The interwebs was abuzz over the weekend as Amazon announced a new way to speed up your internet connection. It’s called Cloudflare’s 126.96.36.199 DNS servers. A simple change to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad’s network connection settings will speed up your internet connection.
Not. Lee Mathews:
On internal tests, the Cloudflare DNS performed better than Google’s. In fact, it’s currently the fastest DNS service in the world according to the performance monitoring site DNSPerf.com.
On my tests there was no way to tell the difference between Amazon’s Cloudflare or Google’s own DNS or others. So, what’s the deal?
First, a little explanation. DNS, the Domain Name System that drives the internet, is a bit geeky. When you type in a URL to visit a website– http://mac360.com/ is a good example, the domain name– mac360.com– gets transferred to a DNS server, usually the one that comes with your internet service provider, that matches the domain name to an IP address– numbers that look something like 273.45.291.82, and that takes your browser to the domain’s website.
That’s how it all works to bring websites to a browser window.
Second, the amount of time it takes for your browser to connect the domain name to the IP address is what they’re talking about and that time frame is measured in milliseconds. Sub-seconds. Slices of seconds. If you can tell the difference in sub-second performance on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, Android smartphone, or your home or office router, you’re a better man than me, Gunga Din.
We’re talking bragging rights on the order of hundredths of a second here.
Amazon’s Cloudflare and the 188.8.131.52 initiative claims it delivers performance more than four times faster than your local internet service provider– 14.8ms vs 68.23ms. Faster? Yes. Fast enough to notice? No.
Through the years I’ve used Google Public DNS, OpenDNS and others and seldom noticed a difference in speed, but speed is only part of the equation. There is reliability, quality and accuracy, total uptime, and more.
Cloudflare fares well, but if you want all the gory details check out the DNSPerf website. Again, it’s a bit geeky but what you’ll notice is that the top dawgs all are good. Over the past 30 days, Cloudflare is tops in Raw Performance and Resolver Simulation, but not by much. Uptime for all the top DNS services is 100-percent, and Cloudflare ties for top Quality.
Good? Yes. Free? Yes. Easy to add to your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or whatever other device? Yes. Does it matter? Not so much.
184.108.40.206 shows you how to add Cloudflare’s new DNS service to your device. Drop me a note if you can tell the difference between what you’re using now and how much improvement you experience with Cloudflare.