All Internet providers have their own DNS servers, which the users’ devices rely on by default. However, the provider’s server is far from the only option you have. You can choose a different one.
Benchmark tests show OpenDNS is the fastest third-party DNS server, with UltraDNS and Google Public DNS coming in second and third respectively. These are the options to go for when you’re looking for speed higher than that your provider is able to offer.
Parents searching for a DNS server with configurable controls would be wise to choose OpenDNS. It offers free accounts, which are configurable, allowing parents and caregivers to set up malware blocking, to choose sites or types of sites they don’t want the child accessing, and even draft a customized domain list that should be allowed or blocked. Another advantage of OpenDNS is that your information is not shared with outside parties.
As noted, OpenDNS isn’t the only fast DNS server. Google Public DNS is a no-frills option focused on providing quick and accurate results. It is completely secure and the results it provides are unfiltered and raw. Use data is not correlated with any personal information the user has provided to other Google-based services. Both OpenDNS Home and Google Public can be used with or without the filtering.
To check other options out, you could run a benchmarking tool. We recommend the free one by Gibson Research Corporation, especially for Windows or Linux users looking for the fastest DNS server. If you are using Mac, we recommend the tool Namebench. Simply download the tools and launch them. No installation is required for the Gibson. After you launch this tool, click on “Run” in the “Nameservers” tab. It will provide data on the best 72 servers. After that, it can benchmark thousands of publicly available DNS servers all over the world and show you the best 50 depending on your Internet connection specs.
For best results, make sure you close any other applications while running the DNS benchmark tool. Online games or streaming will slow the process down.
There are countless of high-speed DNS servers – we also recommend Level 3 DNS – with some being better than others. What aspects should users take into account? Apart from the specifics of your Internet connection, we advise checking privacy policies to make sure the server won’t sell or otherwise compromise your data.