Change your DNS to

I have got this news this morning and thought I might share it, hopefully contributing to a more private and faster internet experience. But please, don’t be fooled, the increase in speed won’t be easily observable as we are talking about milliseconds.


Yes. In the networking world when you test networks it is a common practice to send data packets to other computers on the network and measure how long the packet takes to come back.

This test is done through the ping command.

Of course the amount of time that these data packets require is very short and this is why it is measured in milliseconds. As I mentioned above, making this change is not something that will make observable differences to your daily internet experience, still by reading the official data on the homepage dedicated to this project, it seems like the amount of time required for a data packet “to go and come back” is reduced by half, by using the new DNS instead of the widely used google DNS or


From this data it appears that pinging google DNS should take 34.7 ms, while pinging should take 14.8 ms.

This is what made me consider the fact of changing my current setting: for sure we are talking about milliseconds. Still it is half the time I would normally require to have an answer from Google’s DNS.

Really? Let’s try it then!

Changing the DNS settings in your router takes just a few minutes. If you know by heart “where is what” in your router configuration it may take even seconds… or milliseconds! 🙂

Out of curiosity I have performed some tests by using the ping command myself. I let the software send 10 packets and the results show that using instead of as a DNS is circa 35% faster. Not as fast as I first thought, but faster. Here below my test results:

Pinging gets an average of 14.877 ms.
Pinging gets an average of 20.068 ms.

About privacy

But speed is not the only concern.

It seems that DNS, as it is used today, can be used by ISPs to collect information about which pages are visited by whom. Even if the visited pages are securely encrypted and showing the green https:// in the address bar the ISP will still know that you are visiting that page. And, it seems like some ISPs could be tempted of selling this information to other companies for marketing reasons.

As stated on the project homepage Cloudflare and APNIC have teamed up to change this and make sure that by using no IPs will be logged, which will considerably help in respecting the privacy of their users.

Should you be interest on more details regarding the subject you may want to read cloudflare’s blog.


Personally I haven’t had any issues in making the change, also because my network configuration is pretty simple. I have already read that for some countries and with some ISP there are issues as the address has been used for a wide range of scopes which may interfere. If I understood it right though, if you are able to open you should be fine.

Hope you did find the post interesting, feel free to leave a comment, and maybe add your own measurements? 🙂

A valid alternative to Age of Empires?

We have been playing it, discussing about it, dreaming about it. And then it stopped. Age of Empires III has been one of our favourite games and I, together with my friends, we have spent literally nights playing it, dinners discussing about the heroic strategies and laughing about the tricks we managed to pull on each other in order to win.

0 A.D. is not Age of Empires. But it is indeed very similar to it. I have played just one game until now as I didn’t have much time, but it was great. The first difference which I discovered is the fact that in the Town center both male and female workers may be produced and although both are capable of gathering food, chopping wood and mining they differ in their productivity: females are more efficient in gathering and collecting food while males workers are more efficient in drinking beers… err… they are more efficient in mining. Also male workers efficiency is increased by having female workers working with them.

The soldiers are also capable of mining and this is a major difference to Age of empires were you would have had to send troops to protect your workers mining in the middle of the map. In 0 A.D. you may very well send your soldiers to mine, therefore knowing that they won’t fall as easily as mere civilians.

Oh… and I didn’t even mention the best part. The game is free to download as it is an opensource project. Which, from one side is great, on the other one the game is not considered finished and always in development and may still have some bugs or missing feature which may decrease the whole gaming experience. While I was playing though I didn’t notice anything major beside the fact that I was getting owned even by the computer player. 🙂

This the trailer of the current release:

The other very interesting part of the game is the fact that you are not allowed to build everywhere on the map: you may build only in those territories which are within your city’s borders, which get wider as you get more powerful.

I haven’t tested multiplayer games yet: I have seen that there are the required options to connect to each other and I believe that some networking skill may be required in order to connect to others (opening ports probably) but, as I said, I didn’t test it. Any candidate who is available? 😉

Zyxel USG20W-VPN – Opening ports for “For Honor”

Although I thought of knowing how to open ports on a firewall I was proven wrong when I had to open the ports for the videogame For Honor. Therefore I have asked help to Zyxel which has been very kind and their answer successfully solved the issue. Downbelow how they suggested to proceed.

Network configuration

The network I was working on is configured as follows:

Modem –> Firewall Zyxel USG20W-VPN ~~~ Wireless Network ~~~ Gaming PC

Checking WLAN settings

As the gaming computer is connected through a wireless connection first of all it is necessary to check if the WLAN is sending the data on the right network, which in our case was LAN1. In order to do that proceed as follows.

Add the WLAN to the right zone:
Configuration> Object> AP Profile> SSID
Select the desired SSID and click on “Edit”.
Under “Local VAP Settings”, select “Off” for VLAN Support.
As an “Outgoing Interface”, select the zone to which the WLAN should connect to the Internet, eg: lan1.

VLAN support is turned off and the outgoing interface is LAN1

Assign a static IP address to the gaming PC

Next, you assign a static DHCP address to your game PC on the interface using the WLAN as an “outgoing interface”.
(Network> Interface> Ethernet)


Double click on “lan1”, activate the “Advanced settings” and scroll down until you find “Enable IP/MAC binding”. Activate the checkbox and in the “Static DHCP table” click on “Add”. Assign an IP address to the MAC address of the wireless or ethernet card of the Gaming PC.


Create an address object under Object> Address / Geo IP for your game PC with the Static DHCP address.

Adding as an IP address to the Gaming PC

Creating ports and assigning to a service group

Under Object> Services> Services, create all ports that you do not already have.

In order to recongnize the port I have decided to name it ForHonor_13000: that way I understand that the port is dedicated to the game ForHonor and that the port is number 13000.

With the same procedure create the objects for the following ports:

TCP: 80, 443, 13000, 13005, 13200, 14000, 14001, 14008, 14020, 14021-14024
UDP: 3074, 3075

A list of the ports that should be opened for PC, PS4 and XBOX is found at this link.

Please note, however, that opening these ports will result in a significant security risk.

For later use it is very convenient to create a “Service Group” with the ports created before. In Object –> Service Group tab add

Give a name to the group and then select from the list on the left all the ports that we have created before. Once selected make them member of the new group you created by moving them to the right. The picture shows the already completed transfer, I’m now ready to press “OK” in order to proceed with the group creation.

Creating a new Virtual Server object

Under Network> NAT, create a new Virtual Server object
Original IP: Any
Mapped IP: Game PC
Port Mapping Type: Service Group
Original Service Group: Game Service Group

Adding a NAT Rule called “ForHonor”

Once added the table should look like this:

In the table the rule FH which stands for “For Honor”. Because of privay concerns I was asked to grey out the other data.

Creating a security policy

Go to Security Policy> Policy Control and create a rule
From WAN To LAN1
Source: Any
IPv4 Destination: Game PC
Service: Game service group
Action: Allow

Adding a security policy. Please note that when selecting the service you’ll have to look for the group we have created before: in order to do that you’ll have to scroll down almost the whole list, as the single objects (ports) are listed before of the groups.

Finally “For Honor” is displaying a green NAT Open.


I didn’t undestand why, but even if the game works and shows NAT Type open if the ports are tested with the site: the results are negative for each of the ports.