Most users are either using their ISP’s nameservers, running their own recursive nameserver (like me) or using a free alternative like OpenDNS or Google DNS.

But which is better? Enter namebench:

It hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use. namebench runs a fair and thorough benchmark using your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation. namebench is completely free and does not modify your system in any way

Written in Python, it’s a availble for Unix (source), Windows and OS X.

The program makes some recommendations and draws some pretty graphs

So, which should you use? Tests on my own server show that Google DNS, OpenDNS and UltraDNS are much faster than my own recursive server. I know it might not be wise to trust Google too much given Google CEO Erik Schmidt’s view on privacy but at least they do not hijack DNS results like OpenDNS and UltraDNS does.