Posted by: Odzangba | February 21, 2010

Optimize Your Internet Speed With Namebench DNS Benchmarking Tool

DNS Crash Course
The Domain Name System (DNS) resolves domain names like into a series of digits ( that computers can understand. Your browser typically hands over website names to a DNS server and receives IP Addresses in return. Most Internet Service Providers provide a DNS server for their customers to help speed up browsing and downloads.

In Comes Namebench
Namebench is a DNS benchmarking application available for the Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It uses either your web browser’s history or a standardized test data set to find out which DNS service returns the fastest results for your location.

Installing Namebench
Download and run Namebench from the Google Code repository here.

Ubuntu Users
The people at GetDeb have packaged a deb for Namebench. You can add their repository here.

Using Namebench
Close all internet-aware applications before you start Namebench. We don’t want those applications competing with Namebench for your bandwidth and distorting the results. Launch Namebench (Internet –> namebench for Ubuntu users.) You’ll see an interface like this:

Namebench Application Window

The Nameservers are the DNS servers you are currently using. You can add other nameservers to this list (separate them with a comma or space.) The default settings are usually okay for most people so just click Start Benchmark. Google has a more detailed explanation of the settings here. The test takes 10 – 20 minutes so you can take a sandwich break or something. 🙂

Nambench Results
After the test completes, your web browser starts up to show you the results.

Namebench Results
As you can see, my primary DNS server’s performance is pretty sweet. That’s to be expected though… it’s a local server so some cached queries must have been involved. On the right, Namebench recommends the optimum nameserver setup for my machine. It seems I’ll have to switch my fall-back namservers from OpenDNS to one in the Netherlands and another in Kenya.

This table shows the DNS servers that were used in the test, resonse times, notes and errors if any. I’ve got some tweaking to do, it seems.

Moving on…

Average and Fastest Responses

This graph shows the average and fastest response times for the top 10 nameservers.

Response Distribution Chart (First 200ms)

This one shows the percentage of times a response was received from a server within the first 200 milliseconds.

Response Distribution Chart (Full)
This last graph shows the percentage of times a response was received from a server for the entire test duration.

Making Changes
There’s a great article here on how to change your DNS servers in Ubuntu. Use the fastest servers from your Namebench test. Windows and Mac users can take a look here to learn how to change DNS settings. Have fun. 🙂


  1. man o man o,
    how u doing ??
    been sometime ..
    like the article.tried namebench but it was taking soo long i just had to abort and get back on the net

  2. how about gap (distance) the DNS & I’net user?

  3. […] Optimize Your Internet Speed With Namebench DNS Benchmarking Tool … – Posted in Linux, Software, Ubuntu | Tags: browser, dns, faster browsing, fastest dns, Linux, mac, namebench, public dns, test, Ubuntu, windows. « How To Free Reserved Space On EXT4 Partitions … […]

  4. […] one (DNS Benchmark), but its a windows program that runs under wine. Alternatively, you could try this (namebench). […]

  5. thats an interesting tool….thnks for sharing …..ive been using to test my internet connection speed, its an online free tool to get information about speed test , ip information and isp details as well

  6. hi bro.
    this is very interesting. i’ll try it right away. we need some additional speed, U KNOW? lol

  7. I personally had been searching for techniques for my blog site and came across
    your own posting, “Optimize Your Internet Speed With Namebench DNS Benchmarking Tool
    Odzangba Kafui Dake”, do you really mind in cases where I actually utilize
    a few of your tips? Thanks -Windy

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