Google DNS, friend or Foe?
Anything that has to do with Google, somehow ends up translating to being Fast, speedy or quick. Which are all good. People demand more speed. Faster responses and lightning fast communications.
Somehow, Google "discovered" that DNS is the bottleneck here and therefore they decided to, well, speed it up.
So what is DNS? (Domain Name System) is one of the fundamental internet services that converts the friendly-human-readable-names (like Qwaider.com) to the geeky-computer-understandable-IP address of the server which hosts a specific service. In short, it's like a phone book directory of the internet. It associates easy to remember names to easy to forget numbers.
So is this a good thing? Or a bad thing? Let me explain both sides, but trust me. If you're a conspiracy theorist, this is a feast you won't want to miss!
The way DNS works, makes it the very first thing queried when you try to visit a site. For example, the minute you click on a link like http://qwaider.com your browser will automatically consult the DNS server for the actual IP address of the site (for simplicity's sake, I will not get into caching ...etc)
What this means is that the DNS server can potentially know every single query you make to every single server you visit. Well, not every single one. But every new query you make.
If we know anything about Google, it would be this: They store, and data-mine every single thing you do on the internet. So now, not only are they tracking your every search query, web site impression. But even know which applications you're using, what internet services you're logging into from your computer EVEN if you're not using the browser, search, or landing on a web page.
Now, what about the claim of "Speed"?
First, let me tell you that such an attempt to have a centralized DNS service on the internet is really not new. In fact, before DNS that's how the internet was. A massive centralized "phonebook" of all the addresses. Which didn't scale at all. Went out of sync most of the time and just plain didn't work.
But after some smart kids at Berkley University wrote the first implementation of a distributed hierarchical system. DNS really took off, and became the fantastic dependable service that we know and use today.
Furthermore, other internet attempts have been made by OpenDNS.org, which not only provides DNS, but reputation based system behind it. Which is fantastic. (They also claim speed)
Back to the speed question... Would Google be able to keep up with that claim? Perhaps. But consider this ...
When you make a query NOW it goes to your local ISP provider which in turn follows up the DNS chain to get you back the results. The stress here is on LOCAL. Why? Because if you decide to move to Google's DNS, you will have to query a REMOTE DNS server. That may be faster, but once you add the overhead of an internet round trip all that speed would be limited to your internet speed.
Additionally, user connections are usually way slower than the super fast and very fat pipe (bandwidth) that your ISP's DNS resides on top.
Furthermore, in case you make the wrong query to the wrong address, it will be up to Google's discretion to redirect you wherever they want. It can be to a Google landing page, or anywhere else. It's their service, their call. No one can tell them what to do.
In fact, even if you made the right query, there are no guarantees that you will land on the site that you want. Even scarier, you might land on that site, within a thin Google frame that could track everything you do.
Seriously people, DNS is pretty scary stuff if it falls in the wrong hands. VERY serious.
There are more, but enough with the negatives!
Let's look at the positives...
First, Google, might be able to provide a custom tailored experience for the users. Even better combine it with their safety platform and provide a comprehensive Anti-phishing/Anti-Malware/Anti-Virus...etc regardless of the application.
Second, Google, will be able to draw the Internet in a way that no one else could. Knowing exactly what users are doing on the internet, and targeting enhancements and improvements on underlying services that take care of such services.
Additionally, the awesome new vanity DNS addresses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 are super sexy. I highly commend them on the choice.
Next, I think it's about time that our data infrastructure caught up with the explosive size of the internet. I mean come on, in the age of Peta, Exa, Zetta Bytes, it's ridiculous to think that storing 55 or even 100 billion server names is impossible. So doing this out of sheer academic and coolness factor is a great thing
So there you have it, the good, bad and ugly about the new Google DNS.
You might have a question, HOW can I try it?
Simple, just change your DNS settings and have it point to 126.96.36.199, and 188.8.131.52 instead of what you have. But I personally do not recommend this. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's fast (er), and I don't think there's any good coming out of it. So use this at your own risk