Google Public DNS vs. OpenDNS


Last week, the search giant Google launched yet another new service to the public – Google Public DNS (“GoogleDNS”). This new service rocked the Internet and everyone, regardless of his/her location, felt the disturbance in cyberspace.

Immediately, netizens dug it, highly questioned Google’s Privacy Policies (especially the hardcore Google haters), security, and so on (and we are not going to talk about that). It even prompted an article from the world’s number one alternative DNS service OpenDNS (which I stopped using almost a month ago).

The question is, who wins when it comes to speed? GoogleDNS or OpenDNS? The winner is GoogleDNS, I’ll show you why…

While doing some research on running my own caching DNS I stumbled on Google DNS vs OpenDNS: Google Rocks for International Users, and clearly showed that GoogleDNS is the fastest for non-Western countries.

Using the script posted on the blog I tried it out myself. Here’s my result testing from Makati City, Philippines, using Globe Innove (DSL/Broadband).

GoogleDNS vs. OpenDNS; Globe Innove (DSL/Broadband); Makati City, Philippines

As you can see above there is a more or less 96ms difference between GoogleDNS and OpenDNS from my location. Is it big? For me it is. The fastest I can reach my choice of Domain Name System (“DNS”), the fastest I will be pointed to the location of the website I want to load. That is what DNS servers are for, it resolves the domain names to an IP address.

This test gives me a clear reason why I should switch to GoogleDNS and suggest it to other people too. As for privacy issues, here’s what Google has to say about it:

Google Public DNS complies with Google’s main privacy policy, which you can view at our Privacy Center. With Google Public DNS, we collect IP address (only temporarily) and ISP and location information (in permanent logs) for the purpose of making our service faster, better and more secure. Specifically, we use this data to conduct debugging, to analyze abuse phenomena and to improve our prefetching feature. After 24 hours, we erase any IP information. For more information, read the Google Public DNS privacy page.

There are other reasons like GoogleDNS is being operated based on the standards for DNS operations. Not like OpenDNS, they break the standards by not returning NXDOMAIN (“Non-eXistent Domain”). Instead, if you enter a non-existent domain you are redirected to OpenDNS search page. Some top-level domain owners do that and many ISPs too. Not to mention the reason I stopped using OpenDNS was because someone registered or failed to release a range of dynamic IPs which prevented me from accessing some sites.

Switching is easy, just point your DNS to and For a more detailed instruction, if you do not know where to do the change, visit Google’s instruction page.

However, the choice is up to you. We differ in our needs and criteria. As I have said earlier, I am researching about running my own DNS which might give better results. Besides, if you really want speed and you do not trust Google or OpenDNS or any other public DNS service, then running your own local DNS is really the only solution. Your desktop or laptop or even your netbook is more than enough to run your own!

Anyway, here is the bash script that you can use to run the test yourself if you have a GNU/Linux or Mac machine.

isp=$(dig +noall +stats 2>&1 | awk '$2~/^SERVER:$/{split($3,dnsip,"#");print dnsip[1]}');
s="                                                                               ";
header=("Domain${s:0:23}" "Google${s:0:10}" "${s:0:10}" "OpenDNS${s:0:10}");
echo "${h}";
echo "| ${header[0]:0:23} | ${header[1]:0:10} | ${header[2]:0:10} | ${header[3]:0:10} |";
echo "${h}";
for i in "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "";
  echo -ne "| ${ii:0:23} |";
  for j in "" "" "";
    r="${s:10}$(dig +noall +stats +time=9 @${j} ${i} 2>&1 | awk '$2~/^Query$/{print $4" "$5}')";
    echo -ne " ${r:${#r}-10} |";
  echo -ne "\n${h}\n";

Sources and further reading:

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Google Public DNS vs. OpenDNS
Article Name
Google Public DNS vs. OpenDNS
Google DNS vs. Open DNS, which is faster anyway? From where I am, Google DNS showed up as the winner. Test it yourself!

CC BY-SA 4.0 Google Public DNS vs. OpenDNS by ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki|雪亮) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.

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