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What is Google DNS, and how do you start using it?

Google DNS is the largest public DNS server available for free worldwide. Read our guide and learn how to change your device’s settings to use Google DNS.

What is Google DNS, and how do you start using it?

What is Google Public DNS?

Google Public DNS is a Domain Name System (DNS) developed by Google and available free of charge to users worldwide. It receives information from authoritative name servers and responds to numerous DNS queries. Google DNS was announced in December 2009 and is currently one of the largest public DNSs. Its primary aim is to make the internet faster and more efficient.

Why switch to Google DNS?

DNS servers are responsible for translating complex numeric IP addresses into addresses that are easy for humans to remember. If you want to visit your favorite site, you don’t have to remember its IP address. All you have to do is type in the URL, and the DNS server will take care of the rest.

Every internet service provider (ISP) provides its DNS servers to customers. In general, these DNS servers tend to meet the basic needs of internet users. However, sometimes, the ISP may struggle with a high volume of DNS requests, or the quality of the DNS server may decline for other reasons.

Google created its Google DNS server to make the internet faster and more secure. So changing the default DNS address to Google DNS can solve some performance problems.

But changing DNS to Google Public DNS servers isn’t your only option. Many other services, including NordVPN, offer their own DNS servers. When using the private DNS provided by a VPN, it’s worth paying attention to its security. You should perform a DNS leak test to check whether your DNS requests go to your VPN provider instead of the ISP’s server.

How to start using Google DNS on your device

Changing the default DNS server address is easy – the following guide explains how to switch to Google DNS on different devices.

However, before you make any changes at any stage of this guide, we recommend saving a screenshot of your default settings or writing them down on a piece of paper. It will make it easier for you to restore them if something goes wrong.

Set up Google DNS on Windows

Here’s how to switch to Google DNS in Windows 10/11:

  1. Open the “Control Panel.”
  2. Go to “Network and internet” > “Network and sharing center” > “Change adapter settings.”
  3. Select the connection for which you want to change the settings. Right-click and select “Properties.”
  4. Select the “Networking” tab.
  5. You’ll see a checklist: “This connection uses the following items.” Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” or “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” and click “Properties.”
  6. Select “Advanced” and go to the “DNS” tab.
  7. If there are any DNS server addresses here, delete them and click “OK.”
  8. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses.”
  9. Type in the Google DNS server addresses:
    • 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4 for IPv4.
    • 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844 for IPv6.
  10. Apply the changes.

Set up Google DNS on macOS

Here’s how to switch to Google DNS on macOS:

  1. Open “Apple menu” > “System preferences” > “Network.”
  2. If you see a locked padlock icon in the left corner, click it to change settings. Enter your password if prompted.
  3. Select the connection you want to make changes to and click “Advanced.”
  4. Select the “DNS” tab.
  5. Click plus (“+”) to add new DNS server addresses to the list or replace existing ones.
  6. Enter the DNS server addresses:
    • 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4 for IPv4.
    • 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844 for IPv6.
  7. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

Set up Google DNS on Android

Here’s how to switch to Google DNS on Android 9 or later:

  1. Open “Settings” > “Network & internet” > “Advanced” > “Private DNS.”
  2. Select “Private DNS provider hostname.”
  3. In the “Hostname of the DNS provider” field, enter “dns.google.”
  4. Apply the changes.

If you use an older Android system, you can still change the DNS settings, but it’s a bit more complicated. Older Android systems do not support DNS-over-TLS technology. You’ll need to make the changes separately for each network.

Set up Google DNS on iPhone

Here’s how to switch to Google DNS on an iPhone or other iOS device:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Wi-Fi.”
  2. Tap the “i” icon next to the Wi-Fi network you want to change the settings for.
  3. Scroll down to the DNS section and tap “Configure DNS.”
  4. Tap “Manual.”
  5. Add new DNS server addresses:
    • 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4 for IPv4.
    • 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844 for IPv6.
  6. Apply changes.

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