Google's Name Bench Utility

By Richard Mallion
My home broadband setup is with Virgin Media and to be honest I’m really happy with the service however I have always found it to be slightly sluggish when locating web sites. Once the site was found by the browser the load/download speeds were fine but there was always that slight lag in locating the site.
Turns out I wasn’t the only person experiencing this issue. The poor response was down to Virgin’s DNS servers. Whether they are overloaded or poorly implemented I’m not sure but it was certainly distracting from my browsing experience.

In the past I would have switched to either Google’s DNS or OpenDNS for my name resolution but I came across a rather neat utility from Google called Name Bench.
Name Bench is a tool that takes your location and then hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use. The tools takes 5-10 minutes to run but when finished it presents you with a report of the DNS servers it has found, with their response time. and any issues that they may have.
After switching to the DNS servers Name Bench recommend my browsing experience is much much better.
Namebench runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX, and is available with a graphical user interface as well as a command-line interface.
You can download it for free from here