How to Use Different DNS Servers on Your Home Internet

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Domain Name System servers are crucial to Internet connectivity. A DNS server contains a cross-reference list of website names and their associated Internet Protocol addresses. In simple terms, a DNS server is a telephone book used by computers to look up a requested website address and find the actual computer-to-computer connection information associated with that address. DNS servers are maintained by all Internet providers, but some are slower than others. Change the DNS server your home computer uses to improve Internet browsing speed.

Things You'll Need

  • List of free DNS server addresses
  • Pick the address of a DNS server you want to use. An Internet search engine is a good place to start looking. Some search engines maintain high-performance DNS servers located at addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 but many other free public DNS servers are available.

  • Navigate to the "Network Connections" section of your computer. On Windows XP, this is found in the "Control Panel," under "Network Connections." On Windows Vista, look in the "Control Panel" under "Network" and "Internet" for "View Network Status and Tasks". On Windows 7, the network connections are located in the "Network" and "Sharing Center" portion of the "Control Panel."

  • Open the "Properties" tab for the network connection you connect to the Internet with by clicking the connection and selecting the "Properties" button or the "Change Settings of this Connection" option. Windows Vista and 7 label each connection based on where it connects to; XP does not. Your Internet connection in Windows XP will likely be the only one showing as "Connected" in the "Network Connections" window.

  • Find and double-click the "Internet Protocol TCP/IP" item. If you see "TCP/IPv4" and also "TCP/IPv6", choose the "TCP/IPv4" option.

  • Change the DNS radio button from "Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically" to "Use the Following DNS Server Addresses:" and enter the DNS server information you want to use.

  • Click "OK" to save the modified DNS server information you just entered.

Tips & Warnings

  • Feel free to try different DNS servers and evaluate their performance. If you lose Internet connectivity, switch your computer back to "Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically" and reboot. Your computer will go back to using your Internet provider's DNS server settings.

References

  • "Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 19th Edition"; Scott Mueller; 2009
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