A DNS (Domain Name System) server is a crucial component of your home network that plays a vital role in translating human-friendly domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. Whenever you type a website address into your browser, your computer sends a request to a DNS server to retrieve the corresponding IP address. This IP address is then used to establish a connection with the webserver hosting the website you want to visit.
What is DNS?
DNS is essentially like the phonebook of the internet. It maintains a database of domain names and their associated IP addresses. When you enter a domain name in your browser, such as www.example.com, your computer needs to find out which IP address corresponds to that domain name in order to establish a connection with the appropriate web server.
How Does DNS Work?
DNS uses a hierarchical system that includes various types of servers. When you enter a domain name in your browser, your computer first checks its local cache for the corresponding IP address. If it’s not found there, it sends a request to your configured DNS server, also known as the default or primary DNS server.
If the primary DNS server doesn’t have the required information, it will contact other DNS servers in its hierarchy until it finds one that has the answer. This process is called recursive querying and ensures that every request eventually reaches an authoritative DNS server for the specific domain being queried.
What Is My Home Network DNS Server?
Your home network typically has its own default or primary DNS server assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This server is responsible for handling all DNS queries made from devices connected to your home network.
To find out what your home network’s DNS server is, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Command Prompt by pressing Win + R, typing cmd, and hitting Enter.
- Type the command ipconfig /all and press Enter.
- Look for the line that says “DNS Servers” to find the IP addresses of your DNS servers.
- Open the Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Type the command scutil –dns | grep ‘nameserver\[[0-9]*\]’ and press Enter.
- The output will display the IP addresses of your DNS servers.
- Router Configuration:
- Login to your router’s administration panel. You can usually access it by typing its IP address into your browser’s address bar.
- Navigate to the DNS settings section, which may vary depending on your router’s make and model.
- The primary DNS server address should be listed there.
- Open the Control Panel and go to the Network and Internet section.
- Select the Network and Sharing Center.
- Click on Change adapter settings on the left sidebar.
- Right-click on your active network connection and choose Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
- In the new window, select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers.
Click OK to save the changes.
Go to System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Select your active network connection from the left sidebar and click on Advanced.>
Navigate to the DNS tab.>
Click on the “+” button to add a new DNS server IP address, then enter it, and press Enter.>
> Login to your router’s administration panel using its IP address in your browser’s address bar.<
Navigate to the DNS settings section, which may vary depending on your router’s make and model.
DNS Server Options
In addition to using the default DNS server provided by your ISP, you also have the option to use alternative DNS servers. These alternative servers can offer benefits such as improved performance, enhanced security, or additional features. Some popular alternative DNS servers include:
Changing Your DNS Server
To change your DNS server, you need to access your network settings either on your computer or your router. Here’s a general guide:
Your home network’s DNS server is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, enabling you to access websites and other online resources. By understanding how DNS works and knowing your DNS server options, you can optimize your network’s performance, security, and privacy. Whether you choose to use the default DNS server provided by your ISP or opt for alternative servers, it’s important to ensure that your DNS configuration is reliable and secure.