This post has been updated for all the latest info for 2021.
Some of the best DNS servers are actually the backbones of the Internet as we know it today. They allow for the information available online to arrive at your IP address and show up in your web browser. However, some DNS servers are better than others, depending on your preferences.
Along with some very fast, commercial DNS that usually come with your ISP package, there are anonymous DNS, public DNS AND also free DNS servers, among others. Overall, there is a broad array of options for you to choose.
Because of this, picking the best DNS servers can be hard or bothersome to do. Mostly because of the amount of searching and testing that one must do.
Read on to get more information, or if you’d like a quick and easy tool to test and apply the best DNS for you.
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How to choose the best DNS servers?
Don’t worry, we are here today to lift that weight off your shoulders. The research has already been done by us in the past and was recently updated for this blog post.
At this point, you might ask yourself why should you care about DNS servers when you can get one (and usually do so) automatically from your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
There are several reasons why you should get a new DNS. For example, some DNS are more private, but others DNS are faster. That means you can choose the best option for you
Usually, though, using public (free) DNS servers allows for a more rapid internet speed. That is the main reason people change their DNS.
You see, DNS servers work by “translating” addresses on the Internet so that your web browser can access and display that content. However, many variables might affect this process. Thus, making it slower or more vulnerable to overloading.
So the best DNS server is the one that can overcome these faults and, in return, offer the fastest and most stable route for information to come through.
However, a lot of people don’t consider this and are stuck with slow and inefficient Internet speed. They blame it on their ISP or pure bad luck, not knowing that fixing it might take just a few clicks in their operating system’s settings or configuration panel.
How exactly do you change your DNS server?
- Open up the Settings / Control Panel
- Click on Network and Internet Connections
- Open up Network and Sharing Center
- Locate the network connection for which you wish to change the DNS server
- Right click on its named icon
- In the contextual menu, click on Properties
- Double click Internet Control Protocol Version 4 (IPv4)
- Select “Use the following DNS server addresses”
- In the blank spaces, enter the best DNS server addresses you could find
- Do so as well for the alternative DNS server
- Check “Validate settings” and then click on “OK”
Note that instructions and word usage might vary slightly between Windows Versions.
For mobile devices, there are many apps available to change your DNS servers, especially on Android.
Our list contains 10 of the best DNS servers to use this year:
1. Google’s Public DNS Server
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
Often listed among the best, Google’s free DNS servers are both easy to remember and highly available to everyone. It even offers impressive speeds (even more so when you consider how much people use them).
The main advantages from Google’s DNS come from their established name as a company. Their substantial quarterly revenue allows for some of the faster, most stable, and resilient DNS servers.
Other than that there are three key areas where DNS of Google shines. With this DNS server, you are guaranteed comparatively faster speeds and accurate results of searches without any redirects. Google public DNS has improved its security as well.
The only issue with Google public DNS is the fact that they store information about your operations, and could be shared with third party, should the government decides it needs the information. However, for users not worrying about their information being sold to third party, Google is often cited as the best DNS server out of all DNS providers.
- Primary: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary: 188.8.131.52
Another old competitor that still stands today, OpenDNS is another commonly seen candidate on several of the best DNS servers listings found online. Its quality is comparable in efficiency to Google’s DNS.
Again, for users concerned about their children’s Internet safety, OpenDNS offers a service called OpenDNS FamilyShield that blocks adult content (available at the servers 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11).
3. DNS Watch
- Primary: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary: 22.214.171.124
A DNS focused on transparency and liberty of choice, DNS Watch offers its best DNS servers free of any form of censorship. They also guarantee no information will be stored on their servers, and their resolvers aren’t set to log any of your data.
Their image is that of a selfless service and team. Their only purpose is looking to make efficient Internet available to everyone. They also claim that the fact that they aren’t a big firm helps in avoiding government regulations. So for you freedom-lovers out there, this is an excellent alternative.
Additionally, and keeping up with their transparent attitude, they even offer live statistics on their free DNS servers. That transparency makes them a good candidate for best DNS server, at least regarding trustworthiness and anonymous DNS servers.
