Google Public DNS prevails as the world's largest service

With more than 70 billion DNS requests each day, the search engine's public DNS service is now the most used on earth.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Handling more than 70 billion domain name system (DNS) requests each day, Google is now the largest public DNS service on earth, the Web giant announced today.

"We launched Google Public DNS in December 2009 to help make the web faster for everyone," software engineer for Google Public DNS Jeremy K. Chen said in a statement. "Today, we're no longer an experimental service."

According to Chen, the way DNS works is it acts like the phone book of the Internet. "If you had to look up hundreds or thousands of phone numbers every day," he said, "you'd want a directory that was fast, secure and correct."

When Google launched its own DNS service in 2009, its goal was to speed up the Internet by examining the role of servers. After ironing out the kinks and growing exponentially over the past couple of years, the search engine now boasts strong traffic not only in the U.S., but also in South America, Europe, and Asia.

Part of Google's effort in making its DNS service work more smoothly was to work with Web hosts, known as content distribution networks or CDNs, which have servers all over the world. The company then came up with a way to pass information to CDNs so users would be sent to nearby servers rather than faraway, which speeds Internet service.

"We've also added entirely new access points to parts of the world where we previously didn't have Google Public DNS servers," Chen said, "including Australia, India, Japan and Nigeria."

Other free public DNS services include Level 3, Open DNS, DNS Advantage, and Open NIC.