Every website on the Internet gets a unique IP address. The IP address is the original place where you can find that website. Initially, people could access a website only by typing its IP address in the address bar of a browser. But remembering the IP address was not easy for the human being. So, they started using domain names. The domain name is the alternate address of a website. For example, you need to type google.com to access it. Now, think if you needed to remember its IP address. That could be impossible. As I said, a domain name is an alternate address and the Internet still works on IP addresses. So, all our domain requests are being mapped to IP addresses by DNS servers. It means, it still uses the IP address to connect us with a website.
How does the browser know what IP to open for a domain name?
The answer is the DNS server. DNS server plays an important role in web browsing. It keeps records of IP address and corresponding domain name. In this article, I will talk about DNS servers and their effects on web browsing. I will also share a list of the best public DNS servers that are free to use and improve web browsing by offering faster page load.
What Is A DNS Server?
DNS stands for Domain Name System that maps an IP address with a domain name. When you type google.com, requests go to the DNS server that resolves the request to the IP address. The request goes to that IP address for getting the response from the server. Servers that resolve a domain name to IP addresses are called DNS servers. ISPs either use their own DNS servers or partner with any good DNS service providers.
This photo will make it clear how a web browsing request uses a DNS server for giving us access to the website.
DNS does not directly affect your web browsing or Internet speed, but it can influence how fast a web page appears on your computer. It does not affect download speed but It affects web browsing. Now you now know that the time taken in a web page loading also includes the time taken by DNS server response. If your ISP starts using a fast DNS server in place of its own DNS server, your browsing can be improved. Faster DNS servers respond faster and saves a few milliseconds of web page loading.
There are several public DNS servers that offer faster results as compared to the default DNS server of your ISP. If you manually configure your router or system to use any of the fast public DNS servers, you can improve your web browsing.
In this table, I am listing the fastest free Public DNS servers that you can use and enjoy faster web browsing.
15 Best DNS Servers
Here is the list of the best public DNS servers. You can use the given DNS server IP address for configuring your system.
|DNS Provider Name||Primary DNS Server||Secondary DNS Server|
|Comodo Secure DNS||22.214.171.124||126.96.36.199|
Note: Primary DNS servers are also called preferred DNS servers and secondary DNS servers are also called alternate DNS servers. Take of this thing while doing changes in the settings of your router or system.
How to use Public DNS servers on your computer?
If you have selected one public DNS server, you need to use the primary and secondary DNS server addresses in your computer’s network settings. Different operating systems have different ways of doing this. Here, I am listing ways to do this on Windows and macOS.
If you are using a Windows computer you can edit the DNS settings of your internet connection by the control panel. Go to the control panel and select Network and sharing center. Here, open Network connection properties, select “Internet Protocol Version” properties, and select “Use the following DNS server addresses”.
Open System Preferences and tap on Network. Alternatively, you can also click on the Wifi icon at the top bar and select open “Network Preferences”. Here select the connection and go to Advanced. Select the DNS tab. Here, ad the DNS server addresses.
If you have multiple devices at home, you can change the DNS settings in the router in place of changing them on individual devices. Different routers have different options to access the router panel. So, I am not going into the detail of that. If you have any confusion regarding changing the DNS on your router, you can ask in the comments.
Many of the above-listed DNS service providers also offer additional services like parental control and more. Google Public DNS has been helping the Internet since December 2008. OpenDNS is not just offering faster browsing but also offering home-based protection to keep your browsing safe. Norton ConnectSafe also keeps your browsing safe. It blocks Malware, phishing, scam, and Pornography by default. Comodo Secure DNS is also offering several security services along with DNS options.
You can explore all DNS servers to check what additional services they are offering.
Now you also know why and how DNS affects web browsing. Most ISPs try to offer faster DNS but public DNS always offers better and more reliable services. Additional security options are also advantages of using Public DNS. So, it should be your decision whether you want to switch to any public DNS or you are happy with the default DNS server provided by your ISP.
Now you have a list of good public DNS. You can use any of these and see if your web browsing has improved. I personally use a Google DNS server on my home network. It works best for you. But you can also explore others.