How (and Why) to Change Your DNS Server

You open your browser, type pcmag.com in the Address Bar, and get pages and pages of useful reviews and information. That ’ s how it works, right ? Oh, you may understand that you get that information because your browser requests it from a world wide web host server. But there ’ sulfur another player involved in the menstruation of traffic between your browser and that waiter, and that ’ s the Domain Name System, or DNS. Understanding DNS can help you protect your on-line security and privacy, and even speed your web surfboard. The servers that route your internet requests do n’t understand domain names like pcmag.com. They only understand numeral IP addresses like 104.17.101.99, or the longer numeric addresses from the modern IPv6 system. ( By longer, I mean a lot longer. here ‘s a sample IPv6 savoir-faire : 2606:4700:0000:0000:0000:0000:6811:8e63. To be fair, that would typically be shortened to 2606:4700 : :6811:8e63, but still… )

What Do DNS Servers Do?

so, the machines alone speak numbers, but the people want to use memorable knowledge domain names like girlgeniusonline.com or zombo.com. To resolve this deadlock, the Domain Name System handles translating friendly world names to numeric IP addresses. Your dwelling network typically relies on a DNS Server supplied by your ISP. After your browser sends the server a sphere name, the server goes through a reasonably complex interaction with other servers to return the corresponding IP address, thoroughly vetted and verified. If it ‘s a much-used world, the DNS Server may have that information cached, for speedier access. now that the interaction is down to numbers, the machines can handle getting the pages you want to see.

DNS Difficulties

As you can see, the Domain Name System is essential to all your internet activities. Any problems with the system can have cascading effects on your experience. For starters, if the ISP-supplied DNS servers are slow, or not properly configured for caching, they can effectively slow your connection. This is particularly dependable when you load a page that draws content from many different domains, such as advertisers and affiliates. Switching to DNS servers optimized for efficiency can speed up your surf, whether in a home or clientele set. speak of a commercial enterprise set, some companies offer DNS services with business-friendly add-ons. For example, they can filter out malicious websites at the DNS flat, so the pages never reach an employee ‘s browser. They may besides filter out pornography and other work-inappropriate sites. In a like manner, DNS-based parental control systems help parents control children ‘s access to age-inappropriate content, on every device, though they true lack the fine manipulate of locally-installed parental manipulate software. I mentioned that your DNS waiter caches popular requests, so it can respond cursorily, without having to query other components of the Domain Name System. Your personal computer or Mac besides has a local DNS hoard, and if the hoard gets screwed up, you can have trouble visiting certain sites. This is a bare problem, one that does n’t require switching DNS servers. All you need to do is flush your local DNS cache .
Unless you ‘re using a VPN ( Virtual Private Network ), your ISP ‘s DNS servers see every domain you request. You very ca n’t get away from that—if you want something from the internet, you ca n’t avoid telling person merely what you want. Your ISP knows where you go on the vane, and credibly does n’t care. however, some ISPs have found a way to monetize their DNS service. When you hit an erroneous domain, one that has no actual IP address, they divert your browser to a search and ad page preloaded with a search give voice derived from the world name. For example, the trope under shows the results of trying to visit the non-existent funnycatpiktures.com .

This may seem like a nonissue. What does it matter if the ISP displays ads ? But privacy-wise it ‘s meaning. You started off with a secret back-and-forth between your browser and the DNS server. The ISP broke that bubble of privacy by sending a translation of your request to a search engine, where it winds up in your research history. Some people worry about the privacy of research, which is why no-history search sites like DuckDuckGo and StartPage exist .

DNS Under Attack

You ‘re probably familiar with the concept of phishing. nefarious webmasters set up a deceitful web site that looks precisely like PayPal, or your bank, or even a bet on or dating site. They disseminate links to the forge web site using spam, malicious adverts, or early techniques. Any hapless netizen who logs in without noticing the fakery has given valuable login credentials to the bad guys. And the fraudsters typically use those credentials to log you in to the real web site, so you do n’t realize anything has happened. The one thing that gives these frauds aside is the address barricade. Keeping a sharp eye on the cover barricade is one way to avoid phishing scams. Some are crying, like a page that purports to be, say, LinkedIn, but has a wholly unrelated domain such as bestastroukusa.com. Others work hard to fool you, with slightly-off names like microsfot.com, or highly drawn-out URLs that conceal the actual domain. But no matter how they try, they ca n’t fool an eagle-eyed web surfer .

That ‘s where hoard poisoning comes in. In this kind of attack, malefactors infiltrate faulty information into the Domain Name System, typically by manipulating the cache. The user types a valid knowledge domain identify, the poisoned DNS system returns the IP address for a deceitful site, and the Address Bar shows the valid appoint. Unless the miscreants did a hapless job imitating the target web site, there ‘s no visible clue to their trickery. A similar approach called DNS hijacking happens on your local calculator. Malware running on the system reaches into the TCP/IP settings and plainly switches you over to a DNS server controlled by hackers. Of course, this only works if the malware in wonder can get past your antivirus, but there are distillery a few folks who have n’t got the message about using antivirus on every calculator .

What’s the Best DNS Server?

DNS attacks and problems occur when DNS is n’t a precedence for your ISP. Getting off from these problems can be ampere simple as switching to a service that makes DNS security system and privacy a priority. Google Public DNS has been available since 2009, with the easy-to-remember IP addresses of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Google promises a procure DNS connection, hardened against attacks, american samoa well as accelerate benefits. Founded in 2005, OpenDNS has been offering secure DNS flush longer. It does n’t have memorable IP addresses like Google ‘s, but does offer a variety show of services. In addition to DNS servers focusing on privacy and security, it offers what it calls FamilyShield servers, which filter out inappropriate content. The company besides offers a premium parental control arrangement that gives parents more farinaceous manipulate over trickle. Its rear caller Cisco supplies enterprises with Cisco Umbrella, which includes a security and DNS services for businesses. Cloudflare may be the biggest internet company you ‘ve never heard of. With a sprawl, global collection of servers, it offers websites internet security and protection against Distributed Denial of Service attacks, among other services. Starting in 2018 Cloudflare made secure DNS available, at the very memorable IP addresses of 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. The party besides offers a rid background and fluid app, cleverly named 1.1.1.1, which automates using impregnable DNS and provides related privacy protection features. There are early loose, public, security-centric DNS services, but you wo n’t go wrong with these three adult ones .

How Do I Change My Router’s DNS Server?

adenine far as switching your router to a fast, plug DNS server, I have good newsworthiness and bad news. The dear news is that if you make the change in your router settings, it affects every plug in device. not barely computers and smartphones, heed you, but video doorbells, smart baby monitors, even internet-aware light bulb. The bad news is that the accurate technique for changing your router ‘s DNS settings is different for every router. To get started, search the vane by appending “ exchange DNS ” to the make and model of your router. If you ‘re lucky, you ‘ll find a clear located of instructions. navigate to the desired mise en scene and enter the primary coil and surrogate DNS addresses for the service you chose. You may need to restart the router for the change to take consequence. If your router is an all-in-one handle internet and television receiver signals, and possibly earphone a well, you may not be able to make this change. These high-end multi-function devices don ’ t make it easy to immediately access settings, and even when they do, they may not allow you to switch to another DNS server. A true net technical could install a standard router upstream from the all-in-one and thereby take greater control over the network, but most of us aren ’ triiodothyronine true network experts .

How Do I Change My Device’s DNS Server?

now all the devices on your family network are using fast, secure DNS, but you ‘ve credibly got some devices that do n’t stay on the home network. When your laptop or smartphone connects to the free Wi-Fi at that sleazy internet café, you ‘re besides using whatever DNS server the owner chose as the default. Who needs cache poisoning when you have total DNS control condition ?

That ‘s why you should change the local DNS settings on your laptops and mobile devices. Just how you do that varies by platform. On Windows 10 :

  1. Press Windows+I to open Settings ,
  2. Click Network & Internet ,
  3. Click Change arranger options ,
  4. Right-click your internet connection and choose Properties ,
  5. choose Internet Protocol Version 4 and click the Properties button,
  6. Click the token labeled Use the surveil DNS waiter addresses ,
  7. enter the two addresses ,
  8. Click OK, and
  9. Repeat the process for Internet Protocol Version 6 .

Yes, that ‘s quite a few steps, but you can do it !

If you ‘re using a macOS laptop :

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu ,
  2. Select Network ,
  3. Highlight the Wi-Fi joining and click the Advanced button ,
  4. Click the DNS check ,
  5. Use the plus-sign button to add both IPv4 and IPv6 DNS addresses, and
  6. Use the minus-sign button to remove any existing addresses .

Where old versions of Android made setting your own choice of DNS servers quite difficult, it ’ south easy in modern versions. Well, about .

  1. Tap Settings ,
  2. Choose Network & Internet ,
  3. Tap Advanced ,
  4. Tap Private DNS ,
  5. Tap Private DNS provider hostname, and
  6. Tap Save .

That penultimate step is the argue I said it ’ s about easy. Android doesn ’ triiodothyronine let you enter an slowly IP address like 1.1.1.1 or 8.8.8.8. alternatively, you must enter the match hostname. For Google Public DNS, that ’ s not besides bad—it ’ second dns.google. But for CloudFlare, you ’ ll have to type 1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com. Apple ’ s io protects you from all kinds of security problems by locking down settings that other operating systems leave open. This add security system can get in the way, though. You can change DNS settings on an io device, but you must do it again every time you connect to a new Wi-Fi network. As for your cellular connection, there ’ s no way to change its DNS settings. Those using io need a third-party app to get global DNS control. A VPN would do the job, as would Cloudflare ‘s 1.1.1.1 app .

Upgrade the DNS Server, Save the World

You never see them in military action, but without DNS servers the internet precisely wouldn ’ thymine employment. They translate human-friendly world names into machine-friendly IP addresses. justly now, chances are good you ’ re using a DNS waiter supplied by your ISP, a server whose quality is unknown, owned by an entity that probably doesn ’ t prize your privacy. Switching to a third-party DNS service can both speed your internet activity and protect against crafty DNS-based attacks. Give it a try !

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