“Visit us online at 93.184.216.34” – although this invitation may appear strange to us, it impressively demonstrates the value of Domain Name System (DNS) name resolution. While users would probably struggle to remember IP addresses in this form – severely limiting the amount of online visitors to the site – this is not at all the case for the domain counterpart – www.example.org.

DNS servers mean that you don’t have to memorize complex series of numbers to access your local restaurant’s website in your browser, for example, and can confidently be considered among the most important pillars of the internet. Despite the fact that they make browsing online a lot easier, they can also cause delays in website loading times– especially if an unsuitable DNS server is being used.

Contents

  • Why changing DNS server can be worthwhile
  • How to change DNS server: A guide for Windows, macOS, and other platforms
  • Changing DNS server on Windows 10 – how it works
  • How to change DNS server in Windows 8
  • How to change DNS server in Windows 7
  • How to change DNS server on a Mac
  • Changing your DNS server in Linux systems
  • Changing DNS servers on Android devices – follow these steps
  • Changing DNS servers in iOS – how it works on iPhones and similar devices
  • Why changing DNS server can be worthwhile

    When connecting to the internet via a router, you automatically obtain not only the IP address but also the DNS server settings. And generally, that’s a good thing. As a user, this means you don’t need to deal with configuring your own address and ensuring name resolution yourself. Simply connect the devices you wish to use to the router; protocols like DHCP will then handle the allocation of the information you need in order to connect.

    Typical DNS connection points are the name servers of the various internet providers, which are generally a good choice. Since the providers are interested in delivering the best possible service, they usually also provide the required capacity to respond to incoming DNS queries quickly and reliably. However, changing the standard DNS server may be necessary or advisable for the following three reasons:

    • Speed: Another DNS server may offer a speed advantage in name resolution, resulting in faster loading times and a better ping in online games. Here, many users prefer OpenDNS name servers as well as Google’s public DNS servers, which are considered particularly fast. Tools like namebench help you to find the quickest DNS server for you.
    • Availability: The DNS server may not be available, which stops name resolution in its tracks and prevents websites from loading. This is usually due to a temporary problem that can be solved straight away by changing DNS servers, without having to wait for a solution from the provider.
    • DNS blocking: The DNS filter list of the provider’s name server may contain domains you wish to access. In this case, name resolution will not be performed and you will be denied access to these websites. By changing the DNS settings and selecting a server that doesn’t include the domain in a blacklist, you can open the relevant website as desired.

    How to change DNS server: A guide for Windows, macOS, and other platforms

    If you’d like to change the DNS server on your device for one of the above reasons – or just to see how it works – you can easily do this yourself via the system’s network settings. The necessary steps here may vary, of course. For instance, DNS server changes are performed differently in Windows than on a Mac or Android device. So, here’s a brief guide for changing DNS servers on various platforms such as Windows 10, macOS, Linux (Ubuntu) or iOS. As examples, it contains the addresses of Google DNS servers as the new server addresses (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

    Note

    The guide explains how you can change the DNS server for IPv4, since the traditional protocol version still offers broader support than the successor IPv6. However, Google DNS servers can already be reached via the addresses 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844. If you wish, you can also therefore change DNS server on the newer internet protocol version.

    Changing DNS server on Windows 10 – how it works

    As a Windows 10 user, you can change the DNS server in the “Network Connections” menu. To open this menu, right-click on the Windows logo and then click on the menu item with the same name.

    You can also open the Quick Access menu in Windows 10 using the key combination [Windows key] + [X].

    You will now see a list of established connections. Right-click the connection for the DNS server change to select it. If you’re using a desktop PC, you’ll probably have a connection that’s set up via network cable. In this case, choose “Ethernet”. If the device is connected to the internet by Wi-Fi, select “Wi-Fi,” then click on “Properties” in the menu that appears.

    If you connect the device to the internet both via cable and Wi-Fi, it is recommended to change the DNS server for both connection types.

    Double click on the menu item “Internet protocol, version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and activate the option “Use the following DSN server addresses.” Now enter the addresses for both Google servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

    Manually configuring the DNS server allows you to enter two addresses (a preferred and an alternative server)

    To confirm the DNS server changes in Windows 10, click on the “OK” button.

    Note

    Alternatively, you can change the DNS server settings in Windows 10 using the command line. Simply enter the following commands:

    netsh interface ip add dns name=”connection name” addr=8.8.8.8 index=1

    netsh interface ip add dns name=”connection name” addr=8.8.4.4 index=2

    Instead of the placeholder “connection name,” use the corresponding name of the LAN or WLAN connection.

    How to change DNS server in Windows 8

    Windows 8 users should first navigate to the Network and Sharing Center. This can be opened either via the control panel (“Start Menu” -> “Control Panel”) or via the network connection symbol in the task bar’s notifications panel. Once you’ve found the icon, click on it with the right mouse button and select the option “Open Network and Sharing Center.”

    The network connection symbol is not always displayed in the windows task bar, but it can be found by clicking “Show hidden symbols.”

    Open the adapter settings by clicking on the appropriate button.

    You can configure connected and established network adapters (LAN, WLAN, etc.) in the adapter settings.

