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Which DNS (Domain Name System) server do you use? If you don’t know the answer, it’s a good bet that you’re using your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) servers, and you can do better. Changing your default DNS server can boost your security, privacy, and speed (by a few milliseconds, but hey, why not?).

What is the DNS?

DNS servers act like Internet phonebooks – they take your alphanumeric inputs (for example: chúng tôi and convert them to numeric IP addresses ( that correspond to the server your computer is looking for. They then give your computer directions on where to go, letting your computer connect. The process is so lightning fast that you typically don’t even notice it – which is great, since your computer manually sorting through the Internet’s 1.8 billion websites would take a long, long time.

What’s wrong with the default?

ISPs don’t always have reliable, up-to-date DNS servers, so your requests for certain websites may be bounced around to other servers before the correct address is found, which slows down that site for you.

Most ISPs do not offer phishing protection. They also typically do not use DNSSEC or DNSCrypt – security features that protect your DNS requests from being spied on or hijacked and redirected.

If you need to circumvent geoblocking or an ISP block on a certain website, changing your DNS can help.

Your ISP probably records your DNS activity; you can make your browsing more private by not using their servers.

Which one is fastest?

1. Download DNS Jumper. (Windows only. The link is at the bottom of the page.)

2. Unzip the folder and open it if it doesn’t open automatically.

3. Run the chúng tôi file. No installation required!

5. Hit “Start DNS Test.” This should just take a few seconds.

6. The software will automatically sort the servers from fastest to slowest. There may be many unfamiliar names on your list, so do some research before choosing.

7. You may want to re-run the test a few times to make sure you get the same results.

9. If you want to “jump” between DNS servers in the future, you can simply run this program again and select a different option. If the service you want isn’t listed, you can input a different DNS address by selecting “Custom DNS.”

Note: Mac’s users can set and configure DNS settings with the instructions here. Linux users can follow these instructions.

Set your router’s DNS

Setting your computer’s DNS will change your traffic from that machine, but to get every device in your home routing their requests to a different server, you’ll need to change your router settings.

1. Access your router’s control panel. For many routers, typing into your browser’s address bar will work. Some router brands use a different address, but a quick search for “[Router brand name] IP address” will turn yours up quickly.

2. Unfortunately, router control panels across brands and models are all very different. In general, you should first look for an “Internet Settings” or just “Internet” tab, though some routers put the DNS settings in a “DHCP” or “LAN Settings” menu.

4. If you can’t find the settings on your own, you can find specific instructions by searching “[router brand name] change DNS.”

5. If you’ve run DNS Jumper, you’ll see two DNS addresses listed for the server you selected. Just plug the first one into “Primary DNS” and the second one into “Secondary DNS.”

6. Save your changes, wait for your router to restart, sit back, and enjoy the knowledge that your Internet connection just got a little bit better!


While your speed gains will be marginal, changing your DNS can definitely improve your security and privacy. If you’re behind a firewall or need to get around some censorship, changing your DNS can also be part of your strategy to get around it. Overall, it’s not quite as technically difficult as it sounds, and you have nothing to lose by making a quick switch .

Andrew Braun

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