I came across a nice tool for finding better DNS servers based on your location. In case you don’t know what DNS servers are, basically they are like a phone book for your computer. When you go to Google.com you are actually looking up the IP address for Google and your DNS server returns an IP such as 188.8.131.52. You can actually copy that IP into your browser URL and it will take you to google’s website. DNS speed comes into play because you have to wait for that conversion to occur before you can even access that website.
There is a tool called Namebench on Google code that allows you to run a test against multiple DNS servers to find the fastest one based on your location. Namebench works on Windows, Mac OS X, and UNIX. Once downloaded, you run the file and you will be prompted with a box with various options. I just used the default values and it should automatically fill in your current DNS servers. Once the test finishes, it will generate a webpage with the results. In the results it will give you a recommended DNS configuration and show detailed results from the DNS server tests. Here is a link if you do not know how to configure your DNS settings.
I currently use Open DNS because it is the fastest for me and since I have an account with them I can do some custom DNS things such as blocking phishing & malware websites. Here is a list of public DNS servers: