Q&A: Faster browsing with your own DNS?

Q A friend tells me that I can speed up browsing by running my own Name Server, which saves Safari from having to look up addresses on remote servers. Is this correct?

A When Safari wants to load a web page, the initial step is for your Mac to check the IP address for the web server, using the Domain Name (DNS) Server set in your Network pane. The first time that your Mac tries to access a site, the IP address has to be obtained from that DNS server, but later accesses can use cached information stored by the browser, and in some models of router. It is therefore often worth putting your router’s IP address as the first DNS Server.

Running your own DNS server is feasible, as the standard BIND is shipped as part of OS X, and OS X Server provides an easier front-end to configure it. However it is not a trivial matter to set the service up, and it has its own overheads incurred in maintaining its data. It is also unlikely to make much difference to the total time required to load each page.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 26 issue 10, 2010.