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How to change your DNS settings for faster and more consistent internet access

Read Time: 2 mins

If you use a desktop or laptop computer to access sites on the internet and find that sometimes you are experiencing slow connections or errors mentioning DNS, try the switching to the Google Public DNS Servers instead of the DNS centers used by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

First, download and install the very small freeware utility called DNS Jumper from dns jumper | Sordum.org.

Then, go to Get Started | Public DNS | Google Developers and follow the instructions to set this change permanently and stop Windows or your ISP from changing the settings back:

I’ve been using this for a good 3 years or more now. Works well.

Here are the detailed instructions for Windows and MacOS from that Google article:

Windows​

DNS settings are specified in the TCP/IP Properties window for the selected network connection.

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
  3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
    • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click the Ethernet interface and select Properties.
    • To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click the Wi-Fi interface and select Properties.
    • If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  4. Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.
  5. Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there are any IP addresses listed in the Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server, write them down for future reference.
  8. Replace those addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers:
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844.
    • For IPv6-only: you can use Google Public DNS64instead of the IPv6 addresses in the previous point.
  9. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Test your new settings.
  10. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

macOS​

DNS settings are specified in the Network window.

  1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.
  2. If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your password.
  3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
    • To change the settings for a Wi-Fi connection, select Wi-Fi, and click Advanced.
    • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click Advanced.
  4. Select the DNS tab.
  5. Click +to replace any listed addresses with, or add, the Google IP addresses at the top of the list:
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844.
    • For IPv6-only: you can use Google Public DNS64instead of the IPv6 addresses in the previous point.
  6. Click OK > Apply.
  7. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Test your new settings.
  8. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

Linux​

If your system is running one of the versions of Linux, it’s a bit more complicated. See Get Started | Public DNS | Google Developers for how to change the DNS settings for your distribution.

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