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gr8sho
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ACE - Professor

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

Wed, Dec 4, 2019 3:11 PM

How does DNS affect the quality of your Gameplay?

I hope this is not too sensitive a topic and, if it is preferred to be moved to a more mainline forum, that's fine, but the purpose of the thread is to focus specifically on online gaming using the ATT Internet product, which is why I'm opening it here.

 

Provisions exist to allow the use of a personal router with the internet service, but in almost all cases results in having two routers in the dataflow.  The main reason I can think of why people do this is twofold; first to fix broken WiFi which is not the intent of this thread, and second, to have control over the DNS used by the attached devices on the home network, and a subset of this may also involve the use of a VPN.  

 

And so the question is, for hardcode shooters, battle royale, MMOs and any other variant where performance matters, how do you configure your internet connection, specifically for DNS.  Are you satisfied with the base services provided with the ATT Internet product, or do you use an alternative DNS, Google or cloudfare or quad nine or even a VPN.  If possible, empirical data, measurements and so on to back up the view would be appreciated. 

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gr8sho

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

2 y ago

In over 40 views, the use of DNS other than default is of no concern to gamers? 

ATTKevin

Former Employee

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408 Messages

2 y ago

Interesting topic @gr8sho! This has caused me to re-think my DNS setup!

 

For those unfamiliar, DNS stands for Domain Name System. Essentially, I consider it a translating service that takes human readable formats, and converts them to something a computer actually understands.

 

As an example, when you go to www.google.com in your browser, the computer shrugs at you and says "I have no idea what or where that is...". "But wait, that's obviously Google!" you proclaim! How does it not know what that is?! Well, it's because there's no address named google.com. Websites on the internet don't go off names, they go on IP addresses (like 127.0.0.1).

 

Let's convert www.google.com into something the computer understands. Instead of typing google into your browser, type "172.217.9.174" without quotations instead. You'll notice that google's homepage still loads. That's because 172.217.9.174 is google.com.

 

So how does DNS work? When you type in google.com, your request gets routed through a DNS that translates the easy to remember "google.com" into a hard to remember 172.217.9.174. The faster that translation service, the faster you'll potentially get the information you're looking for back.

 

There's a lot more complexity to how DNS is managed, but hopefully this explains why you'd want to evaluate the performance of the one you're on.

 

Now that's out of the way, let me talk about my personal network setup at home:

 

  • Service Provider: Comcast/Xfinity
  • Modem: Motorola MB8600 (32 x 8 DOCSIS 3.1)
  • Router: Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000
  • Switch: Netgear GS908 (I hardwire as much as I can)
  • DNS: Google
  • Speed: 350 Mbps
  • Region: Seattle, WA

For gaming (on my PC, PS4, or Xbox One), all of those are hardwired for fastest performance. I play a lot of FPS twitch shooters, so any delay causes me to lose more gunfights because of how lag compensation works.

 

It's been a while since I've tried different DNS providers, so I gave a few a go with pretty interesting results:

 

  • Google: 15ms
  • OpenDNS: 45ms
  • Quad9: 16ms
  • Cloudflare: 6ms

 

Cloudflare seemed to work the best with a 9ms improvement! While not a lot, it's definitely caused me to switch out my Google DNS for Cloudfare's.Those 9ms are essentially imperceptible to me, but to the network handling PvP, it'll surely make a different and potentially tip the scales in my favor for some situations.

 

I would be curious what other's are seeing - has anyone else played around with different DNS providers? Has your network improved?

 

gr8sho

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

2 y ago

@ATTKevin 

Nice!   Surprised to see the degree of variability.  Did you also run tracert ?

 

My OP, although could be looked at generically, was intended to understand how users see and use DNS with att internet.  product.  My testing seems to show same results comparing the default with Cloudfare’s.    I know I can’t eliminate double NAT with att gateway for instance.  The best I’ll ever see with VDSL2 is 20-21ms.  Performance for an MMO like Fallout 76 struggles at times, although for sure a lot of the blame belongs with the game developer.  
My latest attempt was to put my Orbi into access point mode to remove the second layer of routing, which forces use of the att DNS. Can’t say yet if there’s enough difference to talk about.  
And yes, I too run as much hardwired as possible.  

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