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I have hired a web hosting service from a Finnish provider (Xetnet), with whom I have also registered my domain (dospt.org). This provider offers an optional "external DNS hosting" service for around 20 EUR/year. Quoting from their website:

External DNS Hosting can help speed up your website and improve availability with reduced redundancy.

I have noticed that when first resolving my website's URL, it takes my web browser a few seconds to load it; after that browsing becomes smoother.

I am not familiar with how DNS servers work, and what is the utility of these so-called external DNS hosting versus "internal" DNS hosting. What are pros and cons of these two options? How do they reflect on the user's experience? Is it worth paying the price for the external service?

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    You should ask them for some domains using their DNS service, so you can compare lookup time results from various parts of the world and decide for yourself based on the numbers. – Aaron Jun 27 '17 at 16:29
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    We have no idea what they mean by "External DNS Hosting". Please provide a link to their site explaining this feature. – joeqwerty Jun 27 '17 at 16:34
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While not blazing fast, DNS lookup from where I am (New York City, 190ms) was certainly much faster than "a few seconds". See the attached snippet from Chrome Developer Tools.

Are you able to provide any details (possibly from their site or via a support request) about how their "external DNS hosting" offering works? Without understanding more about their implementation, it's tough to tell whether it's real (i.e. using Anycast) or just snake oil. Maybe a current customer/Xetnet-employee can chime in?

Also, in the interest of completeness, you could be trying to optimize the wrong thing. DNS is certainly an educated guess but there could be dozens of other confounding factors (caching tiers, application compilation, database queries, etc) that could lead to similar symptoms like the first-page-latency you're describing.

Chrome Developer Tool Snippet

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