Are you experiencing slow internet speeds or frequent website timeouts? One possible solution to these issues is to change your DNS server.
But how do you know which DNS server is the best for you? In this article, we will explore what a DNS server is, why it matters, and how to determine the best DNS server for your needs.
What is a DNS Server?
A DNS server stands for Domain Name System server. It is responsible for translating human-readable domain names like “www.example.com” into machine-readable IP addresses like “192.168.0.1”. Think of it as the internet’s phone book – when you type a website’s URL into your browser, the DNS server helps your computer locate the correct IP address to connect to.
Why Does Your Choice of DNS Server Matter?
Your choice of DNS server can have a significant impact on your internet speed and overall browsing experience. By default, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign their own DNS servers to their customers. While these servers are generally reliable, they may not always be the fastest or most secure options available.
Improved Speed: A faster DNS server can reduce the time it takes for your computer to resolve domain names into IP addresses. This means that web pages will load quicker, resulting in a smoother browsing experience.
Bypassing Restrictions: Some ISPs use DNS servers that block access to certain websites or censor content. By switching to an alternative DNS server, you may be able to bypass these restrictions and access blocked websites.
Enhanced Security: Certain DNS servers offer additional security features, such as blocking known malicious websites or protecting against phishing attempts. These servers can help protect your computer and personal information from online threats.
How to Find the Best DNS Server for You?
There are several ways to determine which DNS server is the best for your specific needs. Here are a few methods:
1. Use DNS Benchmarking Tools
DNS benchmarking tools, such as “DNS Benchmark” by Steve Gibson, can test the performance and reliability of various DNS servers. These tools provide detailed reports and rankings based on factors like response time and error rates. By running these tests, you can identify which DNS servers perform best in your location.
2. Consider Public DNS Servers
Public DNS servers, such as Google Public DNS and Cloudflare DNS, are maintained by reputable companies and often offer improved performance and security features. They are free to use and can be easily configured on your computer or router.
3. Check with Your ISP
Contacting your ISP’s customer support can provide valuable information about their recommended or alternative DNS servers. They may have specific recommendations based on your location or internet plan.
How to Change Your DNS Server?
To change your DNS server, follow these general steps:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select “Network and Internet” or “Network and Sharing Center”.
- Click on “Change adapter settings”.
- Right-click on your active network connection and select “Properties”.
- Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” from the list.
- Click on “Properties”.
- Select “Use the following DNS server addresses”.
- Enter the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses.
- Click “OK” to save the changes.
- Open “System Preferences”.
- Select “Network”.
- Select your active network connection on the left panel.
- Click on “Advanced”.
- Select the “DNS” tab.
- Add or remove DNS servers by clicking on the “+” or “-” buttons.