Best free, public DNS servers in 2021: Boost your internet speed with these services

Nancy J. Delong

The finest free and general public DNS servers present an different way to link safely on the web with the added bonus of possibly accelerating your world wide web velocity. DNS (Domain Identify System) is a procedure which interprets the area names you enter in a browser to the IP addresses necessary to accessibility those web pages (PS: we have a selection of issues and answers at the incredibly close of this buyers manual).

Your ISP will assign you DNS servers any time you link to the world wide web, but these may perhaps not normally be the finest DNS server selection close to. Sluggish DNS servers can bring about a lag before web-sites start out to load, and if your server sometimes goes down, you may perhaps not be equipped to accessibility any web pages at all.

Switching to a free general public DNS server can make a serious difference, with much more responsive browsing and prolonged one hundred% uptime information meaning there is a lot a lot less probability of technological difficulties.

Some expert services can also block accessibility to phishing or infected web pages, and a several present content material filtering to keep your children away from the worst of the web.

You need to have to decide on your assistance with care – not all suppliers will always be much better than your ISP – but to assistance position you in the proper way, this report will highlight six of the finest DNS servers close to.


(Picture credit rating: Cloudflare)

one. Cloudflare

Primary, secondary DNS servers: and one…one

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Reasons to acquire

+Remarkable general performance+Limited privacy levels+Local community forum for help

Very best identified for its best-rated content material shipping and delivery network, Cloudflare has prolonged its assortment to include a new general public DNS assistance, the catchily-named

Cloudflare has focused a lot much more on the fundamentals. These start out with general performance, and impartial screening from web pages like DNSPerf exhibits Cloudflare is the speediest general public DNS assistance close to.

Privateness is yet another significant highlight. Cloudflare won’t just assure that it will never use your browsing details to serve advertisements it commits that it will under no circumstances write the querying IP tackle (yours) to disk. Any logs that do exist will be deleted inside 24 hrs. And these statements are not just reassuring terms on a web site. Cloudflare has retained KPMG to audit its tactics on a yearly basis and produce a general public report to ensure the enterprise is offering on its claims.

The web site has some setup direction, with simple tutorials covering Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and routers. These are incredibly generic – you get one established of guidelines for all variations of Windows, for instance – but there are some pluses (IPv6 as nicely as IPv4 details) and you really should be equipped to determine it out. Also, mobile people can use WARP which secures all of the phone’s world wide web site visitors.

The product won’t present ad-blocking or try to watch what you can accessibility, and what you can not. The one caveat is that Cloudflare has introduced content material filtering for malware and grownup content material blocking, with their…2 and…3 services respectively, but this is an alternative a user can decide on relatively than have pressured on them.

If you have any difficulties, Cloudflare gives a community forum where by you can inquire issues or see what other individuals are doing, a awesome excess touch which we might like to see followed by other suppliers.


(Picture credit rating: Google Public DNS)

two. Google Public DNS

Primary, secondary DNS servers: and 8.8.four.four

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Reasons to acquire

+Sound on the privacy entrance+Commendable transparency

Reasons to stay away from

Intended for professional people

Google Public DNS is a simple and helpful replacement for your possess ISP’s nameservers.

Privateness can not pretty match the ‘we never keep anything’ claims of Cloudflare, but it truly is not undesirable. The assistance logs the full IP tackle data of the querying machine for close to 24 to 48 hrs for troubleshooting and diagnostic needs. ‘Permanent’ logs drop any personally identifiable data and minimize location details to the town amount, and all but a modest random sample of these are deleted right after two weeks.

There is certainly a more benefit for professional people in Google’s thorough description of the assistance. If you’d like to be equipped to assess the significance of Google’s privacy coverage, for instance, you can study up on totally almost everything the assistance logs consist of to find out for on your own.

Google’s help website gives only incredibly primary direction qualified at professional people, warning that “only people who are proficient with configuring working procedure configurations [really should] make these alterations.” If you happen to be unsure what you happen to be doing, check out the tutorials from a provider these as OpenDNS, remembering to exchange its nameservers with Google’s: and 8.8.four.four.


(Picture credit rating: Quad9)

3. Quad9

Primary, secondary DNS servers: nine.nine.nine.nine and

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Reasons to acquire

+Fast general performance levels+Blocks destructive domains

Reasons to stay away from

Minimal assistance in conditions of setup

Quad9 is a youthful DNS outfit which has been providing a rapidly and free DNS assistance given that August 2016.

The enterprise sells alone on its skill to block destructive domains by gathering intelligence from ‘a range of general public and personal sources.’ It’s not distinct what these sources are, but the web site says Quad9 made use of 18+ ‘threat intelligence providers’ as of December 2018.

Which is a very little way too obscure for us, and we are not persuaded that utilizing a substantial selection of risk intelligence suppliers will always assistance – the high quality of the intelligence is commonly much more vital than the quantity.

