12/23/2004

Web Surfing and DNS Lookup Delays?

Lately I've noticed an 8-10 second delay in getting to websites, during which time my Opera browser reports that it is doing a DNS lookup. I mentioned this unusual behavior to our computer network person, who verified that he too was experiencing this DNS lookup delay. We have somewhat similar network setups, perhaps, but different broadband ISPs.

Now, I recently registered three domain names and pointed them to web hosting accounts; the length of time it took for the domain names to go live varied from 10 minutes to 24 hours, which is far faster than in the past.

The "DNS lookup delay" was unusual — and persistent — enough that I mentioned it to Ron Carnell who surmised that perhaps the increased speed of domains going live was affecting surfing speed, since ISPs need first to cache the new DNS information (for domains just going live) and yet may have limited cache storage.

DNS Domain Name Server
DNS DNS

This makes sense; if one's browser must initiate a call to a domain name server to look up the IP address of somesite.com, and if the ISP caches that data based upon how often that site is visited, the request for the page and actually arriving there should be pretty fast. If, however, the ISP's efforts in this regard and its facilities have been sidetracked into ensuring that domains go live right this second, I'd say that this is probably not the best use of ISPs' resources or our time.

After all, we do far more surfing than domain name buying, is it not so?

I'd be curious to know whether any of you are experiencing this phenomon.

One Comment to "Web Surfing and DNS Lookup Delays?"

  1. DianeV says:

    Solution found:

    Turns out it was the Synchronous DNS I'd selected in Opera, which I've since deselected.

    After all, what point is a 5MB download cable connection if you insist on a 10-second DNS lookup?

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