Google Namebench to hunt down fastest DNS

Few days back, I wrote over the promising Google product Google DNS and today I am choosing to write over another related utility from Google side.

Tell me!!! How you perform the task of choosing best DNS server? The famous one? The default ISP one? The knowingly reliable one? Don’t you think that its not a good practice to rely on things without self testing. Technically, DNS is one of most crucial point about your browsing experience, so how can you choose a DNS with not-so-well-defined process? Let’s see, what Namebench does here for your in place of just simplest tests, you might have done for testing the best DNS out there.

Google's Namebench

Namebench: One of 20% projects at Google, is basically an Open-Source DNS Benchmarking Utility. It hunts down the fastest DNS Servers available for your computer to use with a detailed method and report. Its written using open-source tools and libraries such as Python, Tkinter, PyObjC, dnspython, jinja2 and graphy.

Namebench runs a fair and through benchmark using your web browser history (after all, browser behaviour changes over what you visit), tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation. It also determine cache-sharing relationships between different IP’s and removes the slowest of these servers to avoid improperly benchmarking them solely on cached results. It also reports on DNS misbehaviour such as DNS hijiacking and censorship. Moreover, its completely free and doesn’t modify anything in your system. 


It runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Unix and is available with a graphical interface as well as a command-line interface.

Running the Windows/ Mac Version is kind of simple (and even Linux version, if you have right libraries python-tk in your system), you get greeted with a simplest interface as shown in pics, which is almost perfectly fine to run with default settings it appear with. Although, for more detailed description of the options, you may check the official wiki.

People, who like command-line tools more than GUIs, will get disappointed in case of its Windows version, but rest two versions has a pretty efficient command-line. You could find the info related using Namebench command-line here.

So, what you waiting for? Wanna be a geek? With Namebench, get a reality check yourself that are you in safe hands (right DNS server)? or which DNS is more better and how much better? Download it from here.

Here, I also want to comment over that “What a Google 20% project means?”

Google offers its engineers “20 percent time” so that they are free to work on what they’re really passionate about. Google Suggest, AdSense for content, Orkut and this Namebench are among the many products of this ‘perk’.


photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar


Change to Google Public DNS – it rocks

Dec 03, 2009 – As an effort to make web browsing more better, the internet Giant Google is coming with its brand new service Google Public DNS: An experimental Public DNS Resolver. Thanks a lot to Devil’s Workshop and the article of Aditya Kane to get me introduced to the news today on Dec 06, 2009. I really think that I should take some time out of my schedules and should increase my awareness a little more.


DNS for sure plays a major part of you browsing experience as its kind of an Internet Phone Book or an Address Book, which makes you reach to the exact page you are looking for once you typed or clicked a URL. Obviously, as much faster you can find the exact number (IP Address here), you could dial or as much faster, you could find the address from address book, you can reach to the address. So, sure its a great move on basis of the level of services that Google has provided yet.

If an ISP’s DNS is down or facing issue, then it doesn’t get that much attention as much it will if Google’s go down. Its under high scrutiny once announced. So, sure we could rely on it on the basis of our past experiences.

Its not been the first attempt to bring any Public DNS Service (Non-ISP) into play. OpenDNS, Level3, Scrubit and many more players are already out there, which are providing faster DNS resolution than your ISP itself and you could test yourself for fastest DNS Servers around you using the following link. But when you get a name like Google in the race, then you get assured that you web experience is going to better and better due to the level of quality and competition it will bring in. 

Personally, I have not used DNS Servers other than my ISPs or other than OpenDNS, so I could compare this service with these two only, but my experiences always found OpenDNS better than any of the ISPs. Till now, whatever I got to test, I found Google DNS is outperforming OpenDNS and Level3 in all the way, check the technical reference

Results shows that we have a very very good reason to switch over Google Public DNS (,, but what might be concerning many of the people is the motive behind it. Why Google brining it in? Will this not gonna to enable Google to keep more close check on everyday users internet habits and so improving its Ads system more by that? Will this bring power to Google to show Ads on even mistyped URL pages, which were in hands of ISPs only till now? Is not many privacy concerns out there?

Google has partially dispelled both of the concerns saying that its not gonna to store the data tied to particular user for long and will save the data only if agreed from the users itself and that too will be only anonymized ones.

opendns_logo_300 level3_logo

Personally, I am not much concerned about these privacy things as already Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Google Searches (when we logged in with Gmail) are gathering all of our internet habits, whether a normal user knows or don’t know about it. But what I am really looking for, is that “When Google is going to provide us the control over this Public DNS System like the way OpenDNS does?”. With OpenDNS free account, you can customize your redirection search page with your own logo etc, could watch over internet habits of your users yourself, have your own filtering system or typo correction. Once that will be done, Google Public DNS is sure gonna to outrun OpenDNS and others.

So, why waiting for, start using Google Public DNS for a better web browsing.

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar