Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Well, does pdnsd make browsing faster?

After at least 14 hours of browsing in Ubuntu on the MacBook with pdnsd turned on, my conclusion is that I just cannot at all see any evidence for faster browsing. Honestly, to me it looks exactly the same, no slower and no faster.
And yes, I am sure that pdnsd is running and the selected DNS server is Here's what I get from nslookup:

$ nslookup

Non-authoritative answer:

So, this is disappointing. Nevertheless, given that pinging my usual DNS servers only took 65 ms, that doesn't provide much leeway for speeding up page retrieval.
I'm really going to have to try and find out if others REALLY are getting faster browsing?
On the same topic, here are two interesting articles from SourceForge. The first covers how DNS works in Linux and the second looks at a more elaborate local DNS server setup for the purpose of, yes, speeding up browsing.


  1. I can see quite a bit of evidence though. If you notice Firefox goes from displaying "Connecting ..." "Connected to..."" and "Transferring..." straight to
    "Transferring...". It takes about 200ms for me to reach the ISP DNS server. The network cached DNS gives it to me in 1 ms or 2ms. I set up squid to use the DNS cache for all computers. The local DNS cache does it for me in 0ms most of the time. I also use longer time to live and cache size settings.

    One of the best examples of seeing DNS caching work in action is to visit:

    Also try these commands:

    dig @

    If you don't notice speeds ups, check whether you have /etc/resolv.conf modified to use
    nameserver as the first entry.

    If you're using DHCP you can add (or uncomment) this line in

    prepend domain-name-servers;

  2. @Yesudeep
    Thanks for that comment and the useful details you posted.
    However, I'm not saying that there is no scientifically discernible difference. Yes, there is. But, in my case were talking about 60-65 ms per browse. Basically, this will NOT lead to anybody genuinely perceiving that browsing is in any way faster.There are, of course, many elements contibuting to how fast a page shows up including besides how fast the url is converted to an address, how fast it comes in from the server and then how fast it renders.
    In my case, given that I can ping my normal DNS server in 65ms, any browsing speed-up by eliminating this delay is absolutely minimal and all but indiscernible.