4. Comodo Secure DNS
- Primary: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary: 188.8.131.52
Another easy-to-set-up server (like Google’s) which makes Comodo worthy of our best DNS server list. There is no need for much research or choosing with Comodo. All you do is input one of their addresses, and you’re good to go.
One of the upsides of Comodo Secure DNS is the fact that it spans 15 nodes around the world. On each continent, each node containing several servers ready to serve local users. That makes Comodo Secure DNS an exceptional choice for users.
One of the many issues regarding DNS server speeds is how far away you are from its servers.
Comodo’s worldwide coverage makes it fast regardless of where you are. Comodo Secure DNS is known to be one of the top, best DNS servers as it also keeps you away from malware and scam sites. They keep their block lists updated regularly.
Global coverage at fair speed, coupled with the fact that it automatically detects “unused” or “ghost” pages, make it a compelling option for the title of best DNS server. Especially recommended for those who long for a publicly accessible, yet secure DNS server.
- Primary: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary: 220.127.116.11
Number six on our best DNS servers list, Verisign bases its services on two propositions: being an anonymous DNS server, and providing protection from malware and malicious sites.
They specifically made a point about letting its clients know that they won’t sell their information to third parties nor they will serve any ads to users.
- Primary: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary: 22.214.171.124
OpenNIC is a great choice for users who don’t want to figure out where is the closest server to their location.
The DNS servers listed here are only part of a vast array of servers they have available. If you visit their website, you can, not just look up the closest DNS to your location, but also let the site automatically do it for you.
That way you can save yourself the hassle of searching for the best option. Making this a great contender for our best DNS servers list.
- Primary: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary: 188.8.131.52
Another runner-up for best DNS servers regarding family-friendly Internet, it not only blocks websites with pornographic content, but also blocks those containing malware, bots and websites related to violence and drugs.
This is especially useful, as said before, for parents since it offers options for blocking content other DNS listed won’t block.
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Cloudflare also has IPv6 public DNS servers:
- Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1111
- Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1001
No best DNS server list can be complete without Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a well known DNS service provider. They claim to be the fastest DNS service in the world. This isn’t just a claim but true to some extent as well. Numerous users review Cloudflare as the fastest DNS.
Cloudflare is determined to provide you speed and has a policy to not track their users. Cloudflare will never log your IP address, never sell your confidential data, and never utilize your data for targeted ads. That’s why people love Cloudflare.
Some of the exceptional features of Cloudflare include Global CDN, Three-page rules, unmetered mitigation of DDoS, and unlimited bandwidth. This DNS provider gives you a stable internet connection. For sure this has to be up there as one of the best DNS servers for free!
What sets Cloudflare part from the rest other than speed? Just like Google public DNS server, Cloudflare also has an easy to remember DNS. High speed combined with easy to remember DNS, makes Cloudflare the optimal choice for best free DNS.
Cloudflare has a subproduct called 18.104.22.168 with Warp. Warp is designed for mobile phones. The warp app is available for download on both android and IOS. The app is named 22.214.171.124: Faster and safer internet. 126.96.36.199 can function on both mobile phones and tablets. It replaces the connection between your device with an optimized protocol.
- Primary DNS: 188.8.131.52
- Secondary DNS: 184.108.40.206
As the name Quad9 suggests, their primary DNS is 220.127.116.11. Quad9’s DNS is fairly easy to remember as the name indicates. Quad9 focuses on security, performance, privacy, and speed. Though it may not be the fastest DNS, it surely is one of the best DNS servers. Quad9 was built on the factor of security, focusing mainly on protecting its users
Along with security, Quad9 believes in anonymity. With Quad 9 you are protected from phishing, malicious attacks, and malware. As a bonus, it also blocks malicious domains and unsafe websites.
Quad9 is a DNS server designed around security. Quad9 utilizes threat intelligence from different cybersecurity companies to detect fraudulent sites, cloned sites, and infected websites. This DNS service is the one to go for if you’re looking for security.
Quad9 routes your searches and queries through numerous secure network of servers over the world. This DNS service is also famous for its easy installation process. A non tech-savvy person can easily install and configure Quad9 without any professional help. It doesn’t require you to install any extra software.
Here is how we can contribute to your computing experience:
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