The best free public DNS servers include Google, Quad9, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, CleanBrowsing, Alternate DNS, and AdGuard DNS.
Here’s a quick reference if you know what you’re doing, but we get into these services a lot more later in this article:
|Best Free & Public DNS Servers|
|Provider||Primary DNS||Secondary DNS|
Why Use Different DNS Servers?
One reason you might want to change the DNS servers assigned by your ISP is if you suspect there’s a problem with the ones you’re using now. An easy way to test for a DNS server issue is by typing a websites IP into the browser. If you can reach the website with the IP address, but not the name, then the DNS server is likely having issues.
Another reason to change DNS servers is if you’re looking for better performing service. Many people complain that their ISP-maintained DNS servers are sluggish and contribute to a slower overall browsing experience.
Yet another common reason to use DNS servers from a third party is to prevent logging of your web activity and to circumvent the blocking of certain websites.
(APK’s at the bottom of the page)
Change the DNS Server on Linksys
Change the DNS servers on your Linksys router from the Setup menu.
- Sign in to your Linksys router’s web-based administration, usually at the following address:http://192.168.1.1
- Select Setup in the top menu.
- Select Basic Setup in the Setup submenu.
- In the Static DNS 1 field, enter the primary DNS server you want to use. You need to enter at least one DNS address.
- In the Static DNS 2 field, enter the secondary DNS server you want to use.
- Leave the Static DNS 3 field blank or add a primary DNS server from another provider.
- Select Apply at the bottom of the screen.
Most Linksys routers don’t require a restart for these DNS server changes to take effect, but if the router admin page asks you to, do it.
Linksys makes small changes to its administration page every time the company releases a new series of routers. If the procedure above doesn’t work for you, the instructions you need are in the router manual, which you can get at Linksys’ site.
Change the DNS Server on a NetGear Router
Change the DNS servers on your NetGear router from the Basic Settings or Internet menu, depending on your model.
- Sign in to your NetGear router manager page, most often by enteringhttp://192.168.1.1 orhttp://192.168.0.1 in a web browser.
- NetGear has two primary interfaces with different ways to perform the next step: If you see Basic and Advanced tabs along the top, choose Basic, followed by the Internet option on the left. If you don’t have those two tabs along the top, choose Basic Settings.
- Choose the Use These DNS Servers option in the Domain Name Server (DNS) Address section.
- In the Primary DNS field, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.
- In the Secondary DNS field, enter the secondary DNS server you want to use.
- Select Apply to save the DNS server changes you just entered.
- Follow any additional prompts about restarting the router. If you don’t get any, your changes should now be live.
While this process works with most NETGEAR routers, there may be a model or two that use a different method. Visit NETGEAR’s support site to find the PDF manual for your specific model, which contains the instructions you need.
Change the DNS Server on a D-Link Router
Change the DNS servers on your D-Link router in the Setup menu.
- Sign in to your D-Link router with a web browser usinghttp://192.168.0.1
- Choose the Internet option on the left side of the page.
- Select the Setup menu at the top of the page.
- Find the Dynamic IP (DHCP) Internet Connection Type section and enter the primary DNS server you want to use into the Primary DNS Address field.
- In the Secondary DNS Address field, enter the secondary DNS server you want to use.
- Choose the Save Settings button at the top of the page.
- The DNS server settings should have changed instantly, but you might be prompted to reboot the router to complete the changes.
If the process above doesn’t seem to apply for you, see the D-Link support page for information on finding the product manual for your specific D-Link router.
Change the DNS Server on an Asus Router
Change the DNS servers on your Asus router through the LAN menu.
- Sign in to your Asus router’s admin page with this addresshttp://192.168.1.1
- From the menu on the left, select LAN or WAN.
- Choose the Internet Connection tab at the top of the page.
- In the WAN DNS Setting section, enter the primary DNS server you want to use in the DNS Server1 text box.
- Enter the secondary DNS server you want to use in the DNS Server2 text box if desired. You need to enter at least one DNS address.
- Save the changes with the Apply button at the bottom of the page. You may need to restart the router after applying the changes.
You should be able to access the configuration page for most Asus routers with the 192.168.1.1 address. If you never changed your sign-in information, use admin for both the username and the password.
The software on every Asus router isn’t the same. If you can’t get into your router’s configuration page using the steps described here, find the router manual with specific instructions on the Asus support website.
Change the DNS Server on a TP-Link Router
Change the DNS servers on your TP-LINK router via the DHCP menu.
- Sign in to your TP-LINK router’s configuration page, usually via this aaddress:http://192.168.1.1 but sometimes via this one:http://192.168.0.1
- Select Network in the left pane.
- Select WAN under Network.
- Select the Use These DNS Servers check box.
- Enter the DNS server you want to use.
- Choose the Save button at the bottom of the page to save the changes. You may not have to restart the router to apply these DNS settings, but some TP-LINK routers require it.
One of the two IP addresses used in this tutorial should work for most TP-LINK routers. If not, search for your TP-LINK model at the TP-LINK support page. Your router’s manual provides the default IP you should use to connect, as well as details on the DNS-change procedure.
Change the DNS Server on a Cisco Router
Change the DNS servers on your Cisco router from the LAN Setup menu.
- Sign in to your Cisco router using eitherhttp://192.168.1.1 orhttp://192.168.1.254 depending on the router model.
- Select Setup on the menu at the top of the page.
- Select the Lan Setup tab from the menu that’s just below the Setup option.
- In the LAN 1 Static DNS 1 field, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.
- In theLAN 1 Static DNS 2 field, enter the secondary DNS server you want to use if desired.Some Cisco routers may have a LAN 1 Static DNS 3 field. You can leave it blank or enter another DNS server.
- Save the changes using the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page. On some Cisco routers, you may need to restart the router to apply the changes.
Having trouble with the directions? Visit Cisco’s support site to find the manual for your specific Cisco router model. Some models require different steps to reach the DNS server settings, but the manual for your specific router is correct for your model.
If you can’t open the Cisco router’s configuration page using one of the default addresses, look through this Cisco default password list for the default IP address, along with other default login data for your Cisco router.
These steps are different for your router if you have a co-branded Cisco-Linksys router. If your router has the word Linksys on it anywhere, follow the steps at the top of this article for changing the DNS servers on a Linksys router.
Change the DNS Server on a TRENDnet Router
Change the DNS servers on your TRENDnet router via the Advanced menu.
- Sign in to your TRENDnet router athttp://192.168.10.1
- Choose Advanced at the top of the page.
- Select the Setup menu to the left.
- Select the Internet settings submenu under the Setup menu.
- Choose the Enable option next to Manually configure DNS.
- Next to the Primary DNS box, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.
- Use the Secondary DNS field if there is a secondary DNS server you want to use.
- Save the settings with the Apply button.
- If you’re told to reboot the router, follow the instructions on the screen. Not all TRENDnet models require this.
These instructions should work for most TRENDnet routers. If these instructions don’t work, go to the TRENDnet support page and look for the PDF user guide for your model.
Change the DNS Server on a Belkin Router
Change the DNS servers on your Belkin router by opening the DNS menu.
- Sign in to your Belkin router through this address:http://192.168.2.1
- Select DDNS under Advanced Settings > Firewall.
- In the DNS Address field, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.
- In the Secondary DNS Address field, enter the secondary DNS server if you’d like to use one.
- Select Apply Changes to save the changes.
- You might be told to restart the router for the changes to take effect. If so, follow the on-screen prompts.
You can reach nearly all Belkin routers with 192.168.2.1, but there are exceptions where a different address is used by default. If this IP address doesn’t work for you