You might want to change your DNS server for multiple reasons — from improving your browsing speed and privacy to accessing restricted content. But first, you have to know how to do it. Read on to find out more about DNS servers and how to change to a different one.
A DNS (domain name system) server is a computer server that acts as a phonebook for the internet — it translates domain names (like nordvpn.com) into IP addresses (like 22.214.171.124), which are the numerical addresses that computers, mobile phones, and routers use to communicate with each other over the internet. DNS servers make it possible for the traffic to flow between your browser and the server that hosts the information you want to view.
When you type a domain name into your browser’s address bar, the browser sends a request to a DNS server to obtain the corresponding IP address. The DNS server finds the correct IP address and returns it to the browser, allowing the browser to connect to the website’s server and display the website.
ISPs (internet service providers), VPN service providers, businesses, and other organizations operate DNS servers.
You can benefit in several ways by changing your DNS:
However, changing your DNS can be dangerous, especially if you connect to an unreliable DNS server:
Most ISPs provide their own DNS servers, but if you are struggling with internet speed or have doubts about your default DNS server security, you might want to choose a third-party DNS server. But first, you have to know which DNS service providers you can trust. Here is a list of the most popular ones:
When choosing a DNS provider, you should consider both speed and security. While speed is important for a smooth browsing experience, security features like DNSSEC and content filtering can help protect against online threats. You should test different DNS providers to see which one offers the best performance and security and choose either your ISP’s DNS servers or a public DNS address.
Fast and secure third-party DNS servers
|DNS service provider||Primary DNS||Secondary DNS|
|Comodo Secure DNS||126.96.36.199||188.8.131.52|
Google also offers public DNS addresses for internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) (2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844) that you can configure on your device. However, even though the IPv6 address standard was intended to supplement and eventually replace IPv4, it’s not without limitations. Creating a smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is tricky and time-consuming, and IPV6 is not available to devices that run IPv4, so users are reluctant to convert to IPv6. Take into account these limitations before opting for IPv6.
Online security starts with a click.
Stay safe with the world’s leading VPN
1. Right-click the network icon (or the Wi-Fi icon) in the taskbar notification area and select “Network and internet settings.”
2. Choose “Change adapter options.”
3. Right-click on either “Ethernet” or “Wi-Fi,” depending on which one you are using, and choose “Properties.”
4. Select “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click “Properties.”
5. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the primary and secondary addresses of your choice.
That’s it! You’re all set.
1. Find the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your computer screen and click on it.
2. When a window with a search bar appears, type in “Manage network adapter settings” and open the matching result.
3. Find either “Ethernet” or “Wi-Fi,” depending on which one you are using, and click on it. More details will appear, including the option to “View additional properties.” Click it.
4. Next to “DNS server assignment” press the “Edit” button.
5. In the small pop-up box, select “Manual.”
6. Now, adjust the settings as follows:
“IPv4” turned “On”
Preferred DNS: [type in the primary DNS address]
Alternate DNS: [type in the secondary DNS address]
“IPv6” turned “Off”
7. Click “Save.” And you’re done!
1. Go to “System preferences” and click on “Network.”
2. Select the network interface you are using and tap “Details.”
3. Open the “DNS” tab and click the “+” button at the bottom, then add the DNS server addresses of your choice.
You’re all set!
1. Press “Ctrl + T” to open the terminal.
2. Enter the following command to become the root user:
3. Having entered your root password, run these commands:
rm -r /etc/resolv.conf
4. When the text editor opens, type in “nameserver” and the preferred DNS server addresses:
nameserver [primary DNS server address]
nameserver [secondary DNS server address]
5. Close and save the file. You can do so by clicking “Ctrl + X” and pressing “Y.” Then type in the terminal:
chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf
Congratulations! You are now using the servers of your choice.
1. Open your device’s “Settings.”
2. Go to “Connections” and choose “Wi-Fi.”
3. Find the “Current network,” tap the cog icon and press “View more.”
4. Change your “IP settings” to “Static.”
5. Scroll down to the “DNS 1” and “DNS 2” fields that appear and enter your chosen DNS addresses. Tap “Save.”
6. Disconnect from the network, then reconnect for the changes to take effect.
1. Open your device’s “Settings.”
2. Tap on “Wi-Fi.” You’ll have to turn it on if it’s been switched off.
3. Choose a Wi-Fi network and tap on the blue “i” icon.
4. Then tap “Configure DNS” and select “Manual.”
5. Tap “Add server” and add the DNS addresses of your choice.
You may want to change your router’s DNS settings to improve internet connection speed, security, and efficiency. By default, your router uses DNS servers operated by your ISP. All the devices connected to your network use the same DNS servers that your router does, which means that by changing DNS server settings on your router, you also apply the same configuration to every device on your network. So let’s see how it’s done.
1. To access your router’s admin page, type “http://192.168.1.1” into your browser’s address bar.
2. Select “WAN” from the left-side menu and click the “Internet connection” tab.
3. Scroll down to “WAN DNS setting” and change the setting “Connect to DNS server automatically” to “No.”
4. Enter your preferred primary and secondary DNS server addresses in the “DNS server 1” and “DNS server 2” fields.
5. Click “Apply” to save the new settings.
First, you need to find the default gateway IP address of your specific router. Type “cmd” into the search field on your desktop taskbar to open “Command Prompt,” enter “ipconfig,” and find the string of numbers listed next to “Default gateway.” Having found your router’s default gateway IP, follow these steps:
1. Enter the default gateway IP address into your browser to sign in to the NetGear web interface.
2. If your NetGear interface has both “Basic” and “Advanced” tabs displayed at the top of the page, select “Basic” and click on “Internet.” If it only has the “Basic” tab, just click “Settings.”
3. Under the DNS address, select “Use these DNS servers.”
4. Enter your preferred primary and secondary DNS server addresses in the “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS” fields.
5. Click “Apply” and restart your device if prompted. And you’re good to go!
1. To sign in to your Linksys router’s web interface, type “http://192.168.1.1” into your browser’s address bar.
2. Click “Setup” on the main menu and select “Basic setup.”
3. Enter your preferred primary and secondary DNS server addresses in the “Static DNS 1” and “Static DNS 2” fields.
4. You can add a different DNS server address in the “Static DNS 3” field, or you can leave that field blank.
5. To save the new settings, click “Apply” at the bottom of the screen.
Another way to make your connection and online traffic more secure is to set up a VPN on your router. You may use up to a total of six devices simultaneously with one active NordVPN subscription. However, you can configure your router with a VPN connection to cover your whole household, while using only one of the six available slots.
If you are looking for a secure DNS connection, NordVPN’s servers are the right choice. By default, NordVPN offers private DNS in its native apps, but you can also configure your devices manually to use secure DNS server addresses. You should do so if you are connecting to NordVPN from a non-native app or are having problems setting up DNS addresses in the app. You can find the detailed instructions on how to configure NordVPN DNS addresses on different devices by visiting our support page on connectivity and typing “DNS” in the search bar.
Now it’s time to try out your new DNS settings by doing a DNS leak test. Simply go to the DNS leak test website and choose either a standard or extended test.
If you are using a VPN, your online traffic, including DNS queries, should be routed through the VPN network. A DNS leak test works by sending a number of domain names for the VPN to resolve. If at least one of the servers in the results belongs to your ISP, the VPN probably has a DNS leak. However, if the test displays DNS servers that don’t belong to your ISP, your traffic is secure.
Want to read more like this?
Get the latest news and tips from NordVPN.
We value your privacy