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How do I use a custom DNS server?

Whenever you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Your computer is probably performing hundreds of lookups every single day. But if you're using your ISP-supplied DNS servers and they're slow or having issues, this can impact your web browsing experience for the worse.

💡 DNS, or the Domain Name System, translates human readable domain names (for example, www.amazon.com) to machine readable IP addresses. - AWS

For faster web surfing, to improve security and privacy, and to have more control over your browsing, you may want to use a custom DNS server.

Included in this article:

Before you start

  • Check if you need administrator or root privileges to make changes to your network settings.
  • Open the network settings on your device and write down the current server addresses or settings on a piece of paper. You'll be able to reference this if you ever need to revert the changes.
  • 💡  For the most reliable DNS service, configure at least two DNS addresses. Do not specify the same address as both primary and secondary. - Google 

To change your DNS server

Windows 11

Follow these steps to change your DNS server for Windows.

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows+I to open your Settings.

  2. Click Networks & internet > Advanced network settings.

  3. Click the down tab next to your Wi-Fi connection.

  4. Click View additional properties.

  5. Next to DNS server assignment click Edit.

  6. In the pop-up, switch from Automatic to Manual.

  7. Toggle both IPv4 and IPv6 to On.

  8. Enter the new DNS addresses for IPv4 and IPv6.
    Windows DNS tab.png

  9. Click Save.

 

macOS

Follow these steps to change your DNS server for macOS.

  1. From the Apple apple-logo.png menu, click System Preferences > Network.

  2. Select the Wi-Fi connection on the left panel, then click Advanced...

  3. Click the DNS tab.
    macOS DNS tab.png

  4. Click the plus-sign next to IPv4 or IPv6 DNS addresses to add an address.
    • Click the minus-sign to remove an address.
  5. Click OK to make the change.

 

Android

Follow these steps to change your DNS server on Android.

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced > Private DNS.
  2. Select Private DNS provider hostname.
  3. Enter the hostname of the new DNS provider.
  4. Tap Save.

 

iOS

Follow these steps to change your DNS server on iOS.

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap the ⓘ icon next to the Wi-Fi network.
  3. Swipe down and tap Configure DNS.
  4. Tap Manual to Add Server.
    ios DNS tab.png
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