Friday, February 16, 2007

Tip to enable faster surfing on broadband connections

Most of the DNS servers associated with our ISPs are congested and slow these days. They provide replies to domain queries real slow, which in turn slows down the whole surfing experience.

When you try to connect to a server on the internet, lets say via your browser, the following things take place:

  1. You enter in the address bar of your browser and presses ENTER.
  2. The browser asks for the IP address of to the Operating System (OS).
  3. The underlying operating system, say Windows, not having the translated IP of the requested domain, prepares and sends a DNS request to your ISP's DNS server with the name and waits for the response.
  4. The domain name server on the ISP's part looks up in its tables and provides the translated IP back to us. If the domain name translation is not found in its table, the DNS server forwards the request to another higher level one.
  5. Once received the IP translation for, the operating system caches it for future uses on the same day, and fulfils the request of the browser.
  6. The browser now has the IP to connect to, and it connects and fetches the page.

The delay in DNS resolution occurs in step 4. If the ISP's DNS server is congested with requests, it could either delay the resolution process or even discard the request. The operating system would try a few more times before giving up. Also, if the domain name is not found in your ISP's DNS table, you're likely to get a domain not found message.

The solution to this problem is easy. Use a better DNS server pair -- OpenDNS is the answer! Try these instead of your ISP's DNS servers. You can change it either in the TCP/IP properties of your ethernet card, or inside your router control panel.

Primary DNS Server:
Secondary DNS Server:

If you dont know what these numbers mean or if you need help setting these up, try the following links.

For Windows users, click here
For Linux/Unix users, click here.
Finally, for Mac, which you're unlikely to be on (I've never seen a Mac accessing this blog site, yet!), click here.

If you would like to setup your router, goto this page, select your router and follow the instructions.

Mobile users can also use it to get faster DNS responses; click here to goto mobile section.

Technical facts

These DNS servers belong to a project namely OpenDNS. Safer, Faster and Smarter. You can visit them at

Quoting from their site,

OpenDNS is a better DNS, free to all. OpenDNS uses its distributed network of DNS servers to speed up your Internet experience, increase reliability, improve security and make DNS smarter for users all over the world.

OpenDNS has the following addon advantages, over traditional DNS.
  • Its free and it requires no software installation or complicated setup.
  • It warns you before accessing malicious websites, phishing and scams.
  • Its faster than similar services. First, it runs a really big, smart cache. Second, it runs a high-performance network which is geographically distributed (see network map) and serviced by several redundant connections. It responds to your query from the nearest location.
  • It fixes typos in the URLs you enter. For example, if you're using craigslist.og will lead directly to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How is the BSNL broadband speeds these days. Are you happy with your 2mbps connections?