Today almost everyone has an internet connection at home or work. People who know the basics of the Internet are probably familiar with DNS or the Domain Name System.
What is DNS or Domain Name System?
DNS or Domain Name System is a database that consists of different domain names and IP Addresses.
When users enter a domain in a web browser like androidtechnews.com, youtube.com, etc., the DNS servers look at the IP addresses associated with the domains.
After matching the IP address the web server accessing the site is identified. However not all DNS servers are stable especially those provided by ISPs.
Best Free & Public DNS Servers List
So, its always a good idea to use a different DNS server even if your IPS provides a default DNS server. They use other DNS servers for better speed and security and some DNS servers can even resolve regionally blocked content.
So, in this article, we will share some of the best DNS servers you can use to get better speeds.
1. Google Public DNS
It is one of the best and most popular DNS servers you can use now. It’s an accessible public DNS server launched way back in December 2009.
Google Public DNS defends users against various security threats and offers better speed than the default DNS server provided by the ISP.
Google DNS server is often regarded as the best DNS server for Gaming. The DNS server provides better browsing speed with enhanced security features. You can switch to the Google DNS server if you face a ping issue while playing online games.
Users must configure their network settings to use the IP addresses 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
OpenDNS is another best free public DNS server available on the web that you can use now. Cisco provides the public DNS server, focusing on speed and security.
The great thing about OpenDNS is that it automatically detects and blocks malicious websites. Not only that, but OpenDNS also uses Anycast routing to route your internet traffic to the nearest DNS servers.
This routing process boosts the internet speed significantly. To use OpenDNS, users need to configure their network settings to use IP addresses 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 as their DNS servers.
3. Comodo Secure DNS
It is one of the best and most cloud-based, load-balanced, geo-distributed, highly available anycast DNS infrastructures. Comodo Secure DNS is highly secure and blocks phishing and malware domains by default.
You won’t believe it, but now Comodo Secure DNS has Anycast DNS infrastructure hosted in more than 25 countries. That means most countries will have DNS servers nearby and faster internet speed.
To use Comodo Secure DNS, users must configure their network settings to use IP addresses 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 as their DNS servers.
If you’re looking for an easy way to block DNS on your Android smartphone you should use Clean Browser.
CleanBrowsing Android app is easy, allowing users to implement smartphone DNS blocking. For instance, CleanBrowsing can block Adult websites on the internet.
However, CleanBrowsing is a relatively new app that you can’t trust easily. Nonetheless, CleanBrowsing can be used to set up DNS blocking on your kid’s device.
5. Cloudflare DNS
It is one of the fastest and most privacy-first DNS servers available on the internet. The company claims that Cloudflare DNS can increase internet speed by up to 28% compared to other public DNS providers.
Another best thing about Cloudflare DNS is that it never logs your browsing data.
You can use Cloudflare’s DNS Server if security is your top priority. The mechanism of Cloudflare’s DNS protects users from DNS spoofing, phishing sites, and more.
To use Cloudflare DNS, users need to configure their network settings to use the IP addresses 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 as their DNS servers.
6. Norton ConnectSafe
Not many would know, but Norton, the leading security company, also has a DNS server known as Norton ConnectSafe. This is a cloud-based DNS service meant to protect your computer against phishing attacks.
Not only that, but Norton ConnectSafe also offers lots of pre-defined content filtering schemes to block phishing websites, pornography, and much more.
To use Norton ConnectSafe, you need to configure the DNS settings of your home router to use the IP address – 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.
7. AdGuard DNS
Well, AdGuard DNS is a public DNS server that is designed to block ads. You can block ads in games, videos, apps, and webpages if you set up and use AdGuard DNS on your system.
AdGuard offers you two types of DNS servers – one that blocks ads and the other for family protection that blocks ads + adult content.
We have already shared a detailed guide on how to block ads on Android and PC via AdGuard DNS. The DNS server is relatively easy to set up and accessible.
To use AdGuard DNS, users must configure their network settings to use the IP addresses 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
In simple words, OpenNIC is an open-source DNS provider that aims to be an alternative to the Standard DNS. The good thing is that the DNS server uses advanced techniques to protect your computer from prying eyes.
The DNS server would help you maintain your privacy in the simplest form. To use OpenNIC, you must configure your network settings to use the IP Address – 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
If you are looking for a public DNS server that can protect your computer and other internet-connected devices from cyber threats, then you need to give Quad9 a try.
Guess what? Quad9 automatically blocks access to unsafe websites. The Public DNS server doesn’t store any of your data.
To use Quad9, you need to change the Primary and Secondary DNS address to 220.127.116.11 & 18.104.22.168
It’s one of the best and most popular DNS services on the list based on the Cloud. The DNS server is optimized enough to provide you better web browsing experience.
It has both free and Premium DNS servers to fit your budget. To use SafeDNS servers, use the following IP Addresses – 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
Best DNS servers FAQs
How we choose the best DNS server for you
DNS servers can vary hugely in speed, particularly in areas which don’t always have the best internet coverage (Africa, South America, Oceania.) To take an example one year ago quoting from the site techradar.com they tested, DNSPerf.com reported Cloudflare achieving an average Query time of 4.43 ms for Oceania, while Yandex lagged at 350.24 ms. That’s potentially more than a third of a second in extra waiting time before your browser can access any new website.
