HomeTechnologyComputingHow to change the DNS settings on your Windows PC

How to change the DNS settings on your Windows PC

Prostock studio/Shutterstock

The DNS, or Domain Name System, acts as a phone book for the Internet to convert between IP address and domain name. By default, your Windows home computer uses the DNS server set up by your ISP. But you don’t have to stay with that server.

Certain third-party DNS services often offer better security and faster performance than your ISP’s.

Such services include Google DNS, Cloudflare, OpenDNS and Comodo SecureDNS. Here’s how to change your PC’s DNS settings to use an alternate provider.

First, let’s see how to change the DNS server settings and then we’ll look at some of the third-party DNS providers. The steps to change the DNS server vary between Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Also: Yes, you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade. Here’s how

How to change the DNS settings on your Windows PC

On Windows 10, go to Settings > Network & Internet. In the Advanced network settings section, select the setting for Change adapter options.

In the Network Connections control panel, right-click the icon for the connection you want to change, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and select Properties.

In the Properties window, click the entry for Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IP v4) and then click the Properties knob.

In the Internet Protocol Version 4 Properties window, select the radio button for Use the following DNS server addresses.

Note that there are fields for preferred and alternate DNS servers. The alternate server is used if the preferred server is unavailable or does not respond quickly enough. Type the IP addresses provided by the service for both servers in the appropriate fields and click Okay.

Windows 10 windows for changing DNS settings on Windows PC

Change DNS settings in Windows 10.

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Also: The best Windows laptops

Change DNS server settings in Windows 11

In Windows 11, go to Settings > Network & Internet. Select the option for Advanced network settings. Click the entry for the type of connection you want to change: Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Then select the option for View additional properties.

In the Properties screen, click the Edit button for DNS server mapping. In the Edit DNS settings window, click the drop-down menu for Automatic (DHCP) and change it to Manual. Turn on the switch for IPv4 and type the IP addresses for the preferred and alternate DNS servers in the appropriate fields, remembering to add the dots in the correct places. Click Save.

Edit pop-up DNS settings in Windows 11

Change DNS settings in Windows 11.

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Do you need to change the IPv6 address?

Since the world has already run out of version 4 IP addresses, we have slowly moved to IP version 6, which offers a much larger number of usable addresses. Does this mean you should also change the DNS servers for IPv6? Not necessary. Most ISPs do not support IPv6 or are still in the testing phase.

You can check if your ISP has jumped on board version 6. Browse to the Test IPv6 website using your current connection. The results will tell you if your ISP supports the newer protocol. If so, most third-party services do provide IPv6 addresses.

Third-party DNS providers

Now that you know the process for changing your DNS server settings, let’s look at some third-party services worth trying.

Google public DNS

Google Public DNS page

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Google public DNS is one of the most popular third-party DNS providers, handling name and IP address resolution faster than many other services. Google’s DNS server is designed to protect you from spoofing attacks that try to redirect you to malicious sites. The company’s website for its DNS service shares details about its performance and security features and offers an issue tracker and user forum.

Also: Hate Windows 11? Here’s how to make it work more like Windows 10

Google public DNS addresses

IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844

Cloudflare DNS

Cloudflare DNS installation on PC

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Cloudflare DNS is another alternative DNS provider that aims to be faster than competing services. Cloudflare also promises that it won’t log your IP address, a process used by many ISPs that gives them the ability to log the sites you visit.

Cloudflare DNS addresses

IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Open DNS

OpenDNS Benefit Matrix

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Owned and operated by Cisco, Open DNS offers two free and two paid packages to consumers. On the free side is the basic package Open DNS HomeWhile the OpenDNS Family Shield plan can block adult content for those of you who have kids at home.

For $19.95 per year, OpenDNS VIP can block web browsing by restricting access to specific whitelisted domains. Priced at $20 per person for up to five users, OpenDNS Prosumer is designed for home offices and small businesses and offers protection against malicious domains.

OpenDNS home addresses

IPv4: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

IPv6: 2620:119:35::35 and 2620:119:53::53

OpenDNS Family Shield addresses

IPv4: 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123

Comodo SecureDNS

Comodo Secure DNS page

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Coming from a trustworthy cybersecurity company, Comodo SecureDNS is worth considering if you are concerned about your online safety. The company’s DNS service tries to protect you from phishing attacks and malware. SecureDNS also maintains a real-time list of malicious websites and warns you if you try to access any of them.

Also: This new Windows feature makes password hacking much more difficult

Comodo SecureDNS addresses

IPv4: 8.26.56.26 and 8.20.247.20

Change your router’s DNS settings

Finally, you can easily change the DNS settings for all computers and other devices in your home. To do this, log in to your router’s firmware. Look for an Internet or network settings setting and locate the DNS addresses section.

The existing option is probably set to get the addresses from your ISP. Change that to assign the addresses manually, then type in the preferred and alternate addresses of the service of your choice. Change or apply the new settings.

Page to change your router's DNS settings

Change your router’s DNS settings.

Screenshot of Lance Whitney

Must Read
NSA to developers: Think about switching from C and C++ to a memory safe programming language
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments