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OpenDNS? Google DNS? Comcast? Surprising Results.

I’ve been a long time OpenDNS user (hardcoded in my router), but after installing a new router, I decided to run some tests before reconfiguring its DNS settings.  The results – using Google’s own Namebench tool – were surprising.

DNS benchmarks

Comcast wins!  (note: 68.87.76.182 resolves to cns.sanjose.ca.sanfran.comcast.net).  It is faster than UltraDNS, OpenDNS or Google Public DNS.   Surprise, surprise … I guess I don’t have to reconfigure my router after all.

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Google Takes a (404) Page from OpenDNS’s Book

Big brouhaha this morning over the fact that Google’s Toolbar “hijacks” 404 error pages and displays their own promo instead. “Google is evil” – say some webmasters.

I don’t see it a big deal. 404 pages are not exactly masterfully designed pages anyway, in fact I’m not really supposed to see them at all.

By the way, it’s not such a new idea either: it’s the very foundation of OpenDNS‘s business model.

Update: Google’s Matt Cutts explains how 404 works.

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OpenDNS Shortcuts (are) were More Like Detours

Use OpenDNS (Updated)
Using OpenDNS instead of your ISP’s default supposedly speeds up your surfing experience – it’ s probably true, see ZDNet’s explanation.

However, there’s one feature – a convenience – you should avoid, and ironically it’s called a shortcut. Ironically, because in reality it’s more like a long detour.

For example I have t set up for www.techmeme.com. Here’s my little experience this morning:

Conclusion: OpenDNS may be fast, except when it has to access it’s own server – you’re better off not using shortcuts.

I obviously cleared the browser cache before each step. Stats were measured by the Load Time Analyzer FireFox plugin by Google, and the results are displayed using the Zoho Viewer.

Update: I received several helpful comments, from OpenDNS’s David Ulevitch and Paul Stamatiou who wrote a pretty good review of the shortcut feature earlier. They both pointed me to this system status message, which indicates an earlier server issue this morning, at the time I ran my tests is now resolved.

I have actually experienced slowdowns for days now, which of course was only my subjective feeling, but in the end that’s what prompted me to look for diagnostic tools and run the tests today.

That said, I ran the tests again, under the same conditions, repeatedly, and the results are around 2000ms , with only 3-400ms difference between the ‘shortcut’ and the full URL method. I guess that means OpenDNS is back to normal. Thumbs-up