How to change DNS

How to change DNS servers on Windows PC quickly with a click, on Mac, and on the router

Change DNS
If some web pages are no longer accessible or if we notice that the computer takes too long to open the pages that we have never visited before, it may not be a network or modem connection problem but a problem related to DNS servers, a service essential for the functioning of the Internet and that acts without us realizing it (in fact we use them every day!). Changing the DNS could make each connection much faster and will also allow you to access blocked or inaccessible Web pages with the telephone operator’s DNS.
In this guide, we will explain what is DNS, because it is better to change them and the procedures to be able to proceed with the change on any device in our possession, be it PC, Mac, or a mobile device (Android or iOS / iPadOS).

How to change the DNS

In the following chapters, we will find out all about DNS and how to quickly change them on each computer, phone, or tablet. Once the DNS is changed, they are immediately active, but we advise you to always restart the device in order to also delete the cache associated with it.

What is DNS

DNS is resolution servers for domain names and Internet addresses. In practice there are two IP addresses (primary and secondary) to which we connect each time the web browser is opened to browse; they translate the IP address of a site (which can be 244.366.40.23) into a name of the site (for example google.it) and vice versa.
DNS operation

The IP addresses of the DNS servers are automatically assigned by the connection manager, for example by TIM, Fastweb, Wind, etc., but can be changed using other DNS servers both at the level of single devices and at the router level (where the changes to the DNS will have an effect on the whole network).

Why change the DNS?

Change DNS can be useful for several reasons:

  • Bypass restrictions and complaints national websites (to open obscured sites).
  • Surf faster, since site requests are processed at a faster rate than classic DNS.
  • Block dangerous and unwanted sites: blocking DNS requests to dangerous or unwanted sites we will be able to surf more securely.

If our needs coincide with those indicated above, changing the DNS will allow you to solve some of the most common browsing problems and block DNS requests for unwanted sites, inappropriate content, or dangerous content (viruses or malware of any kind).
It is therefore worth changing them using different servers which can be, for example, Fast DNS from Google or Secure DNS of OpenDNS.

How to change DNS on Windows

To change DNS on a Windows 10 PC press the right mouse button on the network icon (bottom right or hidden in the systray menu), select the item Open network and Internet settings, press on Change card options, right-click on the connection in use, click on Property, we select Internet Protocol TCP / IPv4 and finally we press up again Property.
Network properties

In the new window that will open we tick the item Use the following DNS servers and write the two addresses in the fields Preferred DNS server is an Alternative DNS server.

If this procedure seems too long, we can download a Nirsoft tool called QuickSetDNS e change DNS quickly and easily.

QuickSetDNS is a stand-alone program that does not require installation and, once started, allows you to quickly set up Google’s public DNS servers, Cloudflare’s DNS servers, Quad9’s DNS servers or to use the DNS settings on the router. To choose which of these DNS to use, select it by right-clicking on it and selecting the item Active DNS set (you can also just press the F2 key).
To add a new set of addresses, just right-click in the empty space and then click on the New DNS server by writing the IP addresses separated by a comma and space.

To make changing DNS even easier, you can create quick links to put on the desktop or in a specific Windows folder.
To do this, for example, click on the Google DNS line in QuickSetDNS and choose the option Copy SetNDS Command-Line. Now let’s go to the desktop, click with the right mouse button in an empty point and use the option to create a new link by pasting the information copied from the tool in the destination field, then press on Forward and choose a name; by clicking on that link we can quickly set the desired DNS on the PC.
Then repeat the procedure for setting “Automatic DNS” so you can restore the default settings without having to do more than one click.

How to change DNS on Mac

To change DNS on Mac we will have to act on the network connection settings since there is no dedicated tool.
To change the DNS servers on macOS X, press the network icon at the top right, select the item Open network preferences, select the network card that we are currently using (in the box on the left) press the button advanced at the bottom right and let’s go to the tab DNS.
DNS Mac

In the lower-left corner we press the + button (under the column DNS server) and enter the DNS addresses to use, press on OK, and then on apply to make the changes effective.

How to change DNS on smartphones and tablets

On smartphones and tablets with the Android operating system, we can change the DNS quickly and quickly using some apps prepared for the purpose, so as to use the new DNS both with Wi-Fi connections and with the data network connection.
To set the Cloudflare DNS on our mobile devices we can download the app 1.1.1.1: Faster & Safer Internet, available for Android and iPhone / iPad.

This app allows you to set up the server Cloudflare DNS (1.1.1.1) also offers a very effective filtering system against web threats and privacy threats.

If we have an Android smartphone or tablet, we can also use the dnspipe app, available for free.

With this app, we can quickly set the DNS of Google or any other provider quickly, with the ability to automate the process for the type of network to which we connect or get convenient widget shortcuts with which to activate the new DNS (which they will act on the phone or tablet as a new VPN connection, although in reality, we are not using any VPN it is all local).

If we are looking for other ways to change DNS on phones, we recommend you read our guide for change DNS on Android smartphone and iPhone.

How to change DNS on a router

Change DNS on the router it means changing the automatic setting of all connected devices and is a highly recommended operation, at least on free routers and not subject to DNS restrictions (as can be the proprietary modems or supplied on loan for use).
If our modem or router allows it, open the web browser, enter the right IP address for entering the router settings, and, in the configuration screen, we search DNS, DNS server, or DHCP settings or DHCP Server.
DNS Modem

We insert the chosen DNS in the appropriate fields then confirm and restart, so as to make the changes effective.

Conclusions

The DNS servers offered by the operator are often too slow or block too many sites to be used on our computers or smartphones, for this reason, we always advise you to change them with one of the many alternative solutions seen in the guide above.

If we don’t know which DNS servers to choose, we can also rely on the advice seen in the guide to faster and more secure DNS addresses to protect your internet connection.
Still, on the topic of DNS, we can become top experts on the subject by reading our article How VPN, Proxy, and DNS work.

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