1 Simple Change for Faster Web Surfing
By Bob Rankin
Can you speed up your web surfing by making a simple change to the settings on your computer or router? YES! Using an alternate DNS server, instead of the DNS provided by your internet service provider. I know it sounds geeky, but I promise to explain it all in plain English, and show you how to make it happen…
Should I Use an Alternate DNS Server?
Let’s start by de-geekifying the DNS acronym. DNS stands for “Domain Name Service” and it’s a service normally provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Here’s why it’s necessary… Humans refer to websites by their common “dot com” names, but the computers that run things on the Internet know them only by numbers known as IP (internet protocol) addresses. When you tell your browser you want to visit a certain website, it must connect to a DNS server to translate that website name into an IP address.
Normally, that DNS server is operated by your ISP, but there’s no technical reason why that must be so. Alternate DNS services can be used to speed up web surfing, provide an additional layer of security, correct typos, or assign shortcuts to commonly-typed website names. Here are some free alternative DNS services you can try.
I’ve written previously about OpenDNS, the free Domain Name Service that looks up IP addresses and connects you to them faster than the DNS provided by many ISPs. There are other free alternative DNS providers for Web surfing and email, plus managed DNS services for Web site, corporate intranets, and others who need more than basic domain/IP address lookups.