“Why is my internet being slow? ” You must have asked this question multiple times. As the time we spent on the internet is growing, a slow internet has become a big pain for us. The Internet plays a bigger role in our daily life and it is growing at a faster phase. Just imagine an internet outage during our work. Even a short period could create panic right?. As we know, if you get faster internet access with a better DNS which will make people happier, more productively efficient.
Domain name service, most commonly known as DNS plays a major role in deciding the internet speed. A good DNS server helps to load the page faster. It works as a phone directory and helps to locate the site we are accessing. Apart from the browser, Other applications such as Email, Chat, Remote Desktop, and other applications also use the DNS service to locate sites, pages, etc.
In this article, I will be talking about the DNS service, how a good DNS service helps us to have faster internet connectivity. We also talk about the different types of DNS services and how they meet various business requirements. It also covers how DNS impacts your site performance and when the premium approach is appropriate to meet your requirement. Most of the information shared in this post is taken from pages available on the internet.
What is DNS?
DNS is a network service that gives the IP addresses of the site we access. When we type the site name you want to access, in the browser address bar, the computer may not understand the site by its name. It needs the IP address of the site to start a communication with remote sites. It then checks the local host files for the IP addresses. The computer will contact the DNS server, which is already configured on the computer if the hostname is not available in the host file. The DNS server job is to give the IP address associated with the site name. It acts as a Master address book for the sites The process is called name resolution. The DNS server resolves it into IP Address and sends it to the computer and communicates directly with the remote site.
In short, DNS server translates human-readable information such as site names (e.g google.com) into IP addresses) the addressing protocols used by computers to locate information online.
Why DNS is Required?
Whenever a website is created, a name that is easily remembered is given to it for our convenience.it’s easy to remember and phrased words such as google.com over its IP address. It is easier to remember words and phrases, such as Google, over its IP6 Address 2404:6800:4007:80d::200e, for example. In case you have a computer without a DNS configured, you would get an error when you try to access it. And when people search your site, they will get a ‘site can’t be reached’ error because there is no DNS entry is available to locate your website.
To view a specific website, you must connect to its nameserver to retrieve its IP address and any related information. For example, if you type google.com into your browser, your computer will contact the default DNS to get the corresponding IP address. If there is no DNS available you will get an error message
Domain name servers are an important part of the DNS system. It handles queries regarding remotes sites so that internet users can locate websites. When you type a domain name into your computer browser, the computer would contact the local nameservers, which send back the corresponding IP address in response. The process is called name lookup
Your local DNS server handles queries for your /company domain. When you set up a new site for business or personal use, you register your domain name with the domain vendor, The vendor will add the site’s name to the vendor DNS server and it then populated into other DNS servers on the internet.
Different Type of DNS
DNS broadly classified into two: local DNS or Public DNS
Local DNS is a file /service that is available either on the same computer or on another computer in the local network, for the name resolution. In other words, it could be a simple LMHOST file updated with hostnames or the same machine running DNS service or a DNS service running on another machine in your / company network.
If you have a small personal website for blogging or a site to share something with friends and family, where you won’t expect any growth and no worries about updates, free hosting on a local machine, or the service from an ISP the right choice for you. There is a number of domain /hosting providers, who provide free DNS hosting service. there are free DNS service that comes with a firewall, filtering, and rate-limiting and blocking to help prevent DDoS attacks which also support DDNS e. g Public DNS
If it’s a commercial site that is driving your business, then you should choose a service that will take care of your site with better support, security & uptime. That is the most important difference between opting for free DNS and going for a premium service.
When you purchase a domain from a vendor, they will give free DNS servers that cover basic DNS functionality. But if you looking for better features & uptime.
Why we need a Public DNS? As the network grows, the current DNS could not handle the all request come from the local machines so we need a DNS service which is scalable. For example, for a small network with few computers which need access only to a few remote machines then a simple update to the LMHOST file should work. Usually, we depend on the ISP DNS server for name resolve while connected to the ISP network locally. But normally such service might be slow and not meet security requirements.
Dedicated DNS-Dedicated hosting providers tend to be the most powerful option, they are free, faster, and more reliable and support security features compare to the DNS from local ISP providers because they are designed for hosting DNS query traffic and nothing else. Such Public DNS is scalable and less vulnerable to malicious attacks.
Public DNS Server list
Here is a list of public DNSs we can use
- Cisco OpenDNS: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11;
- Cloudflare 18.104.22.168: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199;
- Google Public DNS: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206; and
- Quad9: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.
