Google offers DNS experiment to speed up the Web

In an unusual move, Google announced Google Public DNS on Thursday, a new means by which users can utilize the Google DNS servers to access the Internet. Google has even added telephone support for those who choose to make the switch…

[Unusual? Another editorial comment from someone who doesn’t know diddly-squat about business.]

Google’s motivation, according to the company, is to both speed up Web browsing as well as provide enhanced security. “We believe that a faster DNS infrastructure could significantly improve the browsing experience for all web users,” Prem Ramaswami, of Google’s Public DNS Team, wrote in a blog post. “To enhance DNS speed but to also improve security and validity of results, Google Public DNS is trying a few different approaches that we are sharing with the broader web community…”

Users who want to try out the new Google DNS servers can change their DNS settings to 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4, as its instructions describe. Google strongly recommends, however, that users copy down their existing settings. Interestingly, Google also provides telephone support for its Public DNS as well.

The new DNS settings are not for ISPs to use, as Google does not have a service-level agreement (SLA) in place. The project is characterized as “experimental”…

Although DNS servers are maintained by a user’s ISP, the OpenDNS project has maintained a similar open resolver project for a number of years. Ramaswami said in an interview that the Google will encourage other open resolvers to engage it in dialogue and to adopt some of the techniques Google’s Pubic DNS used to better improve the Web.

Ramaswami also emphatically denied that the company would in any way monetize the data it collected, referring to its privacy policies. “This is about making the Web faster, not about the data,” he said. “We’ve gone out of the way to make this true.”

Whingers will not believe this. Even if they can’t prove otherwise. Whining for the sake of it – is about as productive as a Donald Rumsfeld military campaign.

“Google Public DNS stores two sets of logs: temporary and permanent. The temporary logs store the full IP address of the machine you’re using,” the company said. “We have to do this so that we can spot potentially bad things like DDoS attacks and so we can fix problems, such as particular domains not showing up for specific users. We delete these temporary logs within 24 to 48 hours.

“In the permanent logs, we don’t keep personally identifiable information or IP information. We do keep some location information (at the city/metro level) so that we can conduct debugging, analyze abuse phenomena and improve the Google Public DNS prefetching feature. We don’t correlate or combine your information from these logs with any other log data that Google might have about your use of other services, such as data from Web Search and data from advertising on the Google content network. After keeping this data for two weeks, we randomly sample a small subset for permanent storage.”

I’ll try this out sometime today, probably. Folks I know who’ve tried it – so far – feel it makes browsing fractionally faster.

Security concerns, a weapon against DDOS and other script kiddy stupidities – probably more useful.

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3 comments

  1. Cinaedh

    Whiner #1 – Present!

    This “service” tells Google every computer and every web page anyone who uses it ever visits. I realize the information is already out there in many DNS server logs but this “service” centralizes it and provides all of it to corporate Google.

    Does anyone in the world really believe Google won’t permanently store and hand over this supposedly deleted information at the orders of say, the Chinese government, so they can oppress and murder any of their citizens accessing forbidden information? How about the U.S. government, in their dogged pursuit of terrorists? Surely Google would help the U.S. government capture terrorists and prevent terrorism?

    Google is a trans-national corporation, already complicit in kidnapping and murder in China. They don’t do things for free and they don’t piss off the government of the biggest market in the world, let alone the U.S. government. They’ll do exactly as they’re told, as they’ve already demonstrated.

    Can I prove it? How would I manage that without going to jail, do you suppose?

    Since I can’t prove it, obviously Google is doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and for the betterment of mankind.

    Filthy lucre is always the very last thing on the mind of any trans-national corporation.

  2. moss

    You’re waxing way too biblical.

    Filthy lucre is always the very first and last thing on the mind of any trans-national corporation. You don’t stay in business by standing still.

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