Slow Internet performance can be a result of slow Domain Name Service (DNS) servers.
One of the most common employee complaints is “The Internet is too slow, how can I do my work with such a slow Internet?” This Small Business Computing article, “Boost Internet Speed with Faster DNS,” by Carla Schroder looks at one common reason for slow Internet performance: slow Domain Name Service (DNS) servers.
Tips to Boost Internet Speed with Faster DNS
You will need to know what DNS servers you are already using, and then you must to be able to change your configuration to use different servers. (Or know who to call to do it.) And of course, you need to do this at a time when it’s not going to cause disruptions for other users.
Types of DNS Servers
Broadly speaking, there are two types of name servers: authoritative servers, and caching resolvers. We want to find the best-performing caching resolvers. Authoritative DNS servers are used only by people running public servers, like mail and Web servers. You can think of these as the original, authoritative address books so that users can find their sites.
Caching resolvers are freely-distributed copies of these original address books, because having multiple copies everywhere is a lot faster and more reliable than relying only on the original authoritative name servers. Caching resolvers update themselves automatically when the authoritative records change. It’s an efficient system that powers all online services — email, Web surfing, online shopping, streaming media, everything.
There are many times more caching resolvers than authoritative DNS servers. The Windows and Mac OS X operating systems have built-in caching resolvers, so when you use a Mac or a Windows PC to Web-surf you are using a caching resolver. Your Internet service provider maintains its own caching resolvers, and these are the name servers that most people use when they configure their Internet accounts.
DNS is so important that we are advised to have at least two configured in case one fails. Even better is to use three at three different and geographically-separated providers, and that is what we will do.
This article was originally published on October 13, 2011