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Private DNS: Stay safe and see more

  • Protection from DNS hijacking
  • No DNS blocking or filtering — unless you ask
  • Faster DNS query processing
  • No-logs policy
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Private DNS for global communications

What is a DNS?

A DNS (Domain Name System) is an important internet protocol that resolves human-friendly internet addresses into the IP addresses used by machines to connect to each other. In other words, it translates URLs and domain names to numerical IP addresses.

How does a DNS work step by step?


Requesting website name

After entering a domain name (for example, by typing it in your browser), your device sends a DNS query to a DNS resolver


Linking to IP address

The DNS resolver checks its cache or asks other DNS servers to link the domain name to an IP address


Resolving domain name

The DNS resolver gives your device the correct IP address (“resolves” the domain)


Connecting to device

Your device attempts to open a connection to the IP address

What is a private DNS?

Keeping DNS records private at all times

A private DNS is the one you create and manage as opposed to public DNS services, run by internet service providers (ISPs). It allows its owner to have full control over available IP addresses and network access.

DNS is crucial for the internet functionality, but a private DNS is vital for ensuring your online privacy. Using your ISP’s DNS servers tells it everything you’re doing online — and ISPs are often legally required to keep these records for years. And because the majority of free DNS services are unencrypted, snoops with the right tools can listen in to your connection and monitor your every move.

VPN with private DNS

NordVPN automatically uses private DNS when your browse online

A VPN uses DNS to help your device navigate. Our private DNS servers will safely handle all DNS requests, keeping everyone else out of the loop. NordVPN will protect you automatically — your ISP will only know that you’ve logged in to our servers, we’ll take care of everything from there.

Free DNS vs. VPNs with private DNS

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Free DNS
Shields online activities
Stops DNS hijacking
Encrypts queries
Fast DNS resolution
No unwanted DNS filtering
Integrated smart DNS
Get NordVPN

Shields your online activities

NordVPN encrypts all of your online traffic, making your DNS queries to our private DNS servers virtually impregnable to others. This protects you from attacks such as DNS hijacking.

Best speeds for gaming

NordVPN handles all of your DNS requests directly using highly optimized DNS servers. Since our sprawling network is regularly upgraded for speed, it’s a great choice if you need a secure DNS server for gaming.

No unwanted DNS filtering

We are opposed to censorship in all forms, including DNS blocking, which stops you from participating in free online discussion. NordVPN offers optional DNS filtering with the Threat Protection feature in place to block malicious websites. It also blocks trackers, flashy ads, and malware-infected files.

Integrated smart DNS

Our aptly named SmartDNS feature gives you a tool to avoid DNS filters and unblock online content without having to encrypt your whole connection. While this can leave you vulnerable, a smart DNS is a great option for those who need speed above all else.

Frequently asked questions