Does It Matter What DNS Server I Use?


Angela Bailey

In today’s digital age, the Domain Name System (DNS) plays a crucial role in connecting you to the websites you want to visit. It acts as a translator, converting human-readable domain names (like into the numerical IP addresses that computers understand.

But does it really matter what DNS server you use? Let’s dive deeper into this topic.

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS server is essentially a phonebook for the internet. When you type a web address into your browser, your device sends a request to your DNS server to find the corresponding IP address associated with that domain name. This process is called DNS resolution.

By default, most internet service providers (ISPs) assign their customers with their own DNS servers. However, there are alternative DNS servers available that offer different features and benefits.

The Importance of Choosing the Right DNS Server

Now, you might be wondering if it really matters which DNS server you use. The answer is yes, it can make a difference! Here are some aspects to consider:

1. Speed

The speed at which your chosen DNS server can resolve domain names into IP addresses can impact your browsing experience. Some third-party DNS servers are known for their faster response times compared to default ISP servers.

2. Reliability

Certain DNS servers have built-in redundancy and advanced infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime and availability. This means they are less likely to go down or experience outages, resulting in uninterrupted internet access.

3. Security and Privacy

DNS servers can also play a role in protecting your online privacy and security. Some alternative DNS servers offer additional security features like filtering out malicious websites or blocking ads and trackers.

Moreover, using a third-party DNS server can prevent your ISP from logging or tracking your internet activity, as they won’t have access to the DNS queries you make.

How to Change Your DNS Server

Changing your DNS server is a simple process that can be done on most devices and operating systems. Here’s a general guide:

  • Windows: Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. Click on “Change adapter settings,” right-click on your network connection, select “Properties,” then choose “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).”

    Enter the preferred DNS server address in the provided fields.

  • MacOS: Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS. Click on the “+” button to add a new DNS server address. Remove any existing addresses if you want to use only the new one.
  • Mobile Devices: The steps may vary depending on the device, but usually, you can find the DNS settings under Wi-Fi or Network options in the device’s settings menu.

Popular Third-Party DNS Servers

If you’re interested in exploring alternative DNS servers, here are a few popular options:

  • Google Public DNS: Google’s free public DNS service known for its speed and reliability (8.8.8 and 8.4.4).
  • Cloudflare: A secure and privacy-focused DNS service that also offers additional features like built-in content filtering (1.1.1).
  • OpenDNS: A family-friendly DNS service that includes options for content filtering and protection against phishing and malware ( and 208.220.220).

Remember, when choosing a DNS server, it’s essential to consider factors such as your location, internet speed, security requirements, and personal preferences.


While your default DNS server provided by your ISP can work perfectly fine for most users, exploring alternative DNS servers can offer benefits like faster resolution times, improved security, and increased privacy.

By understanding the importance of DNS servers and knowing how to change them, you have the power to optimize your internet experience according to your needs.

So go ahead and experiment with different DNS servers to find the one that best suits your requirements. Enjoy a faster, more secure, and private browsing experience!

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