This is an extreme example, to be fair. European or US lookups may see less than 30ms variation between most DNS services, and as your device or router will probably cache the address for reuse later, even this delay will only occur very occasionally. Still, a sluggish DNS server can noticeably slow down your browsing in some situations, and trying an alternative – especially as there are multiple options that are all free is often a good idea.
There’s a second possible benefit in terms of uptime. If and when your ISP DNS server fails, you will encounter some difficulty accessing some or all of your favorite sites. Big-name providers such as OpenDNS claim they’ve had 100% uptime going back years. These are the factors we take into consideration when choosing the best DNS servers.
How we test a DNS server?
As with every service, you get what you pay for and it’s really no different here. Free DNS can be good but it’s nothing compared to a Premium paid version. Granted, not everyone wants to pay and depending on their needs they might not need to, but paid DNS can be the better choice depending on your needs. Apart from the increased website performance and security, you also get additional features.
For instance, Dynamic DNS and Secondary DNS are a staple of the premium DNS service. The Dynamic DNS works with dynamic IP addresses and it allows users to access their home computer from anywhere in the world. The Secondary DNS works as a backup of sorts which is always a plus. This is just a small fraction of what a premium DNS can do and the exact number of features will depend on the service provider, which is one of the features we look for when testing a DNS service.
How can I find the fastest DNS service?
DNS speed depends on many factors, including your location, the distance to your nearest server, and that server having enough power and bandwidth to handle all the queries it receives.
DNS Jumper (opens in new tab) is a portable freeware tool which tests multiple public DNS services to find out which delivers the best performance for you.
The program has a lot of options, but isn’t difficult to use. Launch it, click Fastest DNS > Start DNS Test, and within a few seconds you’ll be looking at a list of DNS services sorted by speed.
DNS Jumper can be useful, in particular because it’s checking how servers perform from your location, but it doesn’t run enough tests over a long enough period to give you a definitive answer.
DNSPerf (opens in new tab) tests multiple DNS services every minute from 200+ locations around the world and makes the results freely available on its own website. This gives a very good general idea of performance, and also enables seeing how services compare on different continents, as well as assessing their uptime.
How can I switch DNS servers?
The steps involved in changing your DNS service vary according to your hardware and possibly your operating system version.
Generally, you must start by finding the primary and secondary nameservers for the DNS service you’d like to use. These IP addresses are normally displayed very clearly on the service website, so, for example, Cloudflare DNS uses 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
The simplest approach for home users is to update their router to use the new addresses. Most other devices will then pick up the new DNS settings automatically, with no further work required.
To make this happen you must log in to your router (the default password may be printed on its base) and look for the current DNS primary and secondary nameservers. Make a note of the current values in case of problems, then replace them with the nameservers you’d like to use.
If you run into problems, check out your DNS service website for any setup guidance. Keep in mind that you can also use the tutorials of other DNS providers, as long as you remember to replace their nameserver IPs with your preferred options. OpenDNS, for instance, has specific guidance for many different router types on its support site (opens in new tab).
If router tweaks aren’t right for your situation, you may have to change the DNS configuration of each individual device. Cloudflare has short and simple guidance here (opens in new tab), while the OpenDNS website (opens in new tab) goes into more depth.
How can I find my current DNS servers?
If you’re troubleshooting your internet connection, or maybe thinking of switching DNS servers, it might be useful to check which DNS servers you’re using at the moment.
The simplest way to do this is to visit DNSLeakTest.com (opens in new tab) and tap the Standard Test button. Within a few seconds the website will usually display your DNS server IP addresses, host names, and sometimes (if appropriate) the name of your ISP.
After that, life gets more complicated as there are several potential options. Your device could be set up to use specific DNS servers; it might ask your router to give it the best DNS servers every time it boots; or it might not know anything about DNS servers, and default to the router to handle everything.
On Windows, you could get started by entering IPCONFIG/ALL in a command line window. Look for your network adapter and then you’ll see its DNS servers specified in the list.
If there’s a single DNS IP address which points at your router – 192.168.x.x – that suggests the router is handling all DNS queries. Enter that IP address into your browser, log in to the router if necessary and your DNS servers will be listed amongst the settings.
Why paid DNS is better than free
If your browser is telling you a website’s ‘Server IP address could not be found,’ even though you’re sure it’s up and available, then this could be due to a problem with your DNS. However, keep in mind that you might not want to go to the trouble of changing your DNS service to find out.
Windows users can use the command line tool nslookup.exe to look at the results of any DNS server- without even touching their system settings. Here’s how to do this:
Run cmd.exe to open a command line window, then type:
Then press Enter (replace website.com with the address of whatever website you’re trying to reach).
Nslookup uses your default DNS server to look for the IP address of website.com. If it tells you it ‘Can’t find website.com,’ this means your DNS server doesn’t have a record for that domain.
Next, tell the tool to use another DNS service by entering a command like:
nslookup website.com 220.127.116.11
The 18.104.22.168 address uses Google DNS – replace that with any DNS service you like, such as 22.214.171.124 for Cloudflare.
If nslookup returns errors using multiple servers, this doesn’t look like a DNS issue. If one server returns an IP address and another doesn’t, you might want to try setting up your system to use the working DNS, and see if it makes any difference.
So, these are the best free DNS servers you can use today. You should start using these best free and public DNS servers. If you know any other DNS servers like these, let us know in the comment box below.