Nearly all web surfing makes use of a DNS resolver, a computer program that takes your human-readable domain name (e.g., www.chadsnews.com) and turns it into a numeric IP address that’s understood by the routers and switches on the Internet. DNS resolvers are typically supplied by your ISP, but astute Chad’s News readers will already be aware of OpenDNS, a free DNS resolver that has advantages over the ones provided by ISPs.
Now Google is getting into the business by offering a free DNS resolver service. They say it speeds up the browsing experience, increases security, and does away with those pesky redirects to advertising pages (which my ISP, Qwest, does when it can’t find the domain name).
The downside is privacy. Here at the Chad’s News network command center, for instance, Google already knows a lot of information about us because we use gmail and the Google reader. Using the resolver would give them even more data about our web browsing habits.
If you want to do a trial of the Google resolver, there’s a Windows program called Google DNS Helper that does the switch for you and, if you don’t like it, will switch you back.