Google’s NameBench Helps Speed Up Your Internet For Free

Google Namebench

Google’s NameBench is a free program that anyone who frequents the internet should check out. It’s quick, easy to use, and gives you a chance to increase your internet speed in about 5 minutes. Don’t be intimidated if you’re unfamiliar with a few of the terms below. Take a few minutes and I’ll simplify why you should be taking advantage of this and getting the most of your internet connection.

NameBench works by actively searching out and comparing DNS servers near your area. Once complete it provides a list of alternatives as well as a percentage rate of how that server would affect your internet speed. To some it may sound complicated, but it’s really simple once you understand what a DNS server is!

Google Namebench

What Is A DNS? (Skip this section if you fully understand DNS Servers)

We’ll start with a simplified explanation of a DNS server (there is more to it than this, but it’s all you need to know for now). A DNS is easy to understand when you compare it to the contacts list in your phone. Let’s say your friend Donnie’s cell number is 867-5309. When you want to look up his contact you’re going to search for “Donnie”, rather than typing in his phone number. A DNS is very similar, where the name “Donnie” actually means “867-5309”, a DNS of “BestStuff.com” actually means “192.163.192.162“. So, just the same as typing “Donnie” in your phone would input his phone number, typing in “BestStuff.com” is the same as inputting our IP address.

Here’s a simplified chart for clarification

Contact Name/DNS

Phone Number/IP Address

Donnie

867-5309

BestStuff.com

192.163.192.162

It’s important to know that you connect to the internet through a DNS server (think of it like your own cell phone number, but shared with other people). Much like the cell phone analogy, some DNS servers are “better”, or faster than others. It only makes sense to find the fastest DNS available and connect to the internet through it!

How To Test For Yourself

1. Test your current internet speed with Ookla Internet Speed Test

2. Download Google NameBench

3. Extract and run the program. You will see a results page similar to the picture below. This explains which DNS servers are available in your area as well as a percentage of speed you would gain or lose if you connected through it.

4. If you see a DNS server that would present a speed increase, copy the DNS code and connect to it through the instructions below. (Please note I’m using windows 7, this process may differ based on your operating system, but it should be fairly easy)

     a. Open your “Network And Sharing Center” and click “change adapter settings” (left hand tab)

     b. Double click your active internet connection, whether it’s direct line or wifi and select “properties”

    c. Double click “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

    d. DNS setting are at the bottom, click “Use the following DNS server addresses” and input your primary and secondary DNS addresses (make sure to save/ok changes)

5. Run another Ookla Internet Speed Test to see if you gained or lost internet speed.

My Results

After 5 pre and post tests I’ve seen a sustained internet speed increase. You can see my aggregate results below.

BestStuff_NameBench_Internet_Speed_Comparison

 

I’ll admit the results aren’t revolutionary, but my internet speed did increase.  I’ve seen varying results throughout the internet where some users gained up to a 60% increase and others didn’t have a better DNS alternative. The results are going to be completely unique based on your location (and a few other factors), but I’m always up for getting the most for your money so it’s definitely worth a quick test!

I would love to hear back if you have personal experience (good or bad) with Google’s NameBench. Let me know in the comments below what you think!

 

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9 Comments on "Google’s NameBench Helps Speed Up Your Internet For Free"

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  1. sandra morrison says:

    ran the speedtest and found my download very slow 1.22-1.3 although the pings quite high 759-799 Downloading the benchmark was the problem. My ISP was intercepting and redirecting all outgoing DNS requests so I can’t benchmark alt. DNS servers. I don’t know how to adjust my router configuration as none showed up in my network center. Any ideas?

    • Matthew Nance says:

      That’s a tough one Sandra, if your ISP is in fact blocking/redirecting outgoing requests it’s a practice that is VERY frowned upon. In most scenarios like this, the ISP is partnered with another company to allow the delivery of pop up ads or coupons. It’s also a tactic for making money through affiliate links (companies like Amazon pay a referral fee if a visitor places an order through their link).

      The other possibility is that you’re ping is too high to properly gauge (could be lots of traffic at this time). I would test again later on and see if you get the same results. If you’re still getting a DNS redirect I would recommend asking your ISP as to why you’re getting that message.

      Absolutely hate that for you, hopefully it’s only a temporary issue!

  2. ProzZ says:

    Sorry but if you tell me please where it says ” Your Location ” None comes to me … I mean no location . Answer me please let me not find the location Whyyy !! ???

    • Matthew Nance says:

      Hah!

      I’ve never seen that before! My best guess is some sort of firewall/VPN is blocking a connection.

    • Mark E says:

      Hi,
      In response to ProzZ; the ‘Your Location’ box on the namebench interface is unused according to Google’s application help – just ignore it :-)
      HTH,
      Mark

  3. Mark E says:

    Just tried this, here’s a few random comments:
    1. Looks like a nice basic application to automate a nasty task.
    2. As it is created by one of the DNS providers I fear the potential for bias.
    3. Application takes much longer than 5 minutes (30 mins in my case). In an attempt to make it faster I chose 20 queries (from 250) but no improvement. When the report was (eventually) produced it told me that 50 was the minimum.
    4. Related to this, the app shows that it is working, but there is no information on how much more there is to go.
    5. App crashes if closed during operation.

    Having said all that, the report is nice, and there doesn’tseem to be anything else like it, so reluctantly I’ll probably use it again.

    By the way; I’d love to get 48Mb down, 11Mb up (my speeds are 4Mb down, 400k up; ie typical ‘broadband’ for the UK). Perhaps this is why it runs so slowly.

    Ta,
    Mark

  4. Mike S says:

    I have a modem-router combo unit, I entered the primary and secondary DNS servers there and left my NIC DNS pointing to the router. What do you think of that config?

  5. Haz says:

    It’s been 3 hours and namebench hasn’t completed. What do I do?

    Any help?

  6. ___JMM___ says:

    Namebench was not developed by google, it was an open source project hosted by google.

    Faster DNS does not equal faster downloads, so the increase was just a coincidence. Using the phone contact list example… How often do you need to look up Donnie’s phone number while you’re already talking to him? You don’t. Once you make the initial connection, DNS’s work is done (at least in the context of a download).

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