Double Your Internet Speed?

Ash Nallawalla

5 September 2020

SEO

No Comment

Have you seen the ads that tempt you to “double” your internet speed? I don’t know what they sell, but there are free options to try first. I remembered Steve Gibson from the early days for his SpinWrite program, so I didn’t hesitate to try out his free program DNS Benchmark – click the name for the download link.

Some articles on this subject recommend changing the DNS nameservers in your router/modem from the default ones (your ISP in most cases) to others, such as Cloudflare, which uses 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1, or Google, which uses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

What are DNS Nameservers?

Websites have human-friendly names, such as https://crm911.com; however, the internet is linked by numeric addresses, such as 104.27.163.39 (which happens to correspond with crm911.com). The number is tied to the web hosting company’s allocation of such numbers. If the website moves to another hosting provider, it would be allocated some other number. End users don’t need to know this, as they only use the human-friendly name.

Users can think of the Domain Name System (DNS) as an analogy with a telephone book, which shows names and corresponding phone numbers. When you type a website address, your internet device (router) goes to the first DNS Name Server stored in it and the request is relayed to the destination along numeric pathways. Your router has its own number, so the requested web page data is sent back to it. Your individual PC or device has yet another number known only to your router, so you get the requested page/movie/etc.

These DNS name servers might be on slow or busy machines, so it pays to find a faster “telephone book”. Enter the DNS Benchmark program. You can run it immediately if you wish, but it’s better to get the two IP addresses of your name servers from your router. Each brand has a different interface – mine looks like this:

DNS name servers in the Netgear V6510-1FXAUS

You’ll need to refer to your router manual to figure out how to reach it – it has an IP address such as 192.168.0.1 and needs a login/password that is printed under the router case. Login and stay at that screen.

Running DNS Benchmark

The program is an EXE file and runs upon double-clicking its name – no installation is needed.

First, click “Add/Remove” and add the two name server addresses found in your router. Then click “Run Benchmark”. The program takes a few minutes to run. The fastest name servers are sorted to the top of the display window. I was pleased that my default ones are the fastest by a country mile (the first two seen in the image below) as I am on a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connection to our national provider, NBN through one of many resellers, Foxtel Broadband .

As it’s a 10-year-old program now, some of the stored addresses are defunct and can be removed. You might be able to find others to add to the list.

Screenshot of DNS Benchmark program
Free tool by Steve Gibson

Another Speed Trick

First, you need to find out the channels used by neighbours nearby. I used the free Windows program WiFiInfoView by Nirsoft. It shows a lot of details about each router within range. If yours is using the same channel as used by a neighbour, even if your setting is Automatic (selection of best channel), change your channel. This will avoid interference to both of you and your speed should improve.

Wi-Fi channel settings

Good luck!

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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