Is Cloudflare DNS really faster than Google DNS? (December 2021)
Both Cloudflare and Google offer their own publicly accessible DNS resolution service. By simply updating your DNS servers, you can benefit from fast and reliable DNS resolution, with “fast” being a core part of the offering.
But, which is quicker, specifically for UK users? Cloudflare claim it’s them – and they back their claims up by reporting the results from a third-party DNS monitoring service (DNSPerf).
We already monitor both Google DNS and Cloudflare DNS on the deeserve IT monitoring platform to ensure our own domains and client domains are all resolving correctly – we even make sure the response is what we we expect (if a DNS record updates, and it’s not expected, our engineers will get alerted). So, we decided to use our data to find out what it’d be like in the “real world” for UK users of the services.
How we tested it
We queried 220.127.116.11 (Cloudflare) and 18.104.22.168 (Google) every minute of every day.
We used only data from December 2021 for the results in this blog post.
We used an hourly average to generate the graphs below.
We make requests from two UK data centres – one in Manchester (Turing House) and one in London (Global Switch 2).
We make a simple “A record” lookup of “www.deeserve.co.uk” and log the response time.
Average response time from 22.214.171.124 (Cloudflare): 5ms.
Average response time from 126.96.36.199 (Google): 7ms.
Average response time from 188.8.131.52 (Cloudflare): 8ms.
Average response time from 184.108.40.206 (Google): 10ms.
The interesting thing is that the average difference is 2ms across both locations – pretty solid. Also, it seems, Google DNS had a bit of a patch during the middle of December (9th – 17th) where response times were consistently higher that would have affected the overall average. You can see this quite clearly on the graphs below… but… averages are averages, so the results remain! Maybe Google will win if we refresh these results for a month in the future?
Our December 2021 DNS Resolution Service Winner: Cloudflare!
Google DNS from London
Cloudflare DNS from London
Google DNS from Manchester
Cloudflare DNS from Manchester
Disclaimer: These results are how we found both services to perform during December 2021. Of course, there are lots of factors which go in to this, so your own mileage may vary.
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