There is certainly no arguing about Quad9’s general performance, however. DNSPerf at this time premiums it 7 out of ten for normal globally query occasions, lagging powering Cloudflare and OpenDNS, but easily outpacing contenders like Comodo.

Drilling down into the depth reveals some versions in velocity – Quad9 is in eighth area for North American queries – but overall the assistance nevertheless provides much better general performance than most.

Setup direction is a very little confined, with tutorials for the most recent variations of Windows and macOS only. They are nicely offered, however, and it truly is not challenging to determine out what you need to have to do.


(Picture credit rating: OpenDNS)

four. OpenDNS

Primary, secondary DNS servers: and

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Reasons to acquire

+Veteran operator+Phishing web pages blocked by default+Optional web filtering

Founded in 2005 and now owned by Cisco, OpenDNS is one of the most important names in general public DNS.

The free assistance gives a great deal of added benefits: large speeds, one hundred% uptime, phishing web pages blocked by default, optional parental controls-kind web filtering to block web-sites by content material kind, along with free electronic mail help if nearly anything goes incorrect.

Industrial options enable viewing a historical past of your world wide web action for up to the very last year, and can optionally lock down your procedure by allowing accessibility to precise web-sites only. These are not heading to be must-have features for the normal user, but if you happen to be interested, they can be yours for a modest fee.

If you happen to be an outdated hand at swapping DNS, you can get started out instantly by reconfiguring your machine to use the OpenDNS nameservers.

If you happen to be a beginner, that’s okay way too, as OpenDNS has setup guidelines for PCs, Macs, mobile gadgets, routers and a lot, a lot much more.


(Picture credit rating: Comodo)

five. Comodo Protected DNS

Primary, secondary DNS servers: 8.26.fifty six.26 and 8.twenty.247.twenty

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Reasons to acquire

+Aim on protection+Wise dealing with of parked domains

Reasons to stay away from

Functionality may not be so warm

Comodo Team is the electricity powering a host of fantastic protection products, so it truly is no shock that the enterprise also gives its possess general public DNS assistance.

Just as you’d hope, Comodo Protected DNS has a solid aim on basic safety. It won’t just block phishing web pages, but also warns if you consider to stop by web pages with malware, spy ware, even parked domains which may overload you with advertising (pop-ups, pop-unders and much more). Furthermore, you can consider out the Comodo Dome Protect assistance, which provides added features to Comodo Protected DNS.

Comodo statements its assistance is smarter than normal, way too, detecting makes an attempt to stop by parked or ‘not in use’ domains and immediately forwarding you to where by you genuinely want to go.

Functionality is essential, of program, and the enterprise implies its globally network of servers and sensible routing technological know-how give it an gain. Sadly, Comodo stats weren’t that spectacular, and in our assessments, we bought an normal query time of close to 72ms.

That explained, Comodo may perhaps nevertheless be intriguing if you happen to be seeking for an excess layer of web filtering, and the help web site has some small but helpful guidelines on placing the assistance up on Windows PCs, Macs, routers and Chromebooks.



Your ISP DNS just isn’t executing? Verisign is one of quite a few big-name businesses giving a free different

What is DNS?

The Domain Identify System (DNS) is a phonebook for the world wide web, a framework which interprets area names, like or, into the IP addresses vital for gadgets to load those world wide web sources.

The mechanics of DNS can be pretty intricate, as data just isn’t held in a single database, but relatively dispersed in a globally listing like a huge selection of DNS servers.

The good news is, the normal world wide web user won’t normally have to get involved in any of the low-amount technological details. Your ISP immediately supplies you with accessibility to a DNS server any time you go on the web, and any time you enter a URL into your browser, this will find the relevant IP tackle for you. 

Why may DNS make any difference to me?

DNS servers can change hugely in velocity, notably in places which never normally have the finest world wide web protection (Africa, South The usa, Oceania.) To choose an illustration of a single day when we analyzed, reported Cloudflare reached an normal four.43ms query time for Oceania, while Yandex was left trailing at 350.24ms. Which is possibly much more than a 3rd of a 2nd in excess waiting time before your browser is equipped to accessibility any new web site.

This is an intense illustration, to be honest. European or US lookups may perhaps see a lot less than 30ms variation between most DNS expert services, and as your machine or router will likely cache the tackle for reuse later on, even this delay will only arise incredibly at times. Still, a sluggish DNS server can significantly slow down your browsing in some cases, and making an attempt an different – primarily as the finest choices are all free – is commonly a very good plan.

There is certainly a 2nd possible benefit in conditions of uptime. If your ISP DNS server fails, you may not be equipped to accessibility some or all of your most loved web pages. Major-name suppliers these as OpenDNS assert they have had one hundred% uptime heading back decades.

DNS Jumper

How can I find the speediest DNS assistance?

DNS velocity depends on quite a few things, like your location, the length to your nearest server, and that server owning sufficient electricity and bandwidth to tackle all the queries it receives.

