DNS services are crucial to Internet browsing, but many users are unaware that they could potentially improve their online experience by tweaking a few DNS settings.
The DNS (Domain Name System) is essentially the phonebook of the Internet and is used to translate standard domain names like “https://www.mybroadband.co.za” to IP addresses.
Web browsers navigate through IP addresses and therefore require these domain names to be translated before navigation to a web page takes place.
This is accomplished by DNS recursive resolvers, which look through domain names one layer at a time until they find the relevant IP address stored on a connected server.
The resolvers then communicate with authoritative DNS providers to retrieve the full IP address for the domain name entered and return it to the browser.
This process can take time (measured in milliseconds) depending on user location, root server set-up, and DNS resolver configuration.
The time taken for a domain name to be resolved to an IP address is known as latency, and can have a notable impact on browser performance in some cases.
If you have left your Internet connection settings in their default configuration, you are probably using a configuration managed by your ISP.
However, there are a number of other DNS services which you can use that provide better latency and privacy compared to your ISP’s system.
Changing to a different DNS service can be done by accessing network settings on your device – but which DNS service should you connect to for the best user experience?
The answer to this lies in the latency of the DNS service, as this has a direct impact on web page load times.
According to data from DNSPerf, Cloudflare’s new 188.8.131.52 DNS service offers the fastest query speed out of any DNS service.
Cloudflare’s DNS resolver offers DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPs, offering increased privacy for Internet users, too.
Additionally, the 184.108.40.206 system does not store any querying IP addresses on a hard drive and wipes all logs within 24 hours.
The top 10 DNS services ranked by query speed across Africa and the world are shown below. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)