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If you have noticed YouTube videos and other data rich webpages are downloading a bit faster to your computer, it may be thanks to Global Internet Speedup (GIS), which seeks to make the Internet faster and more efficient for users. GIS is a collaboration between recursive DNS services like OpenDNS, Verisign, Google, and other content delivery networks. The plan of the initiative is to shorten the distance data has to travel within what is called the Domain Name System (DNS) to get to your computer.

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GIS explains it this way:

DNS is like the phone book for the Internet. It converts human readable domains to an IP address (208.69.38. 160) that your computer can connect to. But what happens when you look up a business in the phone book and fifty locations? You probably want the location closest to you.

Slow download speeds are contributed to many factors, but often, significant “traffic jams” occur in the DNS system because data is downloading “from an international source (downloading software or drivers from a Taiwanese site is a good example)“.  Though using a local cache reduces the strain on international connections, using local and national networks can provide both lower-latency and higher capacity speeds.

GIS says that the changes in the DNS system won’t have a huge effect on US web users, but “it will vary on a per-user, per-city basis” the consortuium added. You will only experience the speed up if you’re using DNS servers belonging to Google or OpenDNS, and if you’re accessing a website or service powered by one of the participating CDNs: Google, EdgeCast, CDNetworts, Comodo, or CloudFare.

Source: ExtremeTech

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