Google Public DNS was announced today, an alternative for Web users to DNS, or the Domain Name System. The Domain Name System connects an Internet-enabled device to a requested Web site by associating domain names - alphanumeric-based URLs (atelier-us.com) - with its corresponding IP address (188.8.131.52). This system makes it possible to name sites in a way that is meaningful to humans, and allows computers to access the servers that store the needed information. Google is acting upon the principle that Internet users prioritize speed, a factor that plays into the hundreds of DNS lookups that occur each day for the average user. This slows down the browsing experience, which according to Google can be avoided by using their own public DNS resolver which uses the data that Google Search collects from its own Web crawling and caching.
As clarified on Google Code, the basic goals of this alternative system are better speed, as mentioned above, as well as increased security and better performance. Also, this service will perform many of the DNS lookups previously performed by Internet Service Providers, so it hopes to reduce the load on DNS servers of ISPs.
These promises are similar to those that were promised by Chrome, the Google browser that was released last year. Specifically, security has been singled out as a DNS-related threat at "impending doom" level. DNS was created without the foresight that it would bear the burden of a worldwide, flourishing Internet that we know well today, but did not fully anticipate at its inception. Google has implemented measures to prevent denial-of-service attacks and other DNS exploits.
While some sort of update of the DNS is necessary (OpenDNS an exception), Google Public DNS gets mixed reviews. Since even more data will pass through Google's servers with every user-entered URL request, the availability of user-data collection will increase dramatically. But the company says that IP address collection will be temporary.