I'm running Lion and since the past 2 weeks I've been having really really slow browsing speeds, but extremely fast download speeds (file downloads, torrents, YouTube and Hulu streaming, etc) but page loads are extremely slow. It's only on my laptop and not any other devices in my house, and I'm running it wireless. I've cleared my cache on all three of the browsers I have installed (Chrome, Safari, Firefox). My main browser is Chrome. Sometimes pages don't even load in Chrome or Safari, but then they load in Firefox. Some times when it wants to, it loads pages fast, but that's about 1 in a 1000 pages.

Any ideas what could be causing something like this?

And in case it's of any use, I'm running on a Macbook Pro i7 Quadcore 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD

  • 1
    Now that this problem is more than 10 month old, could you confirm that it is purely DNS related? Since nothing in your problem description shows a difference between a wireless and a wired connection, I removed the wifi tag so as to avoid colleagues trying to help on the wrong problem.
    – dan
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


It could be that there's a DNS problem somewhere. Web browsing tends to involve a lot of small connections, with several DNS lookups just for one page, whereas large file downloads only need to make one lookup. So if there's an issue with your ISP's DNS servers, it could be slowing down your web browsing without affecting your large transfer speeds.

Try switching your DNS to use the Google Public DNS servers. Open up the Network pane in System Preferences, select your wifi and click Advanced…. Then go to the DNS tab, and enter in and, as shown in the screencap: network DNS setup Make sure those entries are above anything else in there.

It may be another issue, but this is a good starting point.

  • And what about that last line you got there? My router log in is, should I put that too?
    – Snowman
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 16:21
  • It's weird-I did just what you said, applied it, restarted my computer, and launched up chrome. For the first minute, everything was BLAZING fast. Then now its slow again :(
    – Snowman
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 16:23
  • Don't add the, that's just what I had in there already. I'd try it without your router DNS to start with. Not sure what would account for the speed-up and slow down. You should add that info to the original question though.
    – robmathers
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 16:26
  • Ya I didn't add my router
    – Snowman
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 16:28
  • I was having exactly the same problem, nearly same mac book.. this answer made my web browsing very fast!!! Up to now no problems anymore, so many thanks! (although I am not sure, if this solution addressed the "core" problem of web browsing)
    – Andy
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 23:22

Increasingly ISPs are hijacking DNS traffic. You can put any ip address you want into your preferences, and it will be captured at their gateway and redirected to their own server.

A partial answer is to run pdnsd on your local machine. Give it a large cache, and set it ignore time to live that are under 24 hours. This will reduce the number of dnslookups you have to do.

On applying this to my home network (4 computers a 2 Mbit down, 500 kbit up, satellite link=high latency) doing this made the network FAR mroe spritely.

The second solution is to buy a share of a better connected host that offers VPN services. A friend did this and found that even with the overhead of encryption it was still faster by a factor of 3.

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