How (and Why) to Change Your DNS Server

How (and Why) to Change Your DNS Server

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You unfastened your browser, benignant pcmag.com successful the Address Bar, and get pages and pages of utile reviews and information. That’s however it works, right? Oh, you whitethorn recognize that you get that accusation due to the fact that your browser requests it from a web host server. But there’s different subordinate progressive successful the travel of postulation betwixt your browser and that server, and that’s the Domain Name System, oregon DNS. Understanding DNS tin assistance you support your online information and privacy, and adjacent velocity your web surfing.

The servers that way your net requests don't recognize domain names similar pcmag.com. They lone recognize numeric IP addresses similar 104.17.101.99, oregon the longer numeric addresses from the modern IPv6 system. (By longer, I mean a lot longer. Here's a illustration IPv6 address: 2606:4700:0000:0000:0000:0000:6811:8e63. To beryllium fair, that would typically beryllium shortened to 2606:4700::6811:8e63, but still…)


What Do DNS Servers Do?

So, the machines lone talk numbers, but the radical privation to usage memorable domain names similar girlgeniusonline.com oregon zombo.com. To resoluteness this impasse, the Domain Name System handles translating affable domain names to numeric IP addresses.

Your location web typically relies connected a DNS Server supplied by your ISP. After your browser sends the server a domain name, the server goes done a moderately analyzable enactment with different servers to instrumentality the corresponding IP address, thoroughly vetted and verified. If it's a much-used domain, the DNS Server whitethorn person that accusation cached, for speedier access. Now that the enactment is down to numbers, the machines tin grip getting the pages you privation to see.


DNS Difficulties

As you tin see, the Domain Name System is indispensable to each your net activities. Any problems with the strategy tin person cascading effects connected your experience.

For starters, if the ISP-supplied DNS servers are slow, oregon not decently configured for caching, they tin efficaciously dilatory your connection. This is particularly existent erstwhile you load a leafage that draws contented from galore antithetic domains, specified arsenic advertisers and affiliates. Switching to DNS servers optimized for ratio tin velocity up your surfing, whether successful a location oregon concern setting.

Speaking of a concern setting, immoderate companies connection DNS services with business-friendly add-ons. For example, they tin filter retired malicious websites astatine the DNS level, truthful the pages ne'er scope an employee's browser. They whitethorn besides filter retired porn and different work-inappropriate sites. In a akin fashion, DNS-based parental control systems assistance parents power children's entree to age-inappropriate content, connected each device, though they admittedly deficiency the good power of locally-installed parental power software.

I mentioned that your DNS server caches fashionable requests, truthful it tin respond quickly, without having to query different components of the Domain Name System. Your PC oregon Mac besides has a section DNS cache, and if the cache gets screwed up, you tin person occupation visiting definite sites. This is simply a elemental problem, 1 that doesn't necessitate switching DNS servers. All you request to bash is flush your section DNS cache.

Unless you're utilizing a VPN (Virtual Private Network), your ISP's DNS servers spot each domain you request. You truly can't get distant from that—if you privation thing from the internet, you can't debar telling someone conscionable what you want. Your ISP knows wherever you spell connected the web, and astir apt doesn't care.

However, immoderate ISPs person recovered a mode to monetize their DNS service. When you deed an erroneous domain, 1 that has nary existent IP address, they divert your browser to a hunt and advertizing leafage preloaded with a hunt operation derived from the domain name. For example, the representation beneath shows the results of trying to sojourn the non-existent funnycatpiktures.com.

Change Your DNS ISP Redirects to Search

This whitethorn look similar a nonissue. What does it substance if the ISP displays ads? But privacy-wise it's significant. You started disconnected with a backstage back-and-forth betwixt your browser and the DNS server. The ISP broke that bubble of privateness by sending a mentation of your petition to a hunt engine, wherever it winds up successful your hunt history. Some radical interest astir the privateness of search, which is wherefore no-history hunt sites similar DuckDuckGo and StartPage exist.


DNS Under Attack

You're astir apt acquainted with the conception of phishing. Nefarious webmasters acceptable up a fraudulent website that looks precisely similar PayPal, oregon your bank, oregon adjacent a gaming oregon dating site. They disseminate links to the fake tract utilizing spam, malicious adverts, oregon different techniques. Any hapless netizen who logs successful without noticing the fakery has fixed invaluable login credentials to the atrocious guys. And the fraudsters typically usage those credentials to log you successful to the existent site, truthful you don't recognize thing has happened.

The 1 happening that gives these frauds distant is the code bar. Keeping a crisp oculus connected the code barroom is 1 mode to avoid phishing scams. Some are egregious, similar a leafage that purports to be, say, LinkedIn, but has a wholly unrelated domain specified arsenic bestastroukusa.com. Others enactment harder to fool you, with slightly-off names similar microsfot.com, oregon highly lengthy URLs that conceal the existent domain. But nary substance however they try, they can't fool an eagle-eyed web surfer.

Change Your DNS Phishing Scam

That's wherever cache poisoning comes in. In this benignant of attack, malefactors infiltrate incorrect accusation into the Domain Name System, typically by manipulating the cache. The idiosyncratic types a valid domain name, the poisoned DNS strategy returns the IP code for a fraudulent site, and the Address Bar shows the valid name. Unless the miscreants did a mediocre occupation imitating the people site, there's nary disposable hint to their chicanery.

A akin onslaught called DNS hijacking happens connected your section computer. Malware moving connected the strategy reaches into the TCP/IP settings and simply switches you implicit to a DNS server controlled by hackers. Of course, this lone works if the malware successful question tin get past your antivirus, but determination are inactive a fewer folks who haven't got the connection astir utilizing antivirus connected each computer.


