When you type www.wikipedia.org into your browser's address bar, you expect nothing less than to be taken to Wikipedia. Chances are you're not giving much thought to the work being done in the background by the Domain Name System, or DNS.
Today, as part of our ongoing effort to make the web faster, we're launching our own public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS, and we invite you to try it out.
Most of us aren't familiar with DNS because it's often handled automatically by our Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it provides an essential function for the web. You could think of it as the switchboard of the Internet, converting easy-to-remember domain names — e.g., www.google.com — into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers — e.g., 126.96.36.199 — that computers use to communicate with one another.
The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading. This can slow down the browsing experience. Our research has shown that speed matters to Internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users' web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable. You can read about the specific technical improvements we've made in our product documentation and get installation instructions from our product website.
If you're web-savvy and comfortable with changing your network settings, check out the Google Code Blog for detailed instructions and more information on how to set up Google Public DNS on your computer or router.
As people begin to use Google Public DNS, we plan to share what we learn with the broader web community and other DNS providers, to improve the browsing experience for Internet users globally. The goal of Google Public DNS is to benefit users worldwide while also helping the tens of thousands of DNS resolvers improve their services, ultimately making the web faster for everyone.