Reminder: Google DNS can slow down Apple TV streaming

The experience of one Mac developer with his new Apple TV box, offers a reminder to the tech-savvy "power user" that Google DNS and OpenDNS may take a serious toll on performance video streaming.

The experience of one Mac developer with his new Apple TV box, offers a reminder to the tech-savvy "power user" that Google DNS and OpenDNS may take a serious toll on performance video streaming.

On his blog, Joe Maller wrote that he had a fast Internet connection (15 - 20 Mbps), and so he was shocked when his Apple TV reported that it would be several hours before he could start watching his HD video. The culprit in his case was Google DNS.

It appears that Google DNS and OpenDNS don't mix well with the way that distributed video is served up. This can be Apple TV or YouTube.

This totally makes sense. iTunes’ video content is delivered by Akamai who has distributed massive datastores around the world so those large files originate from nearby servers and spend less time getting switched around the network. Akamai somehow uses our DNS routing to determine our location. If Google DNS or OpenDNS routes everyone to Akamai the same way, then those Akamai nodes and the pipes leading to them get overwhelmed.

Ironically, people feel that they're doing the right thing by switching over to OpenDNS or Google DNS. In this case, it appears to be the wrong choice. Maller points out, that in this case, it is the "tech-vanguard" that will take the hit here. Most non-savvy users will simply hook into their ISP's DNS.

After switching from Google DNS, Maller said his Apple TV rentals were ready in less than 30 seconds.

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