What are DNS, How to Change Them and Which Ones Are the Best?

All devices connected to the internet have their own IP address. The same applies to any website. In fact, it is possible to access a site by typing the corresponding IP address. Obviously, this would be a rather complex procedure since remembering different sets of numbers by heart is not at all easy. The problem is solved by DNS, an encoding system capable of associating a domain name with an IP address.

What is DNS?

DNS ( Domain Name System) is a protocol that allows you to associate an identification name with an IP address. Thanks to this protocol, every time you type the name of a website, the DNS server will look for the IP address associated with that name and let you access the site.

Basically, the DNS deals with associating a certain domain name with an IP address, allowing the user to reach the desired site by typing the name and not a long numeric string.

Everything is managed through DNS servers, which decrypt the domain name entered by the user and match it to the right IP address through an encoding procedure, which uses the IPv4 or IPv6 protocol.

The DNS you use by default is provided by your provider. Every time you enter a domain name (e.g., sourceht.com), your provider automatically associates the name to the respective IP address.

To browse without too many slowdowns, these DNS servers must work well and are rather fast in carrying out the encoding. If this does not happen, you can easily change them through a very simple procedure.

How to change DNS

As previously written, if you are not satisfied with the speed with which the various internet sites are opened, you could try to change the DNS. This is a rather fast and very simple operation, both on Windows and macOS.

DNS can be changed to improve speed and access blocked sites in your country or to protect minors, using, for example, OpenDNS, which prevents certain content from being viewed.

Change DNS on Windows

If you are using Windows 10, the procedure to follow to change the DNS is as follows:

  • Click on the Start button;
  • Do click on the “Settings” icon, the one in the shape of a gear on the left;
  • Click on “Network and Internet” ;
  • Locate and click on “Change card options” ;
  • In the window that opens, locate the network device you are using (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and click on the latter with the right button, then click on the item “Properties” ;
  • Select the item “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4)” ;
  • Click on the “Properties” button ;
  • Select the option “Use the following DNS server addresses” ;
  • Type the DNS you want to use in the fields next to the “Preferred DNS server” and “Alternative DNS server,” then click “OK.”

If you are using an older version of Windows, to access the properties of the network device, open the Control Panel, click on “Network and Internet” / “Network and Sharing Center,” then locate the name of the connection and click on the latter and finally click on “Properties.”

Change DNS on macOS

If you are using a Mac and want to change the DNS servers, the procedure is as follows:

  • Click on the Apple icon at the top left of the menu.
  • Select the item “System Preferences” ;
  • Click on the “Network” icon ;
  • From the menu on the left, select the type of connection you are using “Ethernet” or “Wi-Fi” ;
  • Click on the “Advanced” button at the bottom right;
  • Select the DNS tab;
  • Click on the “+” button under the “DNS Server” field and type in the preferred DNS server, then press ENTER on the keyboard;
  • Do click again on the “+” button, type the alternative DNS server, then press  ENTER on the keyboard;
  • Click on “OK,” click on “Apply “:
  • Exit the “System Preferences”.

The Best DNS Servers

Now that you understand what DNS is and how to change it on your computer, it’s time to find out the best DNS servers. Let’s get started right away.

Google DNS server

The Google DNS servers are undoubtedly the most widely used because of their speed and reliability. Furthermore, being DNS international, it will also allow access to blocked sites.

  • Preferred DNS Server: 8.8.8.8
  • Alternate DNS Server: 8.8.4.4

OpenDNS

The OpenDNS is fast and also allows you to access blocked sites.

  • Preferred DNS Server: 208.67.222.222
  • Alternate DNS Server: 208.67.220.220

OpenDNS is often used to block certain content, such as adult sites, gaming sites, etc. OpenDNS FamilyShields are typically used for this purpose.

  • Preferred DNS Server: 208.67.222.123
  • Alternate DNS Server: 208.67.220.12

Cloudflare

Cloudflare’s DNS servers are also quite fast. They allow access to obscured sites and ensure an excellent level of privacy since they do not store data relating to the sites visited by users.

  • Preferred DNS Server: 1.1.1.1
  • Alternate DNS Server: 1.0.0.1

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