namehelp - better web performance with the DNS service you choose

namehelp - mejor redimiento web con el servicio DNS que elijas


namehelp improves web performance by obtaining more accurate redirections to nearby content delivery network servers.

Basically, namehelp improves your web performance when either you or your ISP uses a remote DNS service.

We have launched a new tool for Android,Namehelp Mobile, which lets users measure and compare their ISP's DNS performance on their mobile device.


namehelp mejora el redimiento web obteniendo redirecciones más apropiadas hacia servidores de contenido más cercanos.

Básicamente, namehelp mejora tu redimiento web si vos o tu proveedor de internet utiliza(s) servicio de DNS remoto.

Join our many users and install namehelp today!

v1.0 for Windows
in English
en español

Will you help us translate namehelp into your language? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thanks!

System service downloads

Namehelp 2.0 beta

Browser extensions

Provide easy access the namehelp dashboard

Read how to configure namehelp here.

Aprende como configurar namehelp aquí.


Coverage map


  • 1/7/2018: Our beta version for Namehelp 2.0 on macOS is now available! Releases for other operating systems will be coming shortly.
  • 9/9/2013: Our Firefox extension is now available!
  • 5/30/2013: Several users reported that Avast Antivirus was flagging part of namehelp as malware; this is a false positive and Avast has since resolved the issue. Please let us know if you continue to have this issue.
  • 2/15/2013: The stories keep coming! Welcome to all our new users from Turkey who found out about us via
  • 2/14/2013: Welcome to the new users who found out about us from MakeUseOf's recent story on how to improve your web performance!
  • 11/16/2012: We have a beautiful new logo! Many thanks to Andrés Bustamante. We have also released an update to namehelp with several improvements, including a matching UI for our new logo and a few bug fixes; check the CHANGELOG for details. You don't have to do anything to get this update — namehelp will automatically update within the next 24 hours. Can't wait? Either restart the namehelp service or reboot your machine to upgrade immediately.
  • 11/13/2012: Check out our cool new coverage map and see where namehelp is being used! (look to the right! :) )
  • 11/09/2012: An updated Linux installer is now available, for anyone who saw a SyntaxError: invalid syntax error on startup.
  • 11/08/2012: We reached 10,000 users today! Thanks for your support and keep spreading the word!
  • 11/07/2012: We've received a flood of emails with feedback and suggestions! We may not reply to each individual email, but we have heard your comments and are working hard to keep improving your namehelp experience.
  • 11/05/2012: Please help us translate namehelp and this page into your language! We have quite an international group of users! If you are willing, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • 11/02/2012: We updated the Linux installer to address reports from several users that they couldn't get namehelp to start up. Please download the new installer!
  • 11/01/2012: We've started a Frequently Asked Question section and will keep it updated as you send us your questions, comments and feedback. Thanks!
  • 11/01/2012: Wow, 2000 new users today! Welcome to everyone who found us via Lifehacker.
  • 10/26/2012: After a writeup on namehelp in McCormick News yesterday, we've been covered in ACM TechNews, Computerworld, Networkworld, to name a few. In addition, there's quite a bit of buzz on Twitter!
  • 10/26/2012: The source code is now available.
  • 10/16/2012: The fixed installer for Mac OS X v10.6 users is up! Please let us know if you still receive errors.
  • 10/15/2012: We've received reports (thanks!) that namehelp isn't working on Mac OS X v10.6 or older (boo!). Please check back for a fixed installer in the next couple days.
  • 10/10/2012: Updated Mac OS X installer—now signed for compatibility with Gatekeeper on v10.7.5+.
  • 10/9/2012: First release of namehelp! v1.0 now available for download on Windows, Mac OS X and Debian/Ubuntu Linux.

Why to use it?

The Domain Name System (DNS), a sort of Internet's phone book, is a key part of the Internet. Every time you visit a website, chat with friends or simply send email, your computer performs a DNS lookup before setting up a connection. Complex web pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of DNS lookups a day. Most of us are unaware of DNS as your Internet Service Provider (ISP) typically offers the service transparently.

The last few years, however, have brought a number of third-party, public DNS services being offered by companies such as Google, OpenDNS and Norton DNS. Public DNS services have a number of advantages, including increased security, privacy and fast resolution. Through a very large-scale study, involving over 10,000 hosts across nearly 100 countries, we have found that while using public DNS may improve your resolution time, your Web performance can seriously suffer.

The problem comes from the hidden interaction of DNS with another useful and equally transparent service in the Web — Content Delivery Networks.

Most popular websites, over 70% of the top 1,000 most popular sites, rely on Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to deliver their content fast, wherever you happen to be. To ensure good high performance, CDNs replicate the website content in some of the hundred or thousand of computer servers around the world and redirect users, again transparently, to the copy nearest to them.

As it turns out, using public DNS services can result in seriously bad redirections sending users to get their content from CDN replicas that are three times farther away than necessary!

Public DNS services and CDN services are currently working to address the problem, but the current proposed solution has not yet attained widespread support leaving users with a bad choice between a rock and a hard place — bad web performance or bad security and privacy support.

However, all hope is not lost; namehelp may let you have your cake and eat it too — use public DNS without compromising on Web performance. namehelp runs personalized benchmarks in the background, from within your computer, to determine your optimal DNS configuration and improves your Web experience by helping sites load faster. If it finds that you are receiving less than optimal Web performance, namehelp automatically fixes it by cleverly interacting with DNS and CDNs to ensure you get your content from the nearest possible copy.

¿Por qué usar namehelp?

El Servicio de Nombres de Dominio (DNS por su nombre en inglés) es una especie de guía telefónica para el Internet y es esencial para su funcionamiento. Cada vez que visitas un sitio web, chateas con amigos o simplemente envías un correo electrónico, tu computadora puede estar enviando diariamente cientos de solicitudes de búsqueda DNS. La mayoría de nosotros no nos percatamos de la existencia de DNS porque nuestro proveedor de servicios de Internet generalmente ofrece este servico de manera transparente.

Sin embargo, los últimos años han visto el surgimiento de un gran número de servicios de DNS público que están siendo ofrecidos por compañías como Google, OpenDNS y Norton DNS. Estos servicios de DNS público presentan un gran número de ventajas, inclyuendo seguridad, privacidad y resolución de nombres más rápida. Aún así, a través de un estudio reciente de gran escala que incluyó a más de 10,000 usuarios en más de 100 países, nuestro laboratorio descubrió que tu rendimiento web puede sufrir seriamente, aún cuando el uso del servicio de DNS público efectivamente reduce el tiempo de resolución de los nombres de dominio.

El problema se debe a la interacción del servicio DNS con otro servicio muy importante, e igualmente trasnparente, del Internet ofrecido por las llamadas redes de entrega de contenido (o redes CDN).

Muchos de los sitios de internet más populares (aproximadamente 70% de los 1,000 sitios más populares) utilizan redes CDN para ofrecerte acceso a su contenido de manera rápida donde sea que te encuentres. Para asegurar alto rendimiento, las redes CDN replican el contenido del sitio web en algunos de sus miles de servidores localizados a través del mundo y redireccionan a los usuarios (de manera transparente) al servidor más cercano.

El resultado de esto es que la utilización de servicios de DNS público puede ocacionar que los usuarios sean redireccionados a servidores con réplicas del contenido que se encuentran ¡mucho más lejos de los necesario!

Aunque las redes CDN y los servicios de DNS público están trabajando de manera conjunta para resolver este problema, la solución propuesta no ha sido adoptada de manera general, lo que deja a los usuarios finales entre la espada y la pared teniendo que elegir entre un mal rendimiento web o un servicio DNS que ofrece baja seguridad y privacidad.

Pero, ¡no todo está perdido!; namehelp te permite obtener lo mejor de ambos mundos — te permite utilizar un servicio de DNS público sin reducir tu redimiento web. namehelp obtiene un punto de referencia personalizado a través de la ejecución de un número de pruebas desde tu computadora para determinar tu configuracion óptima de DNS y mejorar tu experiencia web haciendo que los sitios de internet descarguen más rápido. Si namehelp determina que estás recibiendo un rendimiento web sub-óptimo, este lo corrige automáticamente interactuando de manera inteligente con DNS y CDNs y así asegurar que el contenido sea entregado desde el servidor con la copia más cercano.

Press coverage





Screenshots — see namehelp in action!

Imágenes de namehelp en acción!

namehelp provides faster DNS lookups — in this example, 10x quicker than the default DNS server.

namehelp provee resolución de nombre de dominio más rápida — en este ejemplo, 10x veces más rápida que utilizando el servidor DNS por defecto.

DNS latency improvement using namehelp

namehelp also improves web browsing speed. This graph shows all the CDNs for which namehelp improves performance.

namehelp también mejora la velocidad al navegar por la red. Este gráfico muestra todas las redes CDN para las cuales namehelp mejora el redimiento.

CDN latency improvement using namehelp

Privacy Policy

In short:

  • We will never collect any personally-identifiable information or the web sites that you visit.
  • Though we ask that you allow us to report anonymized data, you may completely switch this off.
  • To further our research efforts and improve namehelp, we do report some anonymous information including:
    • Usage statistics
    • Anonymous performance improvement results to assess namehelp's benefits
    • Results of benchmark tests for a generic set of popular websites
    • Results of other network measurement experiments

Políticas de Privacidad

En pocas palabras:

  • namehelp no recolecta ningún tipo de información personal o sobre los sitios web que visitas.
  • Aunque te pedimos que permitas que namehelp reporte información anónima, puedes deshabilitar esta opción en cualquier momento.
  • Para asistirnos en nuestros esfuerzos de investigación y a mejorar namehelp, el cliente sí reporta algunos datos anonimizados que incluyen:
    • Estadísticas de uso
    • Resultados de mejoras de redimiento anonimizados para cuantificar los beneficios de namehelp
    • Resultados de las pruebas de punto de referencia a sitios genéricos más populares
    • Resultados de otros experimentos de mediciones de la red

Credits and Legal

We gratefully acknowledge the work of these other programs and libraries:

In addition, we thank all the individuals who helped with testing, debugging, and translating!

  • Richard Campbell - for improving our Linux installation instructions
  • Keith Petersen - for early feedback and suggestions
  • Mario Sánchez - for the Spanish translation

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is namehelp different from other benchmark tools?

    Other benchmark tools such as "namebench" and "DNS Benchmark" focus on comparing the performance provided by different DNS servers and recommending a particular DNS server configuration.

    In addition to this feature, namehelp provides several others as well, including:

    1. Automatic DNS server configuration, based on the sites you visit most.
    2. Smart caching techniques so that your most-visited sites can always be resolved instantly.
    3. Better handling of DNS outages — namehelp quickly switches over to another server.

  • How do I install namehelp?

    Overall, there are 3 key steps:

    1. Download and run the installer for your operating system
    2. On your computer, configure namehelp as your DNS server; use the address and follow the instructions for your operating system here
    3. Install the namehelp browser extension so you can easily access the dashboard interface. The extension is currently available for the Chrome browser here. Otherwise, you can access the dashboard interface here: http://localhost:53533/

  • How can I configure namehelp to serve multiple computers on my network?

    By default, namehelp only responds to DNS queries from the computer it runs on.

    To change this, edit the "namehelp.cfg" file in the namehelp directory. In the "[dnsproxy]" section, change the line that starts with bind= to bind=

    After making this change, either restart your computer or restart the namehelp service. At this point, you can configure the IP address of the server running namehelp as the DNS server for other machines on your network.

  • Can I use namehelp on my home router?

    Not yet, but we are looking into it.


  • I get an error when installing on XP. What gives?

    In some cases, namehelp needs an additional utility to run that is not currently installed. Check the Windows event log (instructions here) for a more specific error message. Following are a list of error messages and solutions that we have seen:

    • "Dependent Assembly Microsoft VC90.CRT could not be found" or "The referenced assembly is not installed on your system"
      Download and install the appropriate vcredist_*.exe for your computer and re-run the namehelp installer.


  • How do I run the Linux install script?

    You need to execute the install script with root privileges. Run the following commands in a terminal:

    1. Change to the directory where your browser saved the install script using cd [directory]
    2. chmod u+x
    3. sudo ./

  • Why do I get the error "ImportError: No module named dns.rdtypes"?

    If you're having this problem, please re-download the Linux installer and try again. As of 11/02/2012, this should no longer be an issue.

    For some reason, namehelp can't find one of the libraries included in the installer. You can fix this by manually installing the dnspython library. Run the following commands in a terminal:

    1. sudo apt-get install python-pip (if you don't already have 'pip' installed)
    2. sudo pip install dnspython

Contact and Feedback

Have questions, problems or comments for us about namehelp? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Comentarios y Sugerencias

¿Tienes preguntas, problemas o comentarios para nosotros sobre el funcionamiento de namehelp? Por favor contáctanos aquí This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .