Have five minutes to spare? Would you like a faster Internet experience?
If so, check out namebench, a free, Open Source utility that 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, which began as a 20% project at Google, is completely free and does not modify your system in any way.
I couldn’t resist checking it out, and it works pretty much as advertised. You can just copy and paste the fastest DNS it turns up into your Network System Preferences panel under the “Advanced” tab.
namebench runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX, and is available with a graphical user interface as well as a command-line interface.
Mac OS X system requirements are not specified on the site, but it seems to be Intel-only, or at least it doesn’t work on my PowerBook Pismo G4 running OS 10.4.11. Works fine on my Core 2 Duo MacBook running OS 10.6.4.
namebench gets an AppleTell rating of 4 out of 5 (could be a little speedier).