a bar chart showing the number of internet users in each country

3 reasons to switch to DNS

Earlier this year CloudFlare announced a new free public DNS service –

DNS is at the heart of the internet – it’s the phone book of the internet, making the connection between the names we use to access websites and the IP addresses servers use.

Normally people would use the DNS ran by their ISP. But you don’t have to and there’s plenty of reasons to switch.

1 – Speed

CloudFlare knows speed, infact, the specialise in it!

For almost ten years ClareFlare has operated a CDN-like service. Giving websites increased speed security.

To do this they run a large network of fast servers distributed all around the world – the DNS service uses this network – according to their own metrics it’s 27% faster than the best alternative.

Fast DNS won’t fix Netflix loading or boost your gaming lag – but it will improve the first time your computer connects to a website.

I’m doubtful this would be a noticable difference between Cisco OpenDNS and Google Public DNS – but personally feel it’s faster than my ISP’s DNS.

2 – Privacy

The internet is becoming increasingly creepy – not nesecarily because what’s on it, but all the different eyes watching what you do.

Governments want to monitor, track and log your usage and advertisers want to “know you better” (aka sell a “profile” of you for targetted advertising).

The theme here is BIG DATA.

The more you distribute your information, the less connections, the harder it is to put together a picture of you. Which alone is great reason to NOT use Google’s DNS server or your ISP’s. is a privacy first service – they don’t log your IP address and don’t sell your usage to advertisers.

They do log a limited set of technical data which they share with their partner APNIC – but none of it is personally identifiable

3 – Accurate

As a web developer and server administrator I’m familiar with the delays caused by DNS propigation.

This typically happens when moving a website to a different server – the number changes but it can take up to 24 hours for some DNS servers to see the change. Resulting some users connecting to the old server.

Using I’ve found this to be massively quicker than my ISP’s

This sounds great – how do I switch

The official website has instructions for various ways to start using the DNS service.

I recommend the router option, although it is slightly more technical.