Here’s a quick tip how to speed up your connection. It might work for you; it certainly works for us.
The main bottleneck on our ISP is the name-servers that they use. These are the computers which turn google.com into a number (126.96.36.199, in this case) which can used to route to the correct machine on the Internet. Unless you computer already has that number cached (ie, you’ve been to google.com recently), the name-server gets hit, every single time. If you go to a page containing content from a lot of different locations – your average blog page, for example – then a load of the page delay may be because of all the queries made to the name-servers to pick up all those server addresses.
With me so far? Good.
One solution is to use different name-servers. There are others – we can use a local caching name-server, for example – but here’s a solution that works for everyone.
OpenDNS is free, and gives a fast distributed DNS service. As they say:
- 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.
You don’t need to register, login or any of that usual crap associated with the ‘net either. Just change your name-server settings to the ones provided by OpenDNS on this page and you’re done.
How this is done depends entirely on your own setup. In our case I logged into the DSL router using my web browser and clicked on System->DNS and entered the new numbers. It didn’t even need a reboot. You’re on your own when it comes to figuring how to add the numbers yourself, but a little exploration is well worth the gain.
I’d estimate an overall 20% speed improvement over our existing crapper DNS servers. That’s quite a hike for a few minute’s work don’t you think?