Google's DNS and Cloudflare's DNS: Which is the Fastest DNS?

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Catherine Le Nevez

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You don't have to stick to your ISP's DNS, you know. Switching to Google or Cloudflare might be faster, but which one is best?

If you are a fanatic, you are probably familiar with DNS. A good DNS provider can have a big impact on your internet connection speed and browsing experience.

There are a number of DNS service providers out there, each claiming to be the fastest. And while most users stick to the default ISP option, others prefer to use Google DNS or Cloudflare DNS on their devices. So, let's take a look at which DNS is the faster of the two and which DNS provider respects your privacy the most.

What is DNS?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the Internet directory service. When you click on a link or type a URL into your browser, your device must search for the website address on the Internet. This is where DNS comes into play. Put simply, a DNS is a network protocol that connects you to websites by linking human-readable domain names with the server's unique identifying address.

Google DNS and Cloudflare DNS

As a matter of fact, any website or link you visit in your browser, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) keeps track of this. In some cases, they may even sell that information to advertisers. This is why using a private DNS has become so important. Fortunately, both Google's public DNS ( and Cloudflare DNS ( offer reliable latency and DNS optimizations to a global audience.

However, when it comes to choosing the best DNS service, Cloudflare outperforms Google in some cases.

Let's see how these two well-known DNS providers fare in a head-to-head comparison of significant factors.

Basic functionality

Both DNS providers are popular options around the world. Cloudflare is primarily preferred for its easy-to-use protocols and privacy-focused measures. However, Google DNS is preferred by many because it is supported by Google, which means it is safe and easy to use.

However, it's no secret that Google isn't the best option if you value your privacy. Another downside is that if you use Google's public DNS, you don't get a DNS filtering feature.

DNS filtering is a solution to prevent spam emails from being sent from known malicious IP addresses. Cloudflare, thankfully, supports DNS filtering as well as browser isolation and other features that ensure the security of internal users.

Another good thing about Cloudflare is that its DNS service is also available for Tor clients, which is like icing on the cake. The Tor network and the Tor browser provide much greater anonymity online, ensuring greater privacy when browsing the Internet. Another reason to choose Cloudflare is that it offers dedicated apps and software that you can download from the version and configure additional settings for Android, iOS, Windows or even a Mac.

Privacy and security

As with smart devices, DNS is prone to various online attacks that can redirect users to malicious websites. Consequently, it is very important to choose safe DNS providers to protect yourself from malicious attacks.

  • To protect your privacy, Cloudflare's DNS overrides your ISP's DNS and encrypts every request sent from your device so it can't be read by anyone else.
  • On the other hand, Google's public DNS supports protection from DNS-over-HTTPS, DNS-over-TLS, DNSSEC, and DoS attacks. However, you should take note that Google is an advertising company and its most valuable asset is its users' data.

Google retains the IP address data of the query for 24-48 hours for performance and security reasons, but the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and location information is permanently stored on Google's servers.

On the other hand, Cloudflare only keeps a small amount of transaction and debug log data for 25 hours for doing legitimate searches. So, if you are a privacy-interested user, the best alternative for you is Cloudflare

Speed ​​and performance

In terms of speed, Google Public DNS outperforms Cloudflare. This is due to several factors, including global coverage, multiple servers, and a shared cache. Most of the time, DNS lookups create a bottleneck, slowing down browsing. Thankfully, Google has taken several steps to improve DNS lookup times.

This is not to say that Cloudflare isn't fast or performs poorly. Cloudflare's DNS servers are hosted in data centers around the world and users are sent to the data center closest to them.

In general, you can use Google DNS to avoid pressure on your ISP's DNS servers. Using its global data center and cache infrastructure, it can serve many users without having to seek help from other DNS resolvers.

On top of that, it uses large Google-scale caches and balances internet traffic so that it can answer a large number of queries from the cache.

Global connectivity and latency

When it comes to global connectivity and coverage, both Google and Cloudflare have servers in over 250 cities around the world, enabling lightning-fast queries for most domains. Furthermore, was also named the fastest DNS service by a well-known independent service called DNSPerf.

Now, when it comes to latency, it depends on geographies. If you are in a region with many data centers, the latency will be much lower than in regions with fewer. We recommend that you check the. Don't forget to change the location in your country for better and more accurate results.

Reliability and uptime

There is no doubt that Cloudflare can deliver high quality performance. But, in terms of reliability, Google's DNS leads the way thanks to its best and most advanced data server network in the world.

Another factor that adds a point in Google's favor is that it uses anycast routing. This means that when you visit a website, DNS connects you to a nearby server and routes your IP address to that server. It ensures you a smooth web browsing experience.

While Google's public DNS servers work efficiently, Cloudflare slightly outperforms Google in terms of uptime. Put simply, DNS uptime shows how active a DNS server is.

With everything in mind, if you are looking for a reliable DNS service that will never let you down, try Google DNS. However, if you are looking for a quality DNS service provider (that respects your privacy), Cloudflare is a better option due to its excellent uptime history.

Google DNS and Cloudflare: which one to choose?

Google and Cloudflare are both leading DNS service providers with a host of useful features.

If you value your privacy and want to be one step ahead of the competition, Cloudflare DNS ( is, in our opinion, the best option. On the other hand, if you are looking for a faster DNS provider, but at the expense of some data collection, you may prefer to use Google's public DNS (

However, before deciding, you should perform some benchmarking to determine the best DNS for you, as other aspects such as location and availability play a significant role.

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