November 17, 2010, 2:06 PM — It's been almost a year since Google announced its free DNS service known as Google Public DNS, promising a speedier, safer way to surf the Web and sparking concern that Google would become the dominant DNS provider for ISPs and other large network operators.
These worries appear unfounded.
Google has been quiet about its Public DNS Service since it was announced in December 2009, still referring to it as "an experimental launch" on its Web site. Google's silence has led some of its competitors to wonder aloud about whatever happened to the search giant's foray into DNS services.
"We don't compete with Google DNS," says David Ulevitch, founder and CEO of OpenDNS, a leading provider of free and paid DNS services for consumers and businesses. "Just another failed Google project maybe?...It got us some broader awareness during the announcement. Nothing negative at all. And nothing since."
"We don't really come across Google," says Richard Hyatt, cofounder and CTO of BlueCat Networks, which sells DNS appliances. "Our customers are large enterprises or government agencies. They are not outsourcing their DNS traffic at the moment...Would they ever outsource their DNS to Google? I don't think so."
Often supported by advertising, these free services handle what's called recursive DNS, which lets end users surf the Web by typing domain names into their browsers and translating them into the corresponding IP addresses.
The free services don't support external DNS, which is how a Web site publishes the latest information about its DNS and IP address changes to its customers over the Internet. Nor do they include the DNS services that companies run on their internal networks, which is an area dominated by special-purpose appliances and software.