Where in my network should I set DNS servers for the best performance?

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Problem :

I have a DSL modem, a router, and a Windows machine. Each piece of equipment can set the DNS server IP addresses or be set to automatic. Where/how should the DNS servers be set for best performance?

Solution :

For best flexibility I’d vote for the router. He’s that part of your equipment that sees both worlds: The Internet and your “Intranet”. This way you don’t have to worry if you connect further devices in your network (maybe a tablet PC, a smartphone or a second computer – maybe a friend will eventually come to your place with his Laptop).

Also most routers offer to manage a host list of your devices connected to the private network, so you don’t have to maintain a hosts file on each device seperately.

Generally you shouldn’t worry about performance when it comes to a private DNS caching server – what you should worry about is availability – which device is reachable by all my equipment and which device is most unlikely to be turned off when I want to connect to the Internet?

Performance issues come to mind if several hundred clients have to be served.

The DSL modem should grab the DNS settings for you. Then have the router just hand those settings out. On such a small network, there will be no difference.

Use Google’s Nameservers!

8.8.4.4
8.8.8.8

They are distributed all over the world (BGP Anycast) and are uncensored and fast!

DE => ;; Query time: 58 msec
GB => ;; Query time: 44 msec
JP => ;; Query time: 49 msec

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