Google Public DNS handles 70 billion requests a day

Way back in December 2009, Google launched its Public DNS Service. It was, at the time, an experiment designed to help speed up web surfing as well at making the experience more secure. Today, Google announced on its blog site that its Public DNS service no longer qualifies as an experiment as it has grown to become the largest pubic DNS service in the world. Indeed, Google has announced that its Public DNS handles a whopping 70 billion requests a day.

In its blog post Google states:

Google Public DNS has become particularly popular for our users internationally. Today, about 70 percent of its traffic comes from outside the U.S. We’ve maintained our strong presence in North America, South America and Europe, and beefed up our presence in Asia. We've also added entirely new access points to parts of the world where we previously didn't have Google Public DNS servers, including Australia, India, Japan and Nigeria.

If you want to access Google's Public DNS service you can do so at its addresses; 8.8.8.8 (primary) and 8.8.4.4. (secondary). In June, as part of World IPv6 Day, Google announced its own IPv6 addresses. They can be accessed at 2001:4860:4860::8888 (primary) and 2001:4860:4860::8844 (secondary).

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33 Comments

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This is awesome for Google; they know which sites are more popular than others in real-time, and can tweak their advertising strategy accordingly. I am sure they also are able to monetize on the "heat-map" sort of information with site webmasters.

And people of course line up for anything that Google does, all to happy to help provide this information.

Brilliant!

Is there any big reason why I should switch from OpenDNS to GDNS? If there's some big speed advantage (I'm in San Jose, CA) then I might switch.

Visit GRC.com and do the DNS testing and see what's fastest for you. You might also like the features OpenDNS offers which Google doesn't. I rather DNS to behave as just that, no redirecting me needed. If it fails then fail damnit! LOL

I use OpenDNS. I don't use Google's DNS because I am some sort of PARANOID IDIOT WHO THINKS THE WORLD IS AFTER HIM. OpenDNS is just faster in my tests.

I've come across a few issues in my job where customers have DNS issues with their ISP's DNS servers. Each time I move them to Google to resolve the issue.

I have it set as the default DNS servers to use in my home router, and another computer lab that I maintain at work.

it also helps google tie your habbits to your ip when you login to there other services. im sure that was the real reason they did it.

ShiZZa said,
it also helps google tie your habbits to your ip when you login to there other services. im sure that was the real reason they did it.

This, also only reason why they even got a browser. Only to track the user more and more
People are so gullible to believe everything Google tells them And Google is 'good' the only thing you have to do to use their services, is give them your entire privacy.

Shadowzz said,

This, also only reason why they even got a browser. Only to track the user more and more
People are so gullible to believe everything Google tells them And Google is 'good' the only thing you have to do to use their services, is give them your entire privacy.

What separates Google from most other people is that Google is very upfront about their data collection policies. You think other companies don't track your every move, or at least try to?

subcld said,
i use OpenDNS sometimes when there is a problem solving domain names
I use OpenDNS. I really only use it because Verizon FiOS hijacks DNS misses for a "search" page loaded with some advertisting.

I'd use Google DNS, but paranoia keeps me away. They already have enough of my usage details.

It comes down to latency of connecting to the DNS server and the time taken for the request to be fulfilled. I may have a lower latency connection to my local DNS server but it takes longer to give me a response then Google or OpenDNS.

timmmay said,
It comes down to latency of connecting to the DNS server and the time taken for the request to be fulfilled. I may have a lower latency connection to my local DNS server but it takes longer to give me a response then Google or OpenDNS.

Sorry could you explain this a bit? Basically you are saying Google DNS are processing DNS query at much faster rate?

iwod said,
Sorry could you explain this a bit? Basically you are saying Google DNS are processing DNS query at much faster rate?
Correct.

He is saying that the time, t, is x + y + z, where x is the time to query any DNS server, and y is the time spent processing the request, and z is the time spent returning. The variable, t, is the only one that matters. So just because one may have a lower latency does not automatically mean that it wins. Similarly, just because the servers are really fast does not mean that it wins.

All this about latency up/down - I don't know how many new domains you access daily, but I can bet you that most of your addresses are cached by your OS and/or router, So the latency is not that important at this stage. My main concern is the damn "search assist".