Google DNS provide good browser experience and better security If you set your device’s DNS to Google DNS, the applications in your system will perform all DNS lookups using Google Public DNS. In addition to traditional basic DNS services, it also provides DNS over TLS (DoT) and DNS over HTTPS (DoH) for greater security and privacy.
Open DNS was a privately held company later acquired by CISCO. the DNS which also provides advanced threat protection for any device, anywhere, anytime, and supports secured DNS communication.
One of the fastest DNS service providers, Cloudflare support Both DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS open standards and give assurance on customer privacy.
In this case, another company set up and maintains your company DNS service and you pay for managing the service to the third party.
Is Public DNS safe?
DNS was never designed with privacy or security in mind. A basic DNS service uses TCP/UDP protocol for communication between the server and client application /system. Improvement was later made to make the communication secure. One of the approaches is DNS over TLS. Another approach which is used widely by public and premium DNS provider is DNS-over-HTTPS and both are open standards
Premium /Paid DNS
Please select premium features if you need guaranteed uptime( 100%), better support. Premium DNS provides the best SLA and includes 100% uptime, faster lookup speeds, increased security, more room for personalized DNS configuration, and more. Choosing free over a premium DNS is a question of utility. Before going for premium service, please consider the below points
1) If your site is relatively small and you don’t expect it to grow in the future, you should opt for a premium DNS service.
2) Even if you don’t have a high-traffic website, consider premium service if your sites are critical and you want to make sure it’s safe and always online.
3) Hackers target everyone these days, it’s worth considering a paid DNS that fits your budget to avoid hassles.
Another huge benefit of premium nameserver services is the scope for configuration. You will have more control over your nameserver setup. Premium allows you to make basic and advanced configurations yourself, with superior support, if required.
How to Choose a Premium DNS Provider
Premium DNS provider will give a comprehensive solution featuring Dynamic DNS and would be used as a primary or backup. The below-mentioned points need to consider while choosing a premium service
How Much Does Premium DNS Cost?
Cost depends upon the size of the website, security requirement, web traffic. The package starts at a few dollars
You can start with unpaid DNS service initially and later change to premium service if required. If the current DNS service is provided by your hosting provider, then it will be easily migrated to premium service. It’s also possible to use a premium DNS from a third-party for your computers.
Fastest DNS server
The average look-up time is 32 ms. A simple page request might require multiple DNS Lookup to load a single page. For example, When you access a Facebook page, associated links & images require multiple DSN resolve before loading completely.
Here is some of the fastest DNS server available today
- Cisco OpenDNS: 208.67. 222.222 and 208.67. 220.220;
- Cloudflare 1.1. 1.1: 1.1. 1.1 and 1.0. 0.1;
- Google Public DNS: 8.8. 8.8 and 8.8. 4.4; and.
- Quad9: 9.9. 9.9 and 149.112. 112.112.
Choosing the right DNS for your business
Consider the below points while choosing a DNS server for your server. If your service is very critical, don’t hesitate to avail a premium service either from your hosting vendor or a third party
Speed – Choose a vendor who has their DNS server nearer to your hosting server. For example, if your server is hosted in India better you buy DNS from a vendor who has a physical server in India.
Security- If security is the main requirement, then select a service that supports DNS over HTTP or TLS and filtering. You have to make sure that your will be testing it regularly and optimize it for a better service.
Privacy – Your DNS provider keeps a record of all the sites you access. Check the SLA with your have signed with your vendor to ensure that the browsing history would be kept confidential.
Multiple DNS Providers
It would wise to have multiple DNS providers to eliminate the possibility of a single point of failure. This will ensure that the site still working even one service provider is taken away by a malicious attack
Sample DNS setting diagram
How do you check the DNS setting on your computer?
With Windows 10:
- Click on the Start menu.
- Click on the Settings icon.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Click on Change adapter options.
- Double-click on the active network adapter.
- Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.
- Click Use the Following DNS Server Addresses.
- Replace those addresses with the fastest public DNS IPs mentioned in the list
DNS for mobile network
Since the number of users who connect the internet from mobile is high compare to Laptop users, you may eager to know how to change the DNS setting for mobile phones. You will be able to change the DNS while connecting it to a WiFi network. There is no direct way to change the DNS setting on the phone which connected to a cellular network, you might need a third-party app to change the DNS setting on the phone.
How to change DNS on android phone
Follow the below step to change DNS for your mobile device connected to a wifi network. Ensure you noted down the current setting before making any changes.
- Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi
- Select the Wi-Fi network you want to change
- Choose Modify network
- Scroll down and click on Advanced options
- Scroll down and click on DHCP
- Click on Static
- Scroll down and change the DNS server IP.
Hope this article is informative and helpful. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.