What DNS Server Should You Use?


Larry Thompson

When it comes to browsing the internet, you may not often think about the behind-the-scenes technology that allows you to access websites. One crucial piece of this puzzle is the DNS server. The DNS (Domain Name System) server is responsible for translating human-readable domain names, like www.example.com, into machine-readable IP addresses, like

Why does the DNS server matter?

The DNS server you use can have a significant impact on your browsing experience. A reliable and fast DNS server can help speed up website loading times and improve overall performance. On the other hand, an unreliable or slow DNS server can result in slow page loading, connectivity issues, and frustrating browsing experiences.

Choosing the right DNS server

There are several options when it comes to choosing a DNS server to use:

  • Default ISP DNS: Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide their own DNS servers by default. While these servers are generally functional, they may not always be optimized for speed and reliability.
  • Public DNS servers: Several companies offer public DNS servers that are often faster and more reliable than ISP-provided servers.

    Some popular options include:

    • Google Public DNS: Google’s Public DNS service (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) is known for its speed and reliability.
    • Cloudflare: Cloudflare’s public DNS service (1.1 and 1.1) focuses on privacy and security.
    • OpenDNS: OpenDNS provides both free and paid options with enhanced features such as content filtering and parental controls.
  • Third-party DNS: There are also third-party DNS services that offer additional features, such as ad blocking and malware protection. These services often require a subscription or payment.

How to change your DNS server

Changing your DNS server is a relatively straightforward process. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Windows:
    • Go to the Control Panel and open the Network and Sharing Center.
    • Select your network connection and click on “Properties”.
    • In the properties window, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click on “Properties”.
    • Select the option to “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers.
    • Click “OK” to save the changes.
  2. Mac:
    • Go to System Preferences and open the Network settings.
    • Select your network connection and click on “Advanced”.
    • In the Advanced settings, go to the “DNS” tab.
    • Add or remove DNS servers by clicking on the “+” or “-” button.
    • Click “OK” to save the changes.

  3. Router-level changes:

    • If you want to change the DNS server for all devices connected to your router, you can usually do so by accessing your router’s settings page. The location of this page can vary depending on your router model, so refer to the router’s manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions.


Choosing the right DNS server can greatly impact your browsing experience. Whether you opt for a public DNS server like Google Public DNS or Cloudflare, or a third-party service with additional features, changing your DNS server is a simple process that can lead to improved performance and reliability.

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