One way to think of the Domain Name System (or DNS) is like a phone book on the Internet – DNS servers tell your machine which IP addresses domain names should point to.
For example, when you go to Google in your web browser (via google.com), that domain points you to 188.8.131.52. Instead, you enter that IP address into your browser’s address bar and you’ll see it take you to Google.
As you can imagine, the database that tells our machines which domain points to which IP address is constantly being updated and changed. The DNS resolution process handled by your DNS server is one of the first hurdles your browser has to deal with when returning a web page.
If you have never changed your DNS provider or are currently using an Internet Service Provider (ISP), this may result in slower speeds. To make matters worse, especially with small marketplaces and local ISPs, your DNS server can actually serve ads and other content that you would not otherwise see.
In this article, let’s talk about how to manually change your DNS provider, and some more reliable alternatives that you can switch to.
- First press Windows Key + X and select “Network Connections”.
- On the pop-up status page, find or scroll to the Change Network Settings heading.
- Below it, click Change Adapter Settings.
How to change the DNS server in Windows
- First, press Windows + X keys and select Network Connections .
- On the Status pop-up, search or scroll to the address Change network settings .
- Underneath, click Change adapter options .
This popup should show all of your network adapters. This is where you will need to determine which adapters you use the most and / or are currently connected to the Internet.
If you don’t change your network adapters often, the one you need will most likely be called Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
- Right-click the adapter and select Properties. A pop-up window will show a large list of items.
- Find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4), click to highlight it, and then click the Properties button below it.
In the window that appears, you can change your DNS server. The bottom half of this window is what we will be dealing with.
- By default, Obtain DNS Server Automatically is selected. Change this value to “Use the following DNS server addresses” by clicking the radio button next to it.
In the above screenshot, I entered the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses to show how they should look. At this point in the process, you will need to decide which DNS server is best for you.
Let’s pause to discuss your options.
DNS Servers Recommended
In 2015, Online Tech Tips published an article discussing the best free public DNS servers While these options are still valid, several new DNS providers have emerged since then.
Let’s take a look at three of the best and most reliable options available today.
Benefits of using Google Public DNS include arbitrary routing, over-provisioned servers to protect against denial of service attacks, and load balancing servers.
Unlike many other DNS providers, Google Public DNS does not block or filter DNS queries unless the circumstances are deemed extreme.
Google DNS public IPv4 addresses:
Google DNS public IPv6 addresses:
- 2001: 4860: 4860 :: 8888
- 2001: 4860: 4860 :: 8844
OpenDNS is a public DNS provider that has been around since 2005. One of its main strengths is protection against malicious websites that may be associated with phishing or malware.
OpenDNS provides other content filtering options, such as FamilyShield Parental Controls, which can be used to block sites that contain pornography. P>
OpenDNS IPv4 Addresses:
OpenDNS IPv6 Addresses:
- 2620: 119: 35 :: 35
- 2620: 119: 53 :: 53
Cloudflare has been known for years for its CDN and DDoS protection services. In April 2018, Cloudflare announced that it had acquired the prestigious 184.108.40.206 address and would start using it for its public DNS service.
It is touted as “the fastest, privacy-focused consumer DNS service,” which claims to process queries twice as fast as Google’s public DNS.
Cloudflare IPv4 Addresses:
Cloudflare IPv6 Addresses:
- 2606: 4700: 4700 :: 1111
- 2606: 4700: 4700 :: 1001