CDN server.
This will be much slower than if you use a local one, which your ISP's DNS server would give you.
There is an app from Google which helps you find the fastest open/public DNS servers wherever you are in the world:
This, of course, is true for families and folks who like to allow others to determine for them what sites they are allowed to visit. Personally I found OpenDNS's intrusions into my web viewing to be offensive. I much prefer the Google DNS and found it to be intrusionless and faster than OpenDNS.
It's a personal choice.
In addition to that the DNS IPs for Google at 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 are much easier to remember when helping out someone else.
OpenDNS say they are completely global. See the whitepaper hereI believe it is satisfactory anywhere.
Also DNS is simply an address resolver. Once the address is resolved, OpenDNS is out of the picture and your connection takes the same path as the one your ISP gives you. The both resolve youtube to 126.96.36.199.
After that, the path your traffic takes to youtube depends on many factors. Geography; time of day, link utilizations. You can find it with a traceroute, but content delivery has nothing to do with DNS. Only DNS resolution time which is probably faster globally. Try a ping to their servers, and your ISP servers. At my house OpenDNS resolves in 33ms. Google 62ms. So slower, but either way not material.
Understand DNS here.
It simply translates names into numbers, nothing more. It is not a passthru.
OpenDNS makes no intrusions unless you want it to. I use the Home servers (the addresses quoted in the article) with no filtering. You can scale your usage of it infinitely to your needs. When I help people I take into account their situation. If you want intrusionless browsing you can get it just as with Google.
Businesses can ban social sites for example so their staff don't use company time for facebook. Many, many options.
A big thanks to those who answered my question. Much appreciated.
This is worth repeating. I've switched my DNS to google's servers in the past and found that they're actually slower than my ISPs. I live in Canada, so this might be even more applicable to people outside of North America. Its the same story for OpenDNS.
Your best bet is to use namebench and see what the actual fastest DNS server is and use that. Don't be surprised if its your ISP's.
Can I use Open-/Google DNS with a wireless modem? I used OpenDNS while having a landline connection but have now switched to wireless modem.
There was of course a reason I stopped using OpenDNS - but I forget if it was the network-type switch.
You need to give more information . What is a 'wireless modem'?
Landline usually refers to telephones.
You use a USB modem in your laptop, or ...?
I have Open DNS installed on the OSs on my daughter's computer. She has Windows 7 & 8 and Ubuntu 12.04. It is set up on her computer via the OS for obvious reason: to restrict her access to web sites.
Open DNS may not be every person's cup of tea as is noted by @xhi. There is no way I would have it on my machines or the router. But for a 10 year old turning 11 in a few months it is ideal as a parent for me to have it on her machine. Each person has to decide in the light of their circumstances what is best for them. These How To articles are not meant to be the end all, be all or know all of any subject, but rather a way to show one alternative to the subject under discussion.
It does work very effectively as monthly I do test it out on her OSs.
i've used OpenDNS for a while. i've never noticed a slow down but on occasion a site wouldn't load that wasn't blocked. other than that it's worked fine for me. i've also added DNSCrypt
It should be mentioned that using a public DNS MAY significantly slow down your download speeds, especially outside of the U.S. The reason is well documented here
Will it speed up browsing? Maybe, but not as significantly as you may expect. I've got back to my ISP's DNS and they're absolutely fine.
That's the exact article I was referring to in my earlier reply
I have a foolproof configuration (well, as foolproof as it can be) for my DNS:
Google DNS is really fast, but OpenDNS is still faster than my ISP.
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