Google Introduces Free Public DNS

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Google has introduced a new, free public DNS service which, according to their information page, is intended to:

  • Provide end users with an alternative to their current DNS service. Google Public DNS takes some new approaches that we believe offer more valid results, increased security, and, in most cases, better performance.
  • Help reduce the load on ISPs' DNS servers. By taking advantage of our global data-center and caching infrastructure, we can directly serve large numbers of user requests without having to query other DNS resolvers.
  • Help make the web faster and more secure. We are launching this experimental service to test some new ways to approach DNS-related challenges. We hope to share what we learn with developers of DNS resolvers and the broader web community and get their feedback.

And so far, they're not even trying to monetize via add placement or site-suggestion. For those whose ISP is simply not performing DNS well, or for anyone worried they may be subject to DNS cache poisoning, it's definitely something worth checking out.

You can either set the DNS on your iPhone or iPod touch by tapping on the blue arrow to the right of your currently-joined WiFi network, tapping on the DNS entry, and typing in the settings, or you can set it on your router and when your iPhone connects to WiFi, it'll pick up the Google DNS settings -- which are the unbelievably simple-to-remember 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4.

For more information, check out the Google Public DNS page.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google Introduces Free Public DNS

16 Comments

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 :-(

On iphone: you can simply manually input those DNS addresses (separate each by a comma) into the DNS field in WiFi setting

When you say, "And so far, they’re not even trying to monetize via add placement or site-suggestion," how would that work? I can't see any way they could put ads into a DNS lookup. I guess I can kind of see the possibility of site suggestion if the domain you request is invalid so it sends you somewhere else, but that seems incredibly unlikely.

@Deadeye:
You don't need to enter both. Entering just the first is all you need. The second dns server is never used unless the first fails. In which case each dns inquiry takes 30 seconds to time out befor it tries the secondary. Surfing becomes unbearable in these cases.
Also those using their wifi in a corporate environment at work or on campus may lose access to some internal machines or mail servers by forcing the use of an external dns. This is because many corporate/school dns servers use a split horizon to allow access to some machines only from the inside.

@Devin Briggs
If you are behind a home router which does DNS for you, its very likely going direct to Google or OpenDNS would be faster. The Linksys/Netgear type of home router boxes are far too underpowered to do effective DNS.

Google usually always invented something fresh, but this time i think its just another ordinary dns servers, it doesn't even had a site blocking features right???

Creating a single point of failure for DNS seems like a bad idea for me. Ya, for now, people always have their ISP to fall back on or they could even run their own DNS. But if this catches on, ISPs are going to stop spending money running their own. Link goes down to Google and all the sudden a large chunk of the world can't use the internet. Ya, Google spends an insane amount of money on security and the likelihood of an attack is low, but if millions of people are all using the exact same DNS server, you can bet your butt blackhats are going to focus a lot more energy trying to hit it.
I hope it works well. From a distance, it's scary. I guess we'll see what happens.