Google launches free public DNS

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Google already controls my Internet searches, my e-mail, my calendar, my documents, my phone number, and my weird, lots-of-people-talking-at-once-thing. So it makes sense that the company now wants to control one of the most fundamental systems in all of Internetdom.

On Thursday, the don't-be-evilest company on the Internet unveiled Google Public DNS. DNS is a detailed subject, but the short version is this: When you tell Safari to load up, your computer first needs to figure out just what server(s) that name refers to. A Domain Name Server is like a big phone book, so that your computer can look up, and find out that it should load the Webpage hosted by the server at, say, the IP address

If you're like most people, you've probably never given your DNS a second thought; your ISP handles DNS lookups behind the scenes. But the nerdier set, along with the slower-default-DNS-servers set (and I'm a part of both) have turned to services like OpenDNS for faster, more reliable, and more customizable DNS services.

Google's foray into the world of public DNS servers could both speed up your Web browsing and protect you from potential DNS exploits. The company provides instructions for configuring OS X to use its DNS, and the whole process takes about a minute.

Paranoia about just how all-powerful Google is becoming, though—that can last for hours.

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