DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it is a service that translates domain names (such as www.techradar.com) into IP addresses (such as 220.127.116.11) that computers can understand. DNS servers are the intermediaries that perform this translation, and they can have a significant impact on your internet speed, security, and privacy.
There are many DNS servers available, and each one may have different advantages and disadvantages depending on your location, your internet service provider, and your specific needs. In this article, we will present seven of the best DNS servers that you can use to improve your online experience.
1. Cloudflare DNS
Cloudflare is a company that provides various services related to web performance and security, and one of them is a free and fast DNS service. Cloudflare DNS claims to be the fastest DNS service in the world, with an average response time of 14ms globally. It also offers security features such as DNSSEC, which ensures the authenticity of the DNS responses, and privacy features such as encryption and anonymization of your DNS queries.
To use Cloudflare DNS, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
2. Google Public DNS
Google Public DNS is another popular and free DNS service that is provided by Google. Google Public DNS aims to make the web faster, more secure, and more reliable for everyone. It supports DNSSEC, which verifies the integrity of the DNS responses, and also provides IPv6 compatibility, which is the latest version of the Internet Protocol.
To use Google Public DNS, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS: 188.8.131.52
OpenDNS is a DNS service that is owned by Cisco, and it offers more than just speed and reliability. OpenDNS also provides various features that can enhance your online security and parental control. For example, you can block malicious websites, phishing sites, adult content, and other unwanted categories with OpenDNS. You can also customize your filtering preferences and create whitelists and blacklists of specific domains.
To use OpenDNS, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Quad9 is a DNS service that is focused on security and privacy. It blocks access to domains that are known to be associated with malware, ransomware, phishing, and other cyber threats. It also protects your privacy by not collecting or storing any personal data about your DNS queries. Quad9 supports DNSSEC, which ensures the validity of the DNS responses, and also offers encryption options such as DNS over TLS and DNS over HTTPS.
To use Quad9, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
5. Comodo Secure DNS
Comodo Secure DNS is a DNS service that is provided by Comodo, a company that specializes in cybersecurity solutions. Comodo Secure DNS offers faster and more reliable web browsing, as well as protection from malware, phishing, spyware, and other online threats. It also has a feature called SmartCache, which allows you to access websites that are temporarily unavailable due to network issues.
To use Comodo Secure DNS, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS: 188.8.131.52
CleanBrowsing is a DNS service that is designed for families and schools who want to filter out inappropriate content from the internet. CleanBrowsing offers three different levels of filtering: security, adult, and family. The security level blocks malware, phishing, and malicious domains; the adult level blocks adult content, gambling sites, and VPNs; and the family level blocks social media sites, gaming sites, and mixed content sites.
To use CleanBrowsing, you need to change your DNS settings to one of the following IP addresses depending on your desired level of filtering:
- Security: 184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11
- Adult: 18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124
- Family: 126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52
7. Alternate DNS
Alternate DNS is a DNS service that aims to block ads and trackers from the websites you visit. By using Alternate DNS, you can reduce the amount of bandwidth and data that is consumed by the ads and trackers, and also improve your browsing speed and privacy. Alternate DNS also supports DNSSEC, which verifies the authenticity of the DNS responses.
To use Alternate DNS, you need to change your DNS settings to the following IP addresses:
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Choosing the best DNS server for your needs can have a significant impact on your internet experience. Depending on your preferences, you may want to use a DNS server that offers faster speed, better security, more privacy, or more control over the content you access. In this article, we have presented seven of the best DNS servers that you can use for free. You can try them out and see which one suits you best.