    Now right click on the connection you want to configure and select “Properties” in the menu that then appears. After that, double-click on “Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and you will open the menu for changing the DNS server in Windows 8, where you can enter the above addresses for the public Google DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

    Entering the Google addresses to change DNS server in Windows 8How to change DNS server in Windows 7

    In order to change DNS server in Windows 7, first open the Network and Sharing Center – either via the control panel, where you’ll find a corresponding menu item, or by right-clicking on the network connection symbol in the notifications panel on the task bar (also known as the system tray) and then clicking “Open Network and Sharing Center.”

    If you can’t find the mini-symbol for your network connection, you can also open the Network and Sharing Center in Windows 7 via the control panel.

    In the next menu, select the option “Change adapter settings” and then choose the connection with the DNS settings you wish to change.

    Cable and Wi-Fi connections can easily be differentiated in Windows 7 by the symbol: Cable connections are indicated by a plug, while the signal strength icon is displayed for Wi-Fi connections.

    You can open the protocol and service overview for the selected connection by right-clicking and going to “Properties”. Look for the entry “Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and double-click to bring up the menu for changing the DNS server in Windows 7.

    Both IPv4 and IPv6 are activated as standard in Windows 7. Whether it’s worthwhile to change the DNS setup primarily depends on your router, which has to provide the necessary support.

    In the last step, activate the option “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter both addresses for the public DNS servers:

    Preferred DNS server: 8.8.8.8

    Alternative DNS server: 8.8.4.4

    How to change DNS server on a Mac

    The following steps are required to change DNS server on a Mac:

    Click on the Apple logo and then on “System Preferences”:

    As soon as you click on the Apple logo, the macOS system menu will automatically open.

    Next, search for “Network” and click on it.

    If you have difficulty finding the network symbol, you can alternatively enter “Network” into the search bar to bring up the menu item straight away.

    Select “More Options…” in the network menu and then switch to the “DNS” tab.

    Not only can you make DNS server changes in the advanced network options, you can also, among other options, change your IP address or set a proxy server.

    You can now enter the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses for the public Google servers via the plus sign.

    If necessary, entered DNS server addresses can be removed using the minus symbol. Note

    Accessed websites may be saved in the DNS cache. To apply the new DNS server settings to these websites, it is therefore necessary to empty the cache. Find out how to do this by reading the related section of our guide on DNS flushing.

    Changing your DNS server in Linux systems

    As a user of a Linus operating system, you can change DNS server on your own. In distributions like Debian or Arch Linux, which are specifically designed for the server environment and are highly configurable, but also in older versions of Ubuntu, you can make these changes in the resolv.conf file. Simply open it via the terminal using your preferred editor, such as gedit

    The text editor gedit is automatically installed on most Linux distributions, meaning you can start it right away (using, for example, the command shown above).

    You can find currently allocated addresses under “nameserver,” which you can replace with the public DNS server addresses:

    You can also open the resolv.conf file in newer Ubuntu versions – however all changes will automatically be overwritten again by the system.

    If your distribution doesn’t allow any adjustments to the resolv.conf file, you can also usually change the DNS server via the graphical user interface. For example, in Ubuntu, open the system settings via the cog symbol and click on “Network.”

    The button for opening the Ubuntu network settings can be found in the “Hardware” section.

    You’ll find a list of connections on the left side of the next menu. Here, select your desired connection and then click on the “Options” button in the bottom right.

    In the Ubuntu network menu, for example, you can find out which DNS server is currently responsible for name resolution.

    Switch to the “IPv4 Settings” tab and select the method “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only” instead of the default option via DHCP. Next, enter the addresses of the new DNS servers in the field provided, separating the two addresses with a comma.

    If you wish, you can also enter the new DNS servers’ IPv6 addresses in the IPv6 settings for your Linux device.Changing DNS servers on Android devices – follow these steps

    If your Android device is connected via Wi-Fi, you have the option to change the DNS servers for this connection without using additional apps. Simply open the system settings and search for the wireless connection with the DNS entries you wish to change under “Wi-Fi.” Press it down for a short while until the option “Change network” appears.

    Make sure that Wi-Fi is activated on your device – otherwise Android will not display the established connections.

    In the following menu, check “Show advanced options” and set the IP settings to “Static.”

    Android combines the manual configuration of IP and DNS addresses. But you can simply accept the current IP that was previously distributed via DHCP as the new static address.

    Now simply enter the addresses of the Google servers in rows “DNS 1” and “DNS 2” before confirming the DNS server changes by pressing “Save.”

    The alternative public DNS server of Google (8.8.4.4) in Android is often already entered as a second solution.Changing DNS servers in iOS – how it works on iPhones and similar devices

    If you’re a user of a current iOS device, you can change the DNS settings for configured Wi-Fi connections as follows:

    Open the settings and tap on the “Wi-Fi” button:

    To change the DNS server settings for a specific Wi-Fi connection, you don’t necessarily have to be connected to it.

    Search for the network with the DNS server settings you’d like to change and tap on the information button (the little “i”) to open the address menu. Then select the option “Configure DNS.”

    The Wi-Fi settings include options for changing your IP, switching DNS servers or setting a proxy server.

    Now change the configuration method for DNS to “Manual”:

    iOS automatically selects the DNS server defined by the particular internet provider as standard.

    Clear the existing DNS servers by tapping on the minus symbol next to the corresponding entries. The “Add Server” button then allows you to add both addresses for the Google servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) before confirming the DNS changes by pressing “Save.”

    You can also return to the iOS DNS menu any time after saving the DNS server settings to enter additional or other server addresses.

    • 19.12.19
    • Configuration
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