If you’re looking for an alternate, secure method of connecting to the internet, the best DNS servers are your best bet. Utilizing one of these open, free servers will boost your internet speed.
For those of you who are not familiar with DNS servers, the DNS, sometimes referred to as the Domain Name System, is a process or system that transforms the domain names you type into a browser into the IP addresses necessary to access that particular websites.
Every time you connect to the internet, if you don’t already have one, one will be assigned to you. But since your ISP is the one who gives it to you, it’s not always the best choice.Slow servers make websites take longer to load, and if your server goes down, you might as well not have an internet connection at all.
A free and public DNS server will reduce the likelihood of technical issues and speed up browsing significantly. To keep your children away from some questionable parts of the internet, some gadgets also have content filtering and security measures like blocking harmful or phishing websites.
This essay will highlight six of the best DNS servers to help direct you in the right direction. Because not all service providers will unquestionably be superior to your ISP, you should carefully choose your supplier.
What is DNS?
As the internet’s version of a phone book, the Domain Name System (DNS) transforms URLs like facebook.com and twitter.com into the IP addresses needed by devices to access those websites (e.g. 184.108.40.206). That is known to as Resolution in nerd parlance.
The workings of DNS may be fairly complicated because data is dispersed among a sizable number of DNS servers rather than being held in a single database.
Fortunately, the majority of internet users don’t have to worry about any complicated technological details. Your ISP offers you access to a DNS server as soon as you go online, and whenever you type a URL into your browser, this will help you find the correct IP address.
The top-rated CDN provider Cloudflare (opens in new tab) has increased the range of services it offers by adding a new public DNS service with the catchy name 220.127.116.11.
The foundations are now much more of a priority for Cloudflare. The first of these is performance, and independent research from websites like DNSPerf shows that Cloudflare is the fastest public DNS service currently available.
Privacy is still another important advantage. Cloudflare guarantees never to save the requesting IP address (yours) on disc and never to use your browser data to show advertisements. Any lingering logs will be deleted after 24 hours. Furthermore, these claims go beyond just platitudes on a website.
Cloudflare has contracted with KPMG to audit its processes once a year and produce a public report in order to make sure it is upholding its pledges.
On the 18.104.22.168 website, you may find straightforward setup instructions for routers, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux devices. Even though these are very general instructions that apply to all Windows versions, there are some benefits (IPv6 as well as IPv4 information), so you should be able to figure it out. Additionally, mobile users have access to WARP, which secures all internet traffic on the phone.
The software does not include an ad-blocking feature, nor does it try to limit what you can and cannot access.Cloudflare has integrated content screening for malware and pornographic material blocking with its 22.214.171.124/126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52/184.108.40.206 services, albeit this is a choice users have rather than a requirement.
The community forum that Cloudflare offers (opens in new tab) is a useful add-on that we’d like to see other providers implement. There, you can post queries and check out what other users are up to.
2.Google Public DNS
You may quickly and effectively replace your own ISP’s nameservers with Google Public DNS (opens in new tab).
Although Cloudflare’s assurances that “we don’t store anything” aren’t entirely met, privacy is still not terrible. The service logs every IP address detail of the requesting device for between 24 and 48 hours for troubleshooting and debugging purposes.
The majority of “permanent” records, which only contain location data up to the city level and do not include any individually identifying information, are deleted after two weeks, with the exception of a tiny random sample.
For experienced users, the detailed description of the service offered by Google provides another benefit.You can review all the information in the service logs and decide for yourself, for instance, whether Google’s privacy statement (opens in new tab) is significant.
Google’s support website only offers very basic instructions for experienced users and advises that “only users who are skilled with modifying operating system settings [should] make these modifications.” If you’re not sure what you’re doing, use Google’s 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 nameservers instead of OpenDNS’ 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 nameservers.
Quad9 (opens in new tab), a brand-new DNS provider, has been providing a rapid and cost-free DNS service since August 2016.
These sources are unknown, however according to the website as of December 2018, Quad9 relies on 18+ “threat intelligence suppliers.” The company prides itself on being able to ban hazardous websites by collecting information from “a mix of public and private sources.”
We don’t know how many threat intelligence providers will truly be useful because that seems a little too hazy; normally, the quality of the intelligence is more important than the quantity.
However, Quad9’s performance cannot be disputed. It currently earns a seven out of ten rating from DNSPerf for average global query times, placing it above of rivals like Comodo but behind only Cloudflare and OpenDNS.
Although there are some speed variations when you look at the specifics (Quad9 is ranked sixth for North American enquiries), the service still outperforms rivals as a whole.
The setup advice is fairly limited, including only instructions for the most recent releases of Windows and macOS. However, they are provided in a clear manner, making it easy to comprehend what needs to be done.
Cisco presently owns one of the most well-known brands in public DNS, which was established in 2005.
A few benefits of the free service include fast connections, 100% uptime, default blocking of phishing websites, optional parental controls-style web filtering to restrict websites by content category, and free email support.
Commercial subscriptions let you look back a year’s worth of online activity data, and you may choose to secure your system by limiting access to only a few websites. These features aren’t necessary for the average user, but you can buy them if you’re interested for a small fee.
If you’re familiar with DNS switching, you can get started right away by configuring your device to use the OpenDNS nameservers.OpenDNS has setup instructions (opens in new tab) for PCs, Macs, mobile devices, routers, and a tonne of other devices, so it’s okay if you’re a newbie.
5.Comodo Secure DNS
It is not surprising that Comodo Group, the company behind several excellent security solutions, now offers a private DNS service.As you might expect, Comodo Secure DNS (opens in new tab) places a strong focus on security.