DNS Jumper is a moveable freeware device which assessments various general public DNS expert services to find out which provides the finest general performance for you.

The method has a lot of choices, but just isn’t challenging to use. Launch it, click on Swiftest DNS > Start DNS Check, and inside a several seconds you are going to be seeking at a list of DNS expert services sorted by velocity.

DNS Jumper can be helpful, in unique mainly because it truly is checking how servers complete from your location, but it won’t run sufficient assessments over a prolonged sufficient interval to give you a definitive reply.

DNSPerf assessments various DNS expert services every single moment from two hundred+ destinations close to the entire world and tends to make the benefits freely readily available on its possess web site. This offers a incredibly very good common plan of general performance, and also permits viewing how expert services evaluate on distinctive continents, as nicely as examining their uptime.


How can I swap DNS servers?

The actions involved in shifting your DNS assistance change in accordance to your hardware and possibly your working procedure version.

Commonly, you must start out by locating the major and secondary nameservers for the DNS assistance you’d like to use. These IP addresses are normally displayed incredibly evidently on the assistance web site, so, for illustration, Cloudflare DNS employs and one…one.

The most basic technique for home people is to update their router to use the new addresses. Most other gadgets will then select up the new DNS configurations immediately, with no more work necessary.

To make this transpire you must log in to your router (the default password may perhaps be printed on its foundation) and look for the present DNS major and secondary nameservers. Make a notice of the present values in circumstance of difficulties, then exchange them with the nameservers you’d like to use.

If you run into difficulties, check out out your DNS assistance web site for any setup direction. Keep in head that you can also use the tutorials of other DNS suppliers, as prolonged as you try to remember to exchange their nameserver IPs with your most well-liked choices. OpenDNS, for instance, has precise direction for quite a few distinctive router varieties on its help website.

If router tweaks are not proper for your situation, you may perhaps have to modify the DNS configuration of each individual particular person machine. Cloudflare has small and simple direction in this article, while the OpenDNS web site goes into much more depth.

How can I find my current DNS servers?

How can I find my present DNS servers?

If you happen to be troubleshooting your world wide web relationship, or perhaps thinking of switching DNS servers, it may be helpful to check out which DNS servers you happen to be utilizing at the minute.

The most basic way to do this is to stop by and faucet the Standard Check button. Inside of a several seconds the web site will usually screen your DNS server IP addresses, host names, and sometimes (if ideal) the name of your ISP.

Following that, everyday living receives much more intricate as there are many opportunity choices. Your machine could be established up to use precise DNS servers it may inquire your router to give it the finest DNS servers every single time it boots or it may not know nearly anything about DNS servers, and depart your router to tackle almost everything.

On Windows, you could get started out by getting into IPCONFIG /ALL in a command line window. Search for your network adapter and you really should see its DNS servers specified in the list.

If there is a single DNS IP tackle which details at your router – 192.168.x.x – that implies the router is dealing with all DNS queries. Enter that IP tackle into your browser, log in to the router if vital and your DNS servers really should be listed among the configurations.

How can I test a DNS service?

How can I examination a DNS assistance?

As with every single assistance, you get what you shell out for and it is no distinctive in this article. Absolutely free DNS can be very good but it is almost nothing as opposed to a High quality compensated version. Granted, not all people wishes to shell out and depending on their requirements they may not need to have to, but compensated DNS is normally a much better selection. Apart from the increased web site general performance and protection, you also get added features.

For instance, Dynamic DNS and Secondary DNS are a staple of the high quality DNS assistance. The Dynamic DNS will work with dynamic IP addresses and it enables people to accessibility their home personal computer from anyplace in the entire world. The Secondary DNS will work as a backup of types which is normally a in addition. This is just a modest portion of what a high quality DNS can do and the actual selection of features will rely on the assistance provider.

Why compensated DNS is much better than free

If your browser is telling you a website’s ‘server IP tackle could not be found’, even however you happen to be certain it truly is up and readily available, then this could be owing to a dilemma with your DNS. But you may not want to go to the problems of shifting your DNS assistance to find out.

Windows people can use the command line device nslookup.exe to look at the benefits of any DNS server without touching their procedure configurations.

Operate cmd.exe to open a command line window, then kind:

nslookup web

Then push Enter (exchange web with the tackle of whatever web site you happen to be making an attempt to achieve).

Nslookup employs your default DNS server to look for the IP tackle of web If it tells you it ‘can’t find web’, this signifies your DNS server won’t have a record for that area.

Future, inform the device to use yet another DNS assistance by getting into a command like:

nslookup web

The tackle employs Google DNS – exchange that with any DNS assistance you like, these as for Cloudflare.

If nslookup returns faults utilizing various servers, this won’t look like a DNS problem. If one server returns an IP tackle and yet another won’t, you may want to consider placing up your procedure to use the doing work DNS and see if it tends to make any difference.

You may also want to look over our quite a few web internet hosting guides:

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