Premium DNS services are not something new to the market. Up until recently I was just using the nameservers of the hosting company I use – that would be Hetzner. (shameless referral link – when you sign up you get 20$ in cloud credits and I get 10$ if you spend 10$ on cloud services)
TLDR: in my opinion, yes. Anything you can do to increase performance (and not break the bank) is a nice thing to do/have. Plus you have some extra security.
So when Namecheap made a new offer on their Premium DNS service and after reading the Kinsta blog post on why Premium DNS is no longer optional… I decided that what the hell, why not? Let’s see how good can things get!
I’ll explain some stuff later, but first the results. I tested using the DNS Speed Test over at solvedns.com.
So here are the before and after results:
So for Los Angeles, we went from ~134ms to ~11ms. That’s about 123 milliseconds improvement. I must say, I didn’t expect such a massive improvement.
I’ll be honest, 100ms is not really noticeable, or not by me. But judging that some/a lost animations that are related to interaction on the web are set to 0.2s (200ms) or even 0.3s, I’d say a 100ms improvement is not something that should be neglected.
What is DNS?
I’m not going to go overly technical over here. This is not the article to read about the geek stuff. I’ll make a separate one.
In short, the DNS (Domain Name System) connects URLs with their IP address. So instead of typing my blog’s IP address, you can just type techie-show.com and you get to my blog. This whole thing called DNS allows us to type the actual names of the websites in the address bar instead of the IP. It’s easier to remember.
Behind the scenes, there’s more to how DNS works, but I’ll explain on this on another post.
DNS speed, why faster?
Well, the whole process of your system and the internet determining what you mean when you type Amazon.com in your browser takes just some milliseconds.
So if you never visited a website, your system has not cached the DNS request. That means it needs to find out what do you mean, by linking that name to an IP and serve the data of that website to your browser, so the actual website will be displayed on your screen. (oversimplification)
If that website’s DNS responds in 100ms, that’s a delay before you actually get to browse that website.
Does a faster DNS improve SEO?
Debatable. I’d go with no, or at least not directly.
But to be fair, people do tend to stick around fast websites. Heck, a lot of studies have shown that people buy more from stores that load faster. So maybe it’s not a direct SEO improvement, but it’s still a performance improvement.
So is a Premium DNS service worth it?
Well, apart from speed, you also usually get higher uptime of your DNS service and better security. Like protection from DDoS attacks and such.
Again, I’m oversimplifying it and a landing page that tries to sell you their Premium DNS might explain more than I did. But the point remains: a premium DNS service does bring some advantages.
I think you should get a premium DNS service if it won’t be a huge hassle financially. Of course if your website/store/blog/etc. already brings in revenue and it’s something serious, for work and such, you should invest in it.
TLDR: if what you’re doing with that website/store/blog is important to you and you have the budget I must agree with Kinsta and say yes, it’s kind of a must have.
For around 4$ per month, Namecheap’s Premium DNS service seems to be worth the money – at least in terms of speed. Every tool I’ve tested with gives me better results than before.
Is this service as secure and as fast as Cloudflare or other more expensive Premium DNS offers? I don’t know. Have not tested, and probably won’t test too soon. This is a small blog so going for some heavy artillery is not really worth it. Or not at the moment.
However, it should be better than the standard free DNS service offered by the hosting company. At least in terms of speed.
Thanks for reading if you reached this far on what is a basic comparison on the DNS speed test of a Hetzner cloud machine vs one with Namecheap’s Premium DNS service attached. And don’t forget to share this blog post if you found it somewhat useful! Thanks!
Tech jack of all trades. Programmer, sysadmin and a general tech enthusiast. I work with a lot of stuff, and love learning and talking about new or interesting stuff.