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Stay safe, see more with private DNS

  • Protection from DNS hijacking
  • No DNS blocking or filtering — unless you ask
  • Faster DNS query processing
  • We don’t log your online activities
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Private DNS for global communications

What is DNS and how does it work?

A Domain Name System or DNS is like the phonebook for the whole internet. It resolves domain names (such as nordvpn.com) into the IP addresses used by machines to connect to each other. In other words, it translates the long, complex numeric names of web servers into human language, and the other way around.

The DNS process, step-by-step

01

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

02

Linking to IP address

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

03

Resolving domain name

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

04

Connecting to device

Your device attempts to open a connection to the IP address

What is private DNS?

Keeping DNS records private at all times

While most people use public DNS services run by their chosen internet service provider (ISP), anyone can set up their own DNS server. This practice, known as private DNS, allows the server’s owner to have full control over available IP addresses and network access.

Private DNS is essential for your privacy and security, since your ISP’s public DNS servers record every DNS query that you make — and ISPs are often legally required to keep these records for years.

What is a DNS server for VPN?

NordVPN automatically uses private DNS when your browse online

Virtual private networks (VPN) like NordVPN also use 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 — even your ISP will only know that you’ve logged in to our servers, and we’ll take care of everything from there.

Private DNS is essential for your privacy and security, since your ISP’s public DNS servers record every DNS query that you make — and ISPs are often legally required to keep these records for years.

Free DNS vs. VPNs with private DNS

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Free DNS
Shields online activities
Stops DNS hijacking
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 against DNS hijacking and other attacks.

Fast DNS resolution

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

No unwanted DNS filtering

We are opposed to censorship in all forms, including DNS blocking that 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 without having to encrypt your whole connection. While this can leave you vulnerable, smart DNS is a great option for those who need speed above all else.

Best private DNS for gaming with a VPN

NordVPN has the best private DNS for gaming

If you’re looking to game online, you’re looking for speed — and due to using advanced infrastructure to process your DNS requests, NordVPN delivers lightning-quick DNS resolution times. All VPNs will slow down your online gaming experience a little due to encrypting your data, but with NordVPN, you probably won’t even notice it.

Summary: the benefits of private DNS

NordVPN private DNS safes you from DNS hijacking

Stops DNS hijacking

By encrypting all of your online traffic, NordVPN shields your DNS requests from third parties. This means no one can spy on you or secretly redirect you to a malicious site.

Fully accessible internet without DNS blocking

Avoids DNS blocking

Experience the internet the way it was meant to be — free from censorship. NordVPN DNS servers do not limit your access to the online world in any way.

Faster internet with faster DNS processing

Faster DNS processing

Unlike many sluggish free VPNs, we are constantly optimizing our network for speed and security. This likely means faster DNS response times where it matters, like gaming.

Frequently asked questions