What Is A DNS Server?
DNS (or also known as Domain Name System) is a system that matches domain names like Google.com or Yahoo.com to the right IP addresses. This system is a database of domain names and IP addresses. It has been using to maintain a directory of domain names and helps to translate these domain names to the right IP addresses.
Domain names are the human-readable addresses that we are using every day. For example, the domain name of Yahoo is yahoo.com. If you want to visit Yahoo’s website, just enter Yahoo.com into the address bar of your web browser.
But, your computer does not know where “yahoo.com” is. Behind the scenes, your computer will contact DNS servers and ask what IP address is associated with yahoo.com.
After that, it will connect to that web server, load the contents and display in your web browser.
In this case, Yahoo.com is located at the IP address 126.96.36.199 on the Internet. You can type this IP address in your web browser to visit Yahoo’s website. However, we use “yahoo.com” instead of 188.8.131.52 because it’s easier to remember.
Without DNS, the whole Internet will not be accessible. We will be back to the time that the Internet wasn’t born yet. And your computer can only use to compose documents or play offline games.
Of course, it’s just a simple explanation, in fact, it’s a bit complicated. For further information, I would recommend you to read this article or watch the below video.
Different internet service providers (ISP) using different DNS servers. By default, if you don’t set up specific DNS servers on your computer (or your router), default DNS servers from your ISP will be used.
If these DNS servers aren’t stable, you might be having a few problems while using the Internet on your computer. Such as can’t load websites completely or unable to access the Internet. To avoid unwanted DNS errors, switch to public DNS servers like Google’s DNS and OpenDNS.
Here are a few common errors that relate to DNS you might want to take a look:
- Fix DNS Lookup Failed On Google Chrome
- How To Fix Err_Connection_Timed_Out Error
- How To Fix Err_Connection_Refused Error
- Fix Dns_Probe_Finished_Nxdomain Error
- Fix DNS Server Not Responding On Windows
You can fix these errors by changing to third-party DNS servers in the list below.
Benefits Of Using Public DNS Servers
You might wonder if your ISP already comes with default DNS servers, why would you need these public DNS servers? Here are reasons why you should use these alternative DNS servers:
- Some default DNS servers aren’t fast enough and sometimes they are timed out. By that, your Internet connection isn’t stable. Switch to these fastest DNS servers will help to improve the speed of your Internet.
- Using these public DNS servers will help to improve the stability.
- Some third-party DNS servers have protection and filter features. These features will help you to protect your computer from phishing attacks.
- It will help you to pass thru geography-based content restrictions and web inspections. For example, you can easily watch YouTube videos when it says: “This video is not available in your country.”
List Of 10 Best Public DNS Servers
After reading the explanation of what is DNS server, benefits third-party DNS servers, check out the list below. It’s the list of top 10 best third-party DNS servers:
1. Google Public DNS Server
This is one of the fastest DNS servers which many users are using on their computers. By using the Google’s DNS servers, you will get higher security and better browsing experience on your computer.
To use Google Public DNS servers, configure network settings with the following IP addresses:
184.108.40.206 as your preferred DNS server
220.127.116.11 as your alternate DNS server
Visit here to read more about Google Public DNS.
Alongside Google’s DNS servers, OpenDNS is one of the best cloud-based DNS servers. It will help to protect your computer from malicious attacks.
To use OpenDNS, let’s configure your network settings with the following IP addresses:
OpenDNS also offers two free solutions for personal customers: OpenDNS Family Shield and OpenDNS Home.
The OpenDNS Family Shield will come with pre-configured to block adult content. To use it, different DNS servers with the following IP addresses need to set up on your network settings.
Preferred DNS server: 18.104.22.168
Alternate DNS server: 22.214.171.124
Meanwhile, OpenDNS Home comes with customizable filtering, theft & phishing protections. Click here to read more about OpenDNS.
3. Norton ConnectSafe
Norton is not only providing antivirus and internet security programs. It is also offering DNS server service called Norton ConnectSafe. This cloud-based DNS service will help to protect your computer against phishing websites.
Norton ConnectSafe comes with three pre-defined content filtering policies. It’s Security, Security + Pornography, and Security + Pornography + Other.
You can take a look at the image below for further details on each pre-defined policy. Visit dns.norton.com for further information.
4. Comodo Secure DNS
Comodo Secure DNS is a domain name server service that resolves your DNS requests via many global DNS servers. It provides a much faster and better Internet browsing experience than using the default DNS servers provided by your ISP.
If you want to use Comodo Secure DNS, don’t need to install any hardware or software. Simply change your primary and secondary DNS servers to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
Visit here to read more about Comodo Secure DNS.
Level3 is the next free DNS service in this list. It operates by Level 3 Communications. To use this free service, just configure your network settings with the below DNS IP addresses:
Visit level3.com for more details.
6. DNS Advantage
It’s one of the fastest DNS servers that provide you the best performance while browsing the Internet. It will help you to load websites quicker and safer. To use DNS Advantage, configure the preferred/alternate DNS servers with the following details below:
More details about DNS Advantage? Visit here to read.
Like many other DNS servers above, OpenNIC is a good alternative to replace your default DNS servers. It will protect your computer from the government and maintain your privacy. To use this DNS service, set your preferred and alternate DNS servers to be:
Visit the OpenNIC’s website to find more reliable DNS servers.
Dyn is the next best free third-party DNS server in the list. It provides amazing web experiences and protects your information from most phishing attacks. Set up your network settings with the below DNS IP addresses to use Dyn DNS server.
Visit www.dyn.com to read more details about Dyn DNS and tutorials to learn how to get started.
SafeDNS is another DNS service that based on the cloud. It will help you protect your computer as well as provide better web browsing experiences. To use SafeDNS, use the following DNS information below:
Find more details about free & premium DNS services from SafeDNS.
The DNS.Watch is the last free public DNS service in this list. It provides uncensored, fast and reliable web browsing experience for free of cost. To configure your PC or router with “DNS.Watch”, use two DNS IP addresses below:
Visit here to read more details about DNS.Watch.
Sometimes, if you aren’t able to surf the web properly, you can try to change the default DNS servers on your computer or router to these DNS servers. It will provide you better web browsing experience and also protect you from possible attacks.
If you are using any other DNS servers that you feel good, don’t hesitate to share with us, and we will update the list.
Don’t know how to change DNS servers on Windows, Mac, or Android? Just read this article.