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!
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 “220.127.116.11“. 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
Phone Number/IP Address
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
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.
After 5 pre and post tests I’ve seen a sustained internet speed increase. You can see my aggregate results below.
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!