What's the Best DNS Server?

DNS attacks and problems hap erstwhile DNS isn't a precedence for your ISP. Getting distant from these problems tin beryllium arsenic elemental arsenic switching to a work that makes DNS information and privateness a priority.

Google Public DNS has been disposable since 2009, with the easy-to-remember IP addresses of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Google promises a unafraid DNS connection, hardened against attacks, arsenic good arsenic velocity benefits.

Founded successful 2005, OpenDNS has been offering unafraid DNS adjacent longer. It doesn't person memorable IP addresses similar Google's, but does connection a assortment of services. In summation to DNS servers focusing connected privateness and security, it offers what it calls FamilyShield servers, which filter retired inappropriate content. The institution besides offers a premium parental power strategy that gives parents much granular power implicit filtering. Its genitor institution Cisco supplies enterprises with Cisco Umbrella, which includes a information and DNS services for businesses.

Cloudflare whitethorn beryllium the biggest net institution you've ne'er heard of. With a sprawling, worldwide postulation of servers, it offers websites net information and extortion against Distributed Denial of Service attacks, among different services. Starting successful 2018 Cloudflare made unafraid DNS available, astatine the precise memorable IP addresses of 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. The institution besides offers a escaped desktop and mobile app, cleverly named 1.1.1.1, which automates utilizing unafraid DNS and provides related privateness extortion features.

There are different free, public, security-centric DNS services, but you won't spell incorrect with these 3 large ones.


How Do I Change My Router's DNS Server?

As acold arsenic switching your router to a fast, unafraid DNS server, I person bully quality and atrocious news. The bully quality is that if you marque the alteration successful your router settings, it affects each connected device. Not conscionable computers and smartphones, caput you, but video doorbells, astute babe monitors, adjacent internet-aware lightbulbs. The atrocious quality is that the precise method for changing your router's DNS settings is antithetic for each router.

To get started, hunt the web by appending "change DNS" to the marque and exemplary of your router. If you're lucky, you'll find a wide acceptable of instructions. Navigate to the desired mounting and participate the superior and alternate DNS addresses for the work you chose. You whitethorn request to restart the router for the alteration to instrumentality effect.

If your router is an all-in-one handling net and TV signals, and perchance telephone arsenic well, you whitethorn not beryllium capable to marque this change. These high-end multi-function devices don’t marque it casual to straight entree settings, and adjacent erstwhile they do, they whitethorn not let you to power to different DNS server. A existent web adept could instal a modular router upstream from the all-in-one and thereby instrumentality greater power implicit the network, but astir of america aren’t existent web experts.


How Do I Change My Device's DNS Server?

Now each the devices connected your location web are utilizing fast, unafraid DNS, but you've astir apt got immoderate devices that don't stay connected the location network. When your laptop oregon smartphone connects to the escaped Wi-Fi astatine that sleazy net café, you're besides utilizing immoderate DNS server the proprietor chose arsenic the default. Who needs cache poisoning erstwhile you person full DNS control?

Change Your DNS Windows 10

That's wherefore you should alteration the section DNS settings connected your laptops and mobile devices. Just however you bash that varies by platform. On Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows+I to unfastened Settings,
  2. Click Network & Internet,
  3. Click Change adapter options,
  4. Right-click your net transportation and take Properties,
  5. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 and click the Properties button,
  6. Click the point labeled Use the pursuing DNS server addresses,
  7. Enter the 2 addresses,
  8. Click OK, and
  9. Repeat the process for Internet Protocol Version 6.

Yes, that's rather a fewer steps, but you tin bash it!

Change Your DNS macOS

If you're utilizing a macOS laptop:

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu,
  2. Select Network,
  3. Highlight the Wi-Fi transportation and click the Advanced button,
  4. Click the DNS tab,
  5. Use the plus-sign fastener to adhd some IPv4 and IPv6 DNS addresses, and
  6. Use the minus-sign fastener to region immoderate existing addresses.

Change Your DNS Android

Where aged versions of Android made mounting your ain prime of DNS servers rather difficult, it’s casual successful modern versions. Well, almost.

  1. Tap Settings,
  2. Choose Network & Internet,
  3. Tap Advanced,
  4. Tap Private DNS,
  5. Tap Private DNS supplier hostname, and
  6. Tap Save.

That next-to-last measurement is the crushed I said it’s almost easy. Android doesn’t fto you participate an casual IP code similar 1.1.1.1 oregon 8.8.8.8. Instead, you indispensable participate the corresponding hostname. For Google Public DNS, that’s not excessively bad—it’s dns.google. But for CloudFlare, you’ll person to benignant 1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com.

Apple’s iOS protects you from each kinds of information problems by locking down settings that different operating systems permission open. This added information tin get successful the way, though. You tin alteration DNS settings connected an iOS device, but you indispensable bash it again each clip you link to a caller Wi-Fi network. As for your cellular connection, there’s nary mode to alteration its DNS settings. Those utilizing iOS request a third-party app to get planetary DNS control. A VPN would bash the job, arsenic would Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 app.


Upgrade the DNS Server, Save the World

You ne'er spot them successful action, but without DNS servers the net conscionable wouldn’t work. They construe human-friendly domain names into machine-friendly IP addresses. Right now, chances are bully you’re utilizing a DNS server supplied by your ISP, a server whose prime is unknown, owned by an entity that apt doesn’t worth your privacy. Switching to a third-party DNS work tin some velocity your net enactment and support against tricky DNS-based attacks. Give it a try!