Google launches alternative DNS resolver

The goal is to make Web browsing faster and more secure

Google has created a new system to resolve DNS (domain name system) queries that the company claims will speed up Web browsing for end-users, as well as make it more secure.

Google Public DNS, announced on Thursday, is still in an experimental phase.

It attempts to improve on existing DNS resolver technology with faster, more efficient caching and additional security safeguards against spoofing attacks that try to dupe users into visiting malicious Web sites.

The DNS lets people type Web site URLs in their browsers and translates them into the appropriate IP (Internet Protocol) numerical addresses, acting as a sort of phone book and switchboard.

To use Google Public DNS, users will have to change network settings so that their Web site requests go to the Google service instead of to their ISP (Internet service provider). Google has set up a Web page with detailed instructions on how to do this.

"Many people don't think about DNS because it's something that lives in the back-end," said Prem Ramaswami, product manager of Google Public DNS, in an interview.

"This is a conversation we want to start not just with power users but with all consumers. We want them to understand that there are these fundamental building blocks to the Internet that they should know more about," he added.

By publishing details on the Google Public DNS technology, Google wants to encourage ISPs and other providers of DNS resolvers to consider adopting what the company views as improvements, Ramaswami said. "We're trying to gently nudge the [service provider] community in the right direction," he said.

To make its DNS resolver faster, Google has built a large cache of popular domains, which it continuously refreshes, whether or not users are requesting the domains. Other DNS resolvers have to go out and fetch the information when it's requested. "As soon as you ask the question, we respond to you," he said.

Asked whether this service will add more user data to Google's archives, Ramaswami said Google Public DNS will retain end-users' IP addresses for no longer than 48 hours before deleting them. It will store for about two weeks more general data about the users' ISP and city.

Furthermore, Google will not use Google Public DNS traffic data to complement data it collects from users in its other services. "We'll never correlate this with our search logs or anything like that to add to the information we have about you specifically," he said. "We do recognize DNS gives us a wider swath of information, and we want to make sure that there aren't these privacy concerns."

"This is about making the Web faster, it's not about collecting more data," Ramaswami added.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleDNSISPsGoogle Public DNS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?