Can I Use a Different DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

DNS, or Domain Name System, is a crucial part of how the internet works. It acts as a phonebook for the internet, translating domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand.

By default, your computer or router will use the DNS server provided by your internet service provider (ISP). However, you have the option to use a different DNS server if you choose.

What is a DNS Server

A DNS server is responsible for resolving domain names to IP addresses. When you enter a website address in your browser, the DNS server translates that domain name into an IP address so that your computer can connect to the correct web server.

Why Would You Want to Use a Different DNS Server

There are several reasons why you might want to use a different DNS server:

1. Improved Performance: Some third-party DNS servers are known for their faster response times and better overall performance compared to ISP-provided servers. Switching to one of these servers can result in faster browsing speeds.

2. Bypassing Restrictions: In some cases, ISPs may block access to certain websites or restrict content. By using a different DNS server, you can bypass these restrictions and access blocked websites.

3. Enhanced Security: Certain third-party DNS servers offer additional security features such as built-in malware and phishing protection. This can help protect your devices from online threats.

4. Customization: Using a different DNS server gives you more control over your internet experience. You can customize settings like content filtering or enable features like parental controls.

How Can You Use a Different DNS Server

To use a different DNS server, you need to change the settings on your router or individual devices connected to your network.

Changing DNS Settings on Your Router

1. Access your router’s settings by typing its IP address into your web browser. The IP address is typically printed on the router or can be found in the user manual. Log in to your router using the administrator username and password. Look for the DNS settings option in the router’s configuration menu. It may be listed under a network or internet settings section. Enter the IP addresses of the DNS servers you want to use. You can find popular options like Google Public DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or OpenDNS ( and 208.220.220).

5. Save your changes and restart your router for the new DNS settings to take effect.

Changing DNS Settings on Your Device

If you prefer to change DNS settings on individual devices instead of your router, here’s how you can do it:

1. Windows:
– Go to Control Panel and open Network and Sharing Center. – Click on Change adapter settings. – Right-click on your active network connection and choose Properties.

– Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties. – Choose “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the desired DNS server addresses. – Click OK to save the changes.

2. Mac OS:
– Go to System Preferences and open Network. – Select your active network connection from the left sidebar. – Click on Advanced and go to the DNS tab.

– Click on “+” to add a new DNS server address, or “-” to remove an existing one. – Enter the desired DNS server addresses.

3. Mobile Devices:
– Each mobile device has different steps for changing DNS settings. Generally, you can find the DNS settings under Wi-Fi or network settings.
– Locate the DNS section and enter the desired DNS server addresses.


Using a different DNS server can offer benefits such as improved performance, enhanced security, and bypassing restrictions. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily change your DNS server settings on either your router or individual devices. Enjoy faster browsing speeds and a more customized internet experience with a different DNS server!

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