There is nothing particularly good about Google Public DNS, it is just that the address is easier to remember, so it is much easier to enter the Google DNS when an IT tech needs to configure a DNS server than to look up the ISP setting. Some ISPs also hijack the DNS with "SearchAssist" (Which should really be called "SpamAssist") and finding the non-hijacked DNS servers from the ISP takes too much time. Using the Google DNS, particularly if you are not in the United States (where the DNS server is based) is not the best practice, as a DNS server hosted in the local region would give much quicker results, but it does save in config time.

Simon- said,
There is nothing particularly good about Google Public DNS, it is just that the address is easier to remember, so it is much easier to enter the Google DNS when an IT tech needs to configure a DNS server than to look up the ISP setting. Some ISPs also hijack the DNS with "SearchAssist" (Which should really be called "SpamAssist") and finding the non-hijacked DNS servers from the ISP takes too much time. Using the Google DNS, particularly if you are not in the United States (where the DNS server is based) is not the best practice, as a DNS server hosted in the local region would give much quicker results, but it does save in config time.

This.

The best DNS I can use afaik is the one Telekom Germany provides me with.
And yes, it's speedy as hell, so no problems here.

GS:mac

Simon- said,
Using the Google DNS, particularly if you are not in the United States (where the DNS server is based) is not the best practice, as a DNS server hosted in the local region would give much quicker results, but it does save in config time.

Derp.... they are seeded everywhere not just servers in the USA....

Simon- said,
There is nothing particularly good about Google Public DNS, it is just that the address is easier to remember, so it is much easier to enter the Google DNS when an IT tech needs to configure a DNS server than to look up the ISP setting. Some ISPs also hijack the DNS with "SearchAssist" (Which should really be called "SpamAssist") and finding the non-hijacked DNS servers from the ISP takes too much time. Using the Google DNS, particularly if you are not in the United States (where the DNS server is based) is not the best practice, as a DNS server hosted in the local region would give much quicker results, but it does save in config time.

The are handling 70 billion request a day and you think they only have servers in the states? (weeps)

Simon- said,
There is nothing particularly good about Google Public DNS, it is just that the address is easier to remember

Why are you saying this? Surely Google may have a completely different DNS infrastructure than a cheap ISP? You come off as sounding very sure of yourself. You do understand that DNS systems may be quite differently scaled depending on the companies behind them, and how large their DNS network is?

It still doesn't matter if Google have a DNS server multihomed to 8.8.8.8 in the same country, unless it is the same ISP also, they are not going to beat ISP performance as the ISP would have the lowest latency (since the requests need to go through the ISP anyway, it can't take LESS time to get to Google DNS).
The only way that Google can beat the ISP is if the ISP is incompetent to underprovision or misconfigure their DNS server (which is not unrealistic for a lot of ISPs).

The ISP already has a massive headstart with latency, the only thing Google can beat them on is response time. If the ISP has configured thier DNS servers correctly there is nothing to stop them from getting a similar response time to Google's DNS.

It is like an Apple Bobbing race but with the ISP having a huge handicap. Google starts 100m back and the ISP starts 10m from the water tub. The first to run to the water tub, pick up a floating Apple using only their teeth and then run 10m to get over the finish line with it is the winner.

The running component is latency, and picking up the Apple is response time. Yes I'm sure that Google still beats plenty of ISPs even when the ISP has a handicap.

I just did a DNS benchmark using Steve Gibson's tool (grc.com) and as I suspected, Google's Public DNS was thoroughly beaten by my ISP. My ISP is a fairly small player in the ISP industry as well (Exetel).
This is tested in Australia, which as per Google's announcement now has an "Access point" to the Google Public DNS service. Google even scored worse than OpenDNS in the test (but my ISP was still the clear winner ahead of both of them)

Simon- said,
There is nothing particularly good about Google Public DNS, it is just that the address is easier to remember, so it is much easier to enter the Google DNS when an IT tech needs to configure a DNS server than to look up the ISP setting.

This exactly. I set up 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 on every test system I set up, so I don't have to go look for the ISP's DNS server. I also love to use 8.8.8.8 to do ping tests; easiest IP address in the world to remember, and you can be about 100% sure that it's always up.