Should You Use Your Router DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

Should You Use Your Router DNS Server?

When it comes to internet connectivity, the Domain Name System (DNS) plays a crucial role in translating human-friendly domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. By default, your internet service provider (ISP) assigns you a DNS server to use.

However, you may have the option to use your router as the DNS server instead. In this article, we will explore the benefits and considerations of using your router’s DNS server.

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS server is responsible for resolving domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. When you type a URL into your web browser, it sends a request to a DNS server to find the IP address associated with that domain name. Once the IP address is obtained, your browser can establish a connection and load the website.

The Benefits of Using Your Router as a DNS Server

1. Simplified Network Configuration

One advantage of using your router as the DNS server is that it simplifies network configuration. Instead of manually configuring each device on your network with custom DNS settings, you can set up the router once and have all devices automatically use its DNS server.

2. Improved Network Performance

Your ISP’s default DNS servers may not always offer optimal performance. By using your router as the DNS server, you can potentially improve network performance by choosing faster and more reliable public DNS servers like Google Public DNS or Cloudflare.

3. Enhanced Security and Privacy

Some routers offer built-in security features like blocking malicious websites or preventing phishing attacks through their default DNS servers. Additionally, using third-party DNS servers may provide extra privacy by not logging your browsing history or filtering out unwanted ads.

Considerations before Using Your Router as a DNS Server

While there are benefits to using your router’s DNS server, there are also some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Compatibility: Before using your router as a DNS server, ensure that your router supports this functionality. Not all routers have the capability to act as DNS servers.
  • Router Performance: Using your router as the DNS server might increase its workload, potentially impacting its performance.

    Make sure your router can handle the additional processing load.

  • Configuration: Configuring your router as a DNS server may require some technical knowledge and familiarity with the router’s interface. If you are not comfortable making these changes, it’s best to seek assistance from someone who is.

How to Set Up Your Router as a DNS Server

If you decide to use your router as the DNS server, follow these general steps:

  1. Login to your router’s administration interface. Typically, you can access it by entering the router’s IP address in your web browser.
  2. Navigate to the network settings or DHCP settings section of the interface.
  3. Look for options related to DNS settings and enter the IP address(es) of the desired DNS server(s). You can use public DNS servers like Google Public DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or Cloudflare (1.1.1).
  4. Save and apply the changes.

Note that these steps may vary depending on your specific router model and firmware version, so refer to your router’s documentation for detailed instructions.


Using your router as the DNS server can simplify network configuration, improve performance, and enhance security and privacy. However, it is essential to consider compatibility, router performance, and configuration before making the switch. If you decide to proceed, follow your router’s instructions to set it up as a DNS server and enjoy the benefits of a customized DNS experience.

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