In addition to blocking phishing websites, it alerts you if you attempt to access websites that contain malware, spyware, or even parked domains that could overwhelm you with adverts (pop-ups, pop-unders and more). You can also try out the Comodo Dome Shield service, which adds new features to Comodo Secure DNS.
In addition to being more intelligent than the standard, Comodo claims that their solution detects attempts to browse parked or “not in use” websites and quickly reroutes you to the location you meant.
Performance is essential, of course, and the company asserts that it has an advantage thanks to its global server network and clever routing technology. Unfortunately, Comodo numbers weren’t all that impressive, and in our tests, the typical query time was around 72 milliseconds.
However, Comodo can still be of interest if you’re looking for an extra layer of web filtration. Simple but useful setup instructions are provided on the support website for configuring the service on Windows computers, Macs, routers, and Chromebooks.
Best DNS servers FAQs
Your ISP’s DNS isn’t functioning correctly? Verisign is one among the many well-known companies offering a free substitute.
How we choose the best DNS server for you
DNS server speeds can vary significantly, particularly in locations with subpar internet connectivity (Africa, South America, Oceania.) For instance, DNSPerf.com reported that on the day of our tests, Cloudflare’s Oceania query speeds averaged 4.43 milliseconds, while Yandex lagged at 350.24 milliseconds.
This could cause your browser to take longer than a third of a second to load a new page.Fair enough, this is a really extreme case. For European or US lookups, the majority of DNS providers may only differ by less than 30 ms, and even these delays are uncommon because your device or network frequently caches the IP for later use.
However, as the best choices are all free, it’s always a good idea to test a different DNS server as a slow DNS server can occasionally significantly slow down your browsing.In terms of uptime, there is still another benefit.
If your ISP’s DNS server goes down, you might not be able to access any or all of your favourite websites. OpenDNS and other well-known providers claim to have a 100% uptime track record. We take into account these factors when choosing the best DNS servers.
How we test a DNS server?
With any service, you get what you pay for, and this is no different. Free DNS can be helpful, but it is nothing compared to Premium, a more expensive option. Even while not everyone wants to pay and may not need to depending on their needs, paid DNS is typically a better alternative. In addition to improved website security and speed, you also get new features.
For instance, Dynamic DNS and Secondary DNS are important parts of the premium DNS service. The Dynamic DNS, which uses dynamic IP addresses, allows users to access their home computers from anywhere in the world. In a way, the Secondary DNS serves as a backup, which is typically advantageous.
This is just a small part of what a premium DNS can do; the exact number of features may vary depending on the service provider, which is one of the aspects we look at when assessing a DNS service.
Depending on your requirements, we also evaluate DNS servers to see if they can filter material to stop advertisements, trackers, malware, phishing, and websites that are inappropriate for children.
How can I find the fastest DNS service?
Your location, the distance to your nearest server, and whether or not that server has the capacity and bandwidth to fulfil all incoming queries are just a few of the many variables that affect DNS performance.
You can test the effectiveness of multiple public DNS providers for yourself using a portable shareware application called DNS Jumper (opens in new tab).The application is easy to use despite offering a wide variety of options. It will open with a list of DNS services arranged by speed when you choose Fastest DNS > Start DNS Test.
Although DNS Jumper can be useful for keeping an eye on server performance from your location, it doesn’t run enough tests over an adequate period of time to allow you to draw a firm conclusion.
More than 200 sites across the world take part in DNSPerf’s (opens in new tab) testing every minute, and the results are made available to the public on the business’ website. This gives an extremely precise overall picture of performance and enables cross-continental service comparison and uptime measurement.
How can I switch DNS servers?
When changing your DNS provider, there are a few steps to do depending on your hardware and possibly your operating system version.
It is frequently necessary to start by finding the primary and secondary nameservers for the DNS service you wish to use. For instance, 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 are used by Cloudflare DNS since they are frequently displayed in plain sight on the service page.
The simplest approach for consumers at home is to update their router to use the new addresses. Most other devices will then automatically adopt the modified DNS settings and require no further intervention.
The default router password may be written on the device’s base. To find the primary and secondary DNS nameservers, you must log in to the router. Make a note of the current values and then replace them with the nameservers you want to use if there are problems.
If you run into any problems, look at the setup instructions on your DNS service’s website. Keep in mind that you are free to follow the directions from other DNS providers as well; just make sure to substitute your preferred nameserver IPs for those provided by them. For example, the OpenDNS support site offers comprehensive instructions for a range of router types (opens in new tab).
If making changes to the router isn’t the best course of action for your situation, you might need to change the DNS settings on each device. Although OpenDNS’ website (opens in new tab) goes into more detail, Cloudflare’s concise and easy-to-follow instructions are available here (opens in new tab).
How can I find my current DNS servers?
If you’re troubleshooting your internet connection or thinking about changing DNS servers, knowing which DNS servers you presently use may be useful.
To do this quickly, open a new tab, navigate to DNSLeakTest.com, and choose the Standard Test option. Within a few seconds, the website will frequently reveal your DNS server IP addresses, host names, and occasionally (if appropriate) the name of your ISP.
Life then gets more difficult because there are several options. It’s possible that your device is set up to use a certain DNS server, that it asks your router for the best DNS servers each time it starts, or that it has no idea what DNS servers are and relies only on your router to process all requests.
On Windows, start by entering IPCONFIG /ALL into a command line window. If you look for it, the DNS servers for your network adapter should be listed.
The router is probably handling all DNS requests if the sole DNS IP address that responds to queries is 192.168.x.x on your router. Once you type that IP address into your browser and, if necessary, log into the router, your DNS servers should be among the choices.