A free, easy way to make Mac browsers faster

Apple Store“A slow or outdated DNS server may result in slower web site connections. For my neighbor’s [slow browsing] Mac, I simply changed the DNS setting from the default to OpenDNS, one of a number of free global DNS servers (I also use EasyDNS, and the new Google Public DNS),” Wil Gomez reports for Mac360.

“Suddenly, Safari came alive. Web pages seemed to snap to the screen without the previous delay,” Gomez reports. “Could it be that simple? Apparently not all DNS servers are equal. After a bit of research we found a Mac utility which tracks down and tests DNS servers.”

“There are many, many DNS servers scattered over the internet. The default DNS from your internet service provider might not be the fastest one to use, depending on your location,” Gomez reports. “The utility namebench hunts down the fastest DNS server for your computer and location. It’ll take anywhere from five to 15 minutes, but when it’s done, it will list the faster DNS servers.”

More info in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Google’s namebench runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX, and is available with a graphical user interface as well as a command-line interface. More info here.


  1. I’m gonna try this and see how it goes. My Safari was hanging up last week and totally pissing me off.

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  2. For the uneducated, this is not a browser-specific issue. The results may mean faster load times for your no matter your browser. Simply put, a faster DNS server will just resolve the name to the IP and send you to that destination much quicker. Overall network traffic may therefore improve.

  3. I did this a few weeks back using Google’s DNS in Airport Utility for my Time Capsule and Airport Express, and settings for Airport in System Preferences. Although Namebench tested these servers as being much faster, I’ve really not seen much difference. Rather disappointing in my case.

  4. I have another reason to do this. For some reason, the DNS servers on my Time-Warner Cable internet don’t always find msnbc.com. I have to reload several times before it works. I hope this is an honest screwup on their part and not something more sinister.


  5. I’ve been using OpenDNS for a while. Namebench indicates its 18% faster than the next available codes. Google was way down on the list.

    For those experiencing “slowness” with Safari despite an efficient DNS code, reset Safari via the Safari Menu. If that doesn’t do the trick, trash the existing cache folder (com.apple.safari in Leopard and Snow Leopard) and web icons and history (in the User Library>Safari folder) via the Finder. Then restart Safari.

    Also, make sure all 3rd party add-ons and plug-ins are up-to-date.

    I don’t use Top Sites (cleared out/locked those folders long ago). Bloatware.

    I do use Glims (http://www.machangout.com), Safari Cookies, Click-to-Flash, and AdBlocker.

  6. Here’s one more reason to use these instead of your provider’s DNS. In my experience, both Earthlink, as well as Verizon have configured their DNS servers to provide a custom “domain not found” error page with their own advertising, link to their web properties, and a search box for their preferred search provider(s).

    So, if you by accident type “macdaylinews.com”, instead of getting the usual error page as intended (by your browser), you are re-directed to your provider’s custom one, which is annoying and insidious.

    Changing your DNS settings will avoid this.

  7. The results from running Namebench with the Mozilla setting was that my current settings were 2% faster than OpenDNS. The results from the Safari setting was that my current settings were 10% faster than OpenDNS. I’m on Comcast and went with whatever the default DNS settings in my router are.

  8. That was awesome. I had been having major slowdowns with my AT&T;service. This did the trick! 118% improvement. So simple, even I could do it. Nice!

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