Thursday, December 17, 2009

Namebench -- tried it out on the Mac

Everybody wants a more responsive browsing experience and when I changed to the OpenDNS nameservers about two years ago, I felt I had made a a significant forward step in this direction.
Up to now I haven't spent much time looking at Google's new DNS servers but do have them on one computer.
Just recently I came across namebench which sets up a test for a number of free DNS servers available to your network and tests them for speed of response. It's available for Windows, OS X and Linux.
Well, this is exactly what I was looking for. Using this I should easily be able to find the fastest nameservers and thereby optimize my browsing speed.
So, I installed namebench in OS X (10.6.2) on my MacBook and ran it 5 or 6 times. Hmmm.....results not exactly what I was expecting but here are the main findings:

1. Every time I ran namebench a different server topped the list of fastest response
2. There is no evidence at all that the OpenDNS servers (, are consistently faster than my ISP's name servers
3. The only consistent finding in all the test that I ran is that the OpenDNS servers (response 50-60 ms) are always faster than Google's servers (, which gave response times typically in the 80-90ms region.

I'll keep testing until the end of the year but, on the Mac at least, I'll steer clear of the Google servers for the moment.

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