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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is your bad internet experience being caused by your ISP's underperforming DNS? Find out today

So you have finally signed up for that broadband and dedicated internet bandwidth that you ISP has been trying to sell you for the last one year and has been telling you all the nice things that dedicated bandwidth can do! you decided to bite the bullet and release that hard earned cash to experience that fast lane for internet, may be it started out so well on day one but the experience gets worse by the day and soon or later you can't even tell the difference between your old and new connection.

Well, there are other factors that affect internet speeds and trust me you can have a whole pipe of 100Mbps to yourself, but if your ISP's DNS (Domain Name Server) has issues, it will always have a direct impact to your internet experience. 

One of the major performance indicators (a.k.a KPIs) for DNS is the "DNS Response Time"; This is the time it takes (in milliseconds) for the DNS to resolve a requested domain (for example www.facebook.com) into it's corresponding IP (Internet Protocal) address (for example 157.240.7.35).

A slow, overloaded or unreliable DNS has a direct impact on customer's internet experience and noticeably slows down virtually all your internet use. Every ISP has their own DNS infrastructure that is closer to their end users (topology-wise), but this does not directly imply that it will be the fastest DNS in response time. There are many well known publicly available DNS alternatives, which by geo-location and topology-wise are far away from your access device but have better response times and today am going to show you how you can determine that and also optimize your connection.

"You can't optimize it until you can measure it"

Another important point is that your ISP DNS could be in the wrong order, with the secondary DNS performing faster than the primary DNS and this also matters because the requests will always be sent to the primary DNS first. so this article is for both the end user and you the ISP engineer. Am sure you don't want a customer to walk into your office and present to you a report of how publicly available DNS(s) are performing better than your DNS(s)! So you better measure it now and optimize it now.

DNS Benchmark is a freeware tool and you can download it HERE
This tool compares the performance of the ISP DNS with many well known publicly available alternatives. The tool then generates visual reports that compare your ISP DNS response time with other public DNS(s), these reports are easy to interpret and the DNS(s) are ranked according to response time. You don't need to be an expert or geek to use this tool, and you will find the "How tos?" on the download website.

See below a screen shot of the tool and sample report:
DNS Benchmark

DNS Benchmark Report
Based on the results and conclusions from the benchmark, you can determine if you should continue using the DNS(s) provided by your ISP (if they rank top) or if you should change to public DNS(s), that's if the public DNS(s) rank on top of your ISP DNS(s). And if the DNS settings for your connection can't be manually changed, you have the right to walk up to your ISP and challenge them, just make sure to save your benchmark reports.

Going forward, don't let a slow DNS ruin your internet experience. Have fun

Credits: Precision Freeware by Steve Gibson

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