Many computer users who complain about the speed of their ISP may not consider one factor – the quality of their ISP’s DNS servers. DNS stands for Domain Name Servers, and this is what your browser uses to translate the web address that you enter into your browser’s address bar to the actual IP address of that website.
For example, if I want to go to ESPN.com and see today’s basketball results, I would type espn.com into my browser. You will notice that the address changes to espn.go.com and the site eventually loads. However, you can also access espn.com by typing 22.214.171.124 into the address bar. Of course, espn.com is much easier to remember than 126.96.36.199 (imagine you need to remember the IP addresses of dozens of websites you visit), so DNS servers are used. Every time someone enters a website address, the browser checks the DNS server to find the actual IP address (which is hidden from the user) and uses that to access the website.
Often times, when websites or the Internet itself are “attacked,” what actually happens is that DNS servers are bombarded with millions of requests, so they slow down before being scanned. The “Internet” still exists, and if you knew the IP address of the website you would like to visit, you could, but without DNS servers, you cannot quickly convert espn.com to 188.8.131.52.
Some ISPs don’t have the best DNS servers in the world, so you can use something like OpenDNS or Google Public DNS for better performance. This will help speed up the loading of web pages, but not by speeding up your browsing experience, but hopefully by increasing the DNS response time. This, in turn, allows your browser to start loading the web page faster.
Here’s how to do it on Windows.
First, open Control Panel by clicking the Start ball in the lower left corner of the screen, and then select Control Panel from the right sidebar of the Start menu.
Then click the “Network and Internet” section.
Once downloaded, click Network and Sharing Center.
On the left sidebar, click Change adapter settings to see a list of all network adapters (Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth) installed on your computer.
Whatever you want to change (for example, you can use both Ethernet and WiFi, even if you normally use one on top of the other), right-click and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
Now select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) from the list, then click the Properties button.
The radio block we want to select in the new window is the Use the following DNS server addresses option (found below Obtain DNS server address automatically).
There are now many options available. As mentioned, OpenDNS is free, just like Google Public DNS If you need OpenDNS, there are two servers: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 (you can use both or both). Google Public DNS uses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 as DNS servers. There are other free public DNS servers out there of course (just use Google to find them), but OpenDNS and Google Public DNS are among the standards.
When you’re done, just check the â€œConfirm settings on exitâ€ box (if you like), then click â€œOKâ€ and you’re done.
Now there is no guarantee that Google Public DNS or OpenDNS will be faster than your ISP’s default DNS servers. The best way to test this is to use a program like DNS Performance Test (available herehere