/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

How to change the DNS settings on your Windows PC

Switching to a different DNS provider from your ISP can offer a faster performance and better security.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor on
Woman typing on laptop.
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

The DNS, or Domain Name System, acts as a phone book for the internet to convert between IP address and domain name. By default, your home Windows computer uses whatever DNS server is set up by your internet provider. But you don't have to stick with that server. 

Certain third-party DNS services often provide tighter security and faster performance than the one from your ISP. 

Such services include Google DNS, Cloudflare, OpenDNS, and Comodo SecureDNS. Here's how to change your PC's DNS settings to use an alternative provider.

First, let's look at how to switch the DNS server settings and then we'll check out some of the third-party DNS providers. The steps to change the DNS server vary between Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Also: The ultimate Windows troubleshooting trick

How to change the DNS settings on your Windows PC

1. Go to advanced settings

In Windows 10, go to Settings > Network & Internet. In the section for Advanced network settings, select the setting for Change adapter options

2. Select Properties

In the Network Connections Control Panel window, right-click the icon for the connection you want to change, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and select Properties

3. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP v4)

In the Properties window, click the entry for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP v4) and then click the Properties button.

4. Select the radio button for Use the following DNS server addresses

In the Properties window for Internet Protocol Version 4, select the radio button for Use the following DNS server addresses.

Notice that there are fields for preferred and alternate DNS server. The alternate server is used if the preferred one is unavailable or not responding quickly enough. Type the IP addresses provided by the service for both servers in the appropriate fields and click OK.

Windows 10 windows for changing DNS settings on Windows PC

Changing DNS settings in Windows 10.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Also: The best Windows laptops

Changing DNS server settings in Windows 11

In Windows 11, go to Settings > Network & Internet. Select the option for Advanced network settings. Click the entry for the type of connection you wish to modify: Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Then, select the option for View additional Properties

At the Properties screen, click the Edit button for DNS server assignment. In the window for Edit DNS settings, click the dropdown menu for Automatic (DHCP) and change it to Manual. Turn on the switch for IPv4 and type the IP addresses for the preferred and alternate DNS servers in the appropriate fields, remembering to add the dots in the right spots. Click Save.

Edit DNS settings popup in Windows 11

Changing DNS settings in Windows 11.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Should you change the IPv6 address?

Since the world has already run out of IP version 4 addresses, we've slowly been transitioning to IP version 6, which provides a much greater range of usable addresses. So does that mean you should also change the DNS servers for IPv6? Not necessarily. Most ISPs either don't support IPv6 or are still in the testing phase. 

You can check to see if your internet provider has jumped onboard the version 6 bandwagon. Browse to the Test-IPv6 website using your current connection. The results will tell you whether your ISP supports the newer protocol. If so, most third-party services do provide IPv6 addresses.

Third-party DNS providers

Now that you know the process for changing your DNS server settings, let's look at a few third-party services worth trying.

Google Public DNS

Google Public DNS page

Google Public DNS.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Google Public DNS is one of the most popular third-party DNS providers, handling name and IP address resolution faster than many other services. Google's DNS server is designed to protect you against spoofing attacks that try to redirect you to malicious sites. The company's website for its DNS service shares details about its performance and security features and offers an issue tracker and a user forum.

Also: Hate Windows 11? Here's how to make it work more like Windows 10

Google Public DNS addresses

IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844

Cloudflare DNS

Cloudflare DNS setup on PC

Cloudflare DNS.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Cloudflare DNS is another alternative DNS provider that aims to be faster than competing services. Cloudflare also vows that it won't log your IP address, a process used by many ISPs that gives them the ability to record the sites you visit.

Cloudflare DNS addresses

IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

OpenDNS

OpenDNS benefit matrix

OpenDNS.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Owned and operated by Cisco, OpenDNS offers two free and two paid packages for consumers. On the free side, the basic package is OpenDNS Home, while the OpenDNS Family Shield plan can block adult content for those of you who have children at home.

For $19.95 a year, OpenDNS VIP can lock down Web browsing by limiting access to specific, white-listed domains. Priced at $20 per person for up to five users, OpenDNS Prosumer is designed for home offices and small businesses and kicks in protection against malicious domains.

OpenDNS Home addresses

IPv4: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

IPv6: 2620:119:35::35 and 2620:119:53::53

OpenDNS Family Shield addresses

IPv4: 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123

Comodo SecureDNS

Comodo Secure DNS page

Comodo SecureDNS.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney

Coming from a reliable cybersecurity company, Comodo SecureDNS is worth considering if you're concerned about your online security. The company's DNS service tries to protect you from phishing attacks and malware. SecureDNS also keeps a real-time list of malicious websites and warns you if you attempt to access one of them.

Also: This new Windows feature makes password-hacking attacks much harder

Comodo SecureDNS addresses

IPv4: 8.26.56.26 and 8.20.247.20

Change your router's DNS settings

Finally, you can easily change the DNS settings for all the computers and other devices in your home. To do this, sign into your router's firmware. Look for a setting for Internet or network setup and find the section for DNS addresses.

The existing option is likely set to get the addresses from your ISP. Change that to manually assign the addresses and then type the preferred and alternate addresses from the service of your choice. Change or apply the new settings.

Page to change your router's DNS settings

Change your router's DNS settings.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney
Editorial standards

Related

How to create and manage Windows accounts for your family
sample-image-16-9-red.jpg

How to create and manage Windows accounts for your family

Upgrade your PC: Cyber Monday 2022 graphics card deals still available
Write a description of product in one sentence.

Upgrade your PC: Cyber Monday 2022 graphics card deals still available

How to never lose your keys again
GOTRAX 4 electric scooter

How to never lose your keys again