The Domain Name System (DNS) is a central part of the Internet, providing a way to translate a domain name of a website or blog that you are trying to visit into a numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address. Everything connected to the Internet — laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc. rely on the DNS to accurately associate domain names with their corresponding IP addresses.
However, every now and then we all complain about the DNS assigned by our Internet Service Provider (ISP). Some of the common DNS related problems are:
- It is sluggish. Using a good DNS server can boost your Internet speed.
- It is blocking websites that you want to visit.
- It is invading our privacy.
Do these complaints sound familiar? Well, in that case it is time to find an alternate DNS server. An alternate DNS server could help you with:
- Possible Internet speed improvement
- Possible reliability improvement
- Parental control
- Phishing protection
- Security features
- Accessing geographically blocked content
- Bypass web censorship
Best DNS Servers
Let us check for the best available free DNS servers. If you want to switch DNS servers, you’ll probably want to change the DNS server on your router, which will affect your entire home network. You could also change the DNS server on a single computer so that it affects only that computer. You may need to flush DNS cache after changing the server IP addresses.
To use your preferred public DNS server, configure your network settings with the corresponding IP addresses. Following is the list of best DNS servers around available for free. We are also giving their corresponding IP addresses.
1. Google Public DNS
IP Addresses: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
It is third party DNS service provided by the search engine giant — Google. This service is faster, secure and the largest public DNS service in the world. It uses Anycast routing to locate the closest server for data interaction. Google Public DNS is also resistant to DNS Cache Poisoning and DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
2. Open DNS
IP Addresses: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
OpenDNS is available in two variants — Personal and Business; both include features that are hard to resist. For example, the home version comes with parental controls, phishing protection and enhanced speed. The business variant provides a full-fledged enterprise security solution.
If you opt for OpenDNS for home-based protection, you can get it for free. However, there are some advanced plans that offer enhanced features like customizable protection. It supports Anycast routing and provides maximum speed.
IP Addresses: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
This minimal and yet powerful DNS service has been providing un-interrupted service for a long time and hence loved by most. It is free third-party DNS service that provides you fast and uncensored internet! It can be implemented in different devices, including Windows, Mac and Linux-based computers and routers. The service believes in DNS Neutrality so it ensures that all your queries reach the right place without any intrusion.
4. Level (3) Communications
- 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
- 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
Level (3) Communications provides a good third-party DNS service with a reliable Domain Name System that offers high-level performance and an impressive infrastructure. With its state-of-the-art technologies it ensures good Internet speed as well.
5. Norton ConnectSafe
- Security (Malware, phishing sites and scam sites)
- 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
- Security + Blocking Pornography
- 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
- Security + Blocking Pornography + Non-Family Friendly
- 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
Norton ConnectSafe is a free service meant for enhanced protection that blocks unsafe websites automatically. It provides basic browsing protection and content filtering for all Web-enabled devices on your home network.
It offers three different variants of protection and for each variant; you can have a different IP address as mentioned above. You can use Norton ConnectSafe in computer systems and routers. For the entire home network protection, you can configure the router and for the business section, you have Wi-Fi MSP and Real-time Protection.
6. Commodo Secure DNS
IP Addresses: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
Comodo Secure DNS includes features like enhanced speed, reliability and safety. In terms of reliability it offers fully redundant DNS service anywhere. Comodo ensures that no matter where you are located, your DNS requests are answered by the closest available set of servers, thereby increasing the speed and reliability. Comodo provides safety by its malware domain filtering feature and references a real-time block list (RBL) of harmful websites. Commodo Secure DNS warns you whenever you attempt to access a site containing potentially threatening content.
7. OpenNIC DNS
IP Addresses: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
Like most other DNS services, OpenNIC is a good alternative to replace your default DNS server. It protects your computer from the government censorship and maintains your privacy, and prevents ISP DNS Hijacking. With the widespread infrastructure of OpenNIC DNS you also have an option to search for the best DNS server that is closest to your location. The feature allows you to choose the corresponding server details and use them for enhanced connection and speed.
8. DNS Advantage
IP Addresses: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
DNS Advantage is a free recursive DNS service and provides two recursive nameserver addresses for public use, mapped to the nearest operational server location by Anycast routing. It delivers 100% uptime, fast, accurate query responses and extreme scalability, along with built-in protection from DNS-based DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
9. Verisign Public DNS
IP Addresses: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
Verisign Public DNS is a free service that offers improved DNS stability and security over other alternatives. And, unlike many of the other DNS services Verisign respects your privacy and does not sell your public DNS data to third parties nor does it redirect your queries to serve you any advertisement.
IP Addresses: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
Dyn is a free third-party DNS server that provides good web experience and protects your information from most of the phishing attacks. It blocks unsafe or unwanted content based on categories or via custom white/black lists with Dyn’s free Internet guide. It also provides safe and fast experience on all devices connected to your network.
So, these are the world’s best DNS servers. In addition to the above list of 10 free fast public DNS servers, we are also providing an additional list of eight other fast public DNS servers with corresponding IP Address. Thus now you have 18 options to choose from!
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS: 188.8.131.52
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS:220.127.116.11
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS:22.214.171.124
- Alternate DNS11
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS:188.8.131.52
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS:220.127.116.11
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS:22.214.171.124
- Hurricane Electric14
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Primary DNS: 188.8.131.52
NOTE: Primary DNS servers are also known as the preferred DNS servers and secondary DNS servers are also known as the alternate DNS servers. You can actually ‘mix and match’ the primary and secondary DNS servers to provide you with another layer of redundancy.
With many viable options available it is difficult to filter out the best of DNS servers. Opinions and experiences differ and so do the rankings. As a user, you should be able to identify your need to switch to an alternate DNS. Please note that the speed as well as reliability of a third-party DNS server depends upon the distance between the server and your physical location — so you must choose wisely.
Should you have any question on this topic, please feel free to ask in the comments section. We at TechWelkin and our reader community will try to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!