The Washington Post

Google, OpenDNS team up to speed up the Internet


In an effort called the Global Internet Speedup Initiative, the companies have agreed to tweak the way they route network traffic to shorten the distance between the user and the servers that contain the information they are trying to access. They are asking other Web services companies to join their voluntary effort.

“Google is committed to making the Internet faster — not just for our users, but for everyone,” said Dave Presotto, a “distinguished engineer” at Google, in a release. “We will do that any way we can, by improving protocols, browsers, client software, and networks.”

How does it work? It’s pretty technical stuff, but the way OpenDNS CEO David Ulevitch described it over the phone Monday, when users try to get videos or photos or any other Web content, their requests are routed to the domain name server hosting the requested site.

Well that doesn’t make much sense if you are in Singapore and getting routed to a server in Silicon Valley. Why not signal to domain name services and content delivery networks such as BitGravity and CDNetworks that the user is in Singapore and that a server containing the information she wants to access is also in nearby Seoul? That information can be accessed faster than traveling across the globe. So the standard they came up with will allow for those shortcuts.

Immediately, the new code will affect 30 million OpenDNS and Google Public DNS service users.

“The joint initiative announced today solves the problem by enabling CDNs to make more intelligent routing decisions based on the approximate location of a user rather than just the location of the user’s OpenDNS or Google Public DNS server,” OpenDNS said in a release.

How much faster will this make your experience?

Ulevitch said “significantly,” but he wasn’t specific, saying the effort is new and will need to be tested.

“The initiative we’ve partnered on is based on open standards that any other network can adopt, making this technology available to anyone,” he said in a release.

You can check out the initiative here .

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.



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