Google Enters Free DNS Fray

Now it seems that OpenDNS has some serious competition: Google announced their Google Public DNS service just days ago. The founder of OpenDNS, Dave Ulevitch, responded to Google’s announcement in his blog.

Several things stand out between OpenDNS and Google DNS:

  • Google DNS does not misuse NXDOMAIN responses. That is, when you try to resolve an entry that does not exist, you get a “no domain found” response: OpenDNS sends you to their search page.
  • Google DNS supports IPv6.
  • Google DNS implements a wide array of security tools to mitigate attacks against DNS servers.
  • Google will (probably) not redirect valid DNS entries to its own servers.

There has already been some speed testing that shows that, at least in India, the response from Google DNS is much faster than OpenDNS.

CNET had a nice write-up (in the DeepTech blog by Stephen Shankland) on Google’s DNS offering and what it means.

It also appears that the privacy concerns that have cropped up with OpenDNS may not be a concern with Google’s Public DNS (and ironically so). Over at the Slight Paranoia blog by Christopher Soghoian, he wrote a piece about their privacy policy – and received a nice response directly from Dave Ulevitch (the founder of OpenDNS).

Over at The Scream!, there is a forum posting that describes some of this in detail – including the redirection of google.com to google.navigation.opendns.com. The Wikipedia entry on OpenDNS also addresses some of these issues, none of which appear to exist in Google’s Public DNS.

2 thoughts on “Google Enters Free DNS Fray”

  1. I tried Google Public DNS and its fast
    My report shows almost 50% less latency but when I changed name server for one of domain
    it took time to reflect that changes on my local PC and as soon as I changed it to Open DNS
    I can see name server change

    1. Not sure I understand the last part of your comment. Any change of name server on a UNIX or UNIX-based system should be reflected immediately in any new requests; if you are caching DNS requests, this may affect your results.

      Windows might cache DNS results, but I don’t know, and I don’t know what OpenVMS does in this case.

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