How Do I Use a DNS Server on a Mac?


Scott Campbell

Welcome to this tutorial on how to use a DNS server on a Mac! In this article, we will explore the steps to configure and utilize a DNS server for enhanced internet connectivity. So, let’s dive in and get started!

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server translates human-readable domain names (like into IP addresses (like It acts as a directory for the internet and helps your computer connect to websites by resolving domain names into their associated IP addresses.

Why Should You Use a DNS Server?

Using a DNS server can offer several benefits:

  • Enhanced Speed: A reliable DNS server can help speed up your internet browsing experience by minimizing the time taken for domain name resolution.
  • Bypassing Restrictions: Some DNS servers can help you access websites that may be blocked or restricted in your region.
  • Improved Security: Certain DNS servers provide additional security features like malware blocking and phishing protection.

Configuring Your Mac’s DNS Server

To configure the DNS server settings on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences”.
  2. Select Network: In the System Preferences window, click on “Network”.
  3. Select Your Network Connection: Choose the network connection you are currently using from the list on the left-hand side of the Network window. It could be Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or any other connection.
  4. Click on “Advanced”: At the bottom-right corner of the Network window, click on the “Advanced” button.
  5. Go to DNS: In the Advanced window, navigate to the “DNS” tab.
  6. Add DNS Server Addresses: Click on the + button at the bottom-left corner of the DNS tab to add a new DNS server address.

    You can enter multiple addresses for redundancy.

  7. Arrange DNS Servers: Use the up and down arrows to arrange the order of DNS servers. The Mac will try each server in order until it successfully resolves a domain name.
  8. Apply Changes: Click OK and then click Apply to save your changes.

Verifying Your DNS Configuration

To verify if your Mac is using the configured DNS server, follow these steps:

  1. Open Terminal: Launch Terminal from Applications > Utilities > Terminal or by searching for it in Spotlight.
  2. Type a Command: In Terminal, type the following command and press Enter: nslookup
  3. Analyze Results: The output will display the IP address associated with the domain name you entered. If it matches with what you expected, your Mac is using the configured DNS server successfully.

The Bottom Line

Congratulations! You have now learned how to configure and use a DNS server on your Mac.

By utilizing a reliable DNS server, you can enjoy faster internet browsing speeds and enhanced security features. Feel free to experiment with different DNS servers to find the one that best suits your needs. Happy browsing!

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