What Is ISP DNS Server?


Larry Thompson

An ISP DNS server, short for Internet Service Provider Domain Name System server, is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. It plays a vital role in translating human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. In simple terms, it helps your computer or any other device connect to websites and online services by converting the easy-to-remember domain names (like www.example.com) into their corresponding numerical IP addresses (like

Why Do You Need an ISP DNS Server?

When you type a website address in your browser’s address bar, your computer needs to know the IP address associated with that domain name to establish a connection and load the desired webpage. This is where the ISP DNS server comes into play.

By default, when you connect to the internet through your ISP, your device is configured to use their DNS servers. These servers are responsible for resolving domain names requested by your device.

Using an ISP DNS server offers several advantages:

  • Faster Website Resolving: ISPs usually have robust and well-optimized DNS infrastructure, enabling quick resolution of domain names.
  • Better Network Performance: By using an ISP DNS server, you can reduce the latency associated with resolving domain names and improve overall network performance.
  • Improved Security: Many ISPs implement security measures within their DNS servers to protect users from malicious websites and phishing attempts.

How Does an ISP DNS Server Work?

The process of resolving a domain name using an ISP DNS server involves several steps:

  1. Your device sends a request to the ISP’s DNS server, providing it with the desired domain name.
  2. The ISP DNS server checks its cache to see if it already has the IP address corresponding to the requested domain name. If it does, it returns the IP address to your device.
  3. If the requested domain name is not in the cache, the ISP DNS server forwards the request to other DNS servers on the internet until it receives a response containing the IP address.
  4. Once the ISP DNS server receives the IP address, it stores it in its cache for future use and sends it back to your device.
  5. Your device then uses this IP address to establish a connection with the desired website or online service.

Changing Your DNS Server

While using an ISP DNS server can be convenient, you have the option to change your DNS server if desired. There are public DNS servers available from organizations like Google (8.8.8), Cloudflare (1.1.1), and OpenDNS ( that you can use instead of your ISP’s default DNS server.

To change your DNS server settings, you can follow these steps:

  1. Windows:
    • Go to Control Panel and open 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 “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the preferred DNS server address.
    • Click “OK” to save changes.

  2. Mac:
    • Go to System Preferences and open “Network”.
    • Select your network connection and click on “Advanced”.
    • In the DNS tab, click on the “+” button to add a new DNS server.
    • Enter the preferred DNS server address.
  3. Linux:
    • Edit the /etc/resolv.conf file using a text editor (e.g., sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf).
    • Add a line with “nameserver [DNS_server_IP]” to set the preferred DNS server.
    • Save the file and exit.

In Conclusion

An ISP DNS server is an essential component that ensures smooth and efficient web browsing by translating domain names into IP addresses. While using your ISP’s default DNS server is convenient, you have the flexibility to switch to public DNS servers provided by organizations like Google, Cloudflare, or OpenDNS. Understanding how DNS servers work can help you troubleshoot network issues and make informed decisions about your internet connectivity.

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