Google Accelerates Internet With Public DNS Service - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
04:02 PM
Connect Directly

Google Accelerates Internet With Public DNS Service

By taking on Internet traffic direction, Google aims to make the Internet more responsive while also deepening its access to valuable traffic data.

Opening up a potentially vast source of business intelligence, Google on Thursday introduced a public Domain Name Service (DNS) resolver, a service that allows Internet users to rely on Google rather than their ISP to take them to the Web sites they wish to visit.

DNS is the Internet's equivalent of a phone directory: It takes domain names, like, and translates them into associated numerical IP addresses (, in the case of to connect the client's Web browser to the Web server at that address.

Google Public DNS aims to provide improved security (in the form of resistance of cache poisoning attacks but not content blocking or filtering), better performance, and "more valid results," a reference to ISPs that filter content or use NXDOMAIN redirection to monetize mistyped domain names.

"The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading," explained Google product manager Prem Ramaswami in a blog post. "This can slow down the browsing experience. Our research has shown that speed matters to Internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users' Web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable."

Google is aware that its involvement with a core Internet protocol may prompt concerns from those already worried about the company's power. Its product documentation stresses that Google Public DNS is not a top-level domain service like what Verisign provides, is not an authoritative host for other domains or authoritative name service, and is not a filter of any kind.

In a blog post, Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility and founder of PRIVACY Forum, notes that Google has established a separate Privacy Policy for Google Public DNS that promises to delete temporary logs -- which, unlike permanent logs, contain IP addresses associated with DNS queries -- within 24 to 48 hours.

"Google has obviously recognized the sensitivity of this issue," said Weinstein. "Their separate privacy policy for the Google Public DNS strikes me as utterly reasonable, particularly given its very rapid (24-48 hours) deletion of what I would consider to be the key privacy-sensitive data."

Other experts on Internet protocols also suggest that Google's move on the whole appears to be a positive one, though they note that it is not without some potential pitfalls.

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll