Google DNS affecting your iTunes downloads?


Reports are coming in from across the web of huge slowdowns in downloading content to your iTunes accounts – on your iPhone and other iOS devices, including Apple TV. The blame – and via the numerous articles I’ve read this is not confirmed by any stretch – is being put on “alternate DNS servers” such as Google DNS or OpenDNS.

iTunes’ video content is delivered by Akamai who has distributed massive datastores around the world so those large files originate from nearby servers and spend less time getting switched around the network. Akamai somehow uses our DNS routing to determine our location. If Google DNS or OpenDNS routes everyone to Akamai the same way, then those Akamai nodes and the pipes leading to them get overwhelmed.

I’ve personally experienced some of these challenges and last night moved away from my standard DNS settings (Google DNS server settings if you’re unfamiliar). It appeared to work immediately. I haven’t done “scientific” testing by any stretch but I will be leaving my DNS settings pointed to my ISPs DNS server for a while.

I’d love to hear from others who may be having this problem. Does this “fix” fix it for you?



  • Chris

    I noticed my iTunes downloads were terribly slow as well. I’m using OpenDNS.

  • For those of us who don’t have a clue what in the hell you are talking about, could you put a step by step guide to make this change? Thanks

  • If you don’t know what he’s talking about then you probably have never changed your DNS, so you won’t have a problem.

  • Dave

    Having a slightly different but equally strange problem.

    Where ever I start an itunes download it appears to render DNS ( meaning all addresses fail to resolve and time out ) on the same server.
    I have a Mac mini 10.6 running my local network and DNS as soon as I start the itunes download after a few mb it dies and not more DNS