Google Public DNS Service at Lucky IP 8.8.8.8

December 4, 2009

Today Google launches their new public DNS service, which aims to speed up the time it takes for your browser to find web sites. To use it, set your DNS server address to 8.8.8.8--a lucky IP address, at least in Chinese culture (thx @blam). DNS aficionados already know that OpenDNS has offered a free, distributed DNS service for years. In response to Google Public DNS, OpenDNS founder David Ulevitch says OpenDNS is still a better choice because it offers more options and ways to control your web surfing experience.

I still don’t know what are the advantages of using a DNS service besides from our own ISP. I mean, If by any chance our ISP’s DNS server goes down, I know I can just configure my network to use Google’s DNS or OpenDNS.

That reminds me, how do I know that it’s my ISP’s DNS service that is down, and not something else?

Cheers.

Elvis Pestana [+1]
Dec 5 09 at 10:28 am

Hi Elvis,

The easiest way to determine if your chosen DNS servers are down, you can use nslookup or dig command line tools. Open a command line prompt (Select “Start > Run” and type “cmd” on a Windows machine, “Applications > Utilities > Terminal” on the Mac) and type:

dig http://www.google.com

or

nslookup http://www.google.com

If an IP address comes back and the web page appears to be loading properly in your browser, your DNS servers are working fine. If no address comes back, or an unexpected web page appears despite a successful dig, there is a problem. “dig” is the newer and recommended tool, but both should work fine for basic troubleshooting purposes.

Let me know if you’d like some more detail!

nicholas [+2]
Dec 6 09 at 8:02 am

Hi Elvis,

You mentioned not knowing any real advantages to using a different DNS service. There are quite a few features available and better than generic performance.

Here are some features they offer:
Anti-phishing, mal/botware protection, parental control, White and blacklisting, Smartcache, Typo correction, shortcuts, Custom logo and landing page, reports and archives of status and usage, etc.

I use OpenDNS for the parental controls. Internet access is controlled at my router so even if someone comes over and they access the internet with an iPhone, they won’t be able to access inappropriate material. I don’t have to worry about installing something on every device in the house or keeping things up to date.

Please visit OpenDNS SOLUTIONS to get a better understanding of what is available. I highly recommend switching.

Raum Bances
Dec 6 09 at 9:24 am

I like this new DNS service precisely because 8.8.8.8 is trivial to remember. That’s the most important feature in a DNS server for me. ^^

Oh, you know, and availability of course.

How strange.
(Using OpenDNS)

Just now I tried using the command nslookup, which in turn gave me the IP address for google.com. I tried putting that IP on my browser address and it couldn’t find it.
I put back my ISP’s DNS and it suddenly could find it.

Does anyone know if it is a OpenDNS thing? Like not accepting IP addresses?

Elvis Pestana [+1]
Dec 6 09 at 12:54 pm

Has anyone tried DynDNS’s version of OpenDNS called Internet Guide.

http://www.dyndns.com/services/dynguide/

I’ve been using them since they’re free without ads and works in-conjunction with a DynDNS enabled router.

Isaac Hanna
Dec 6 09 at 4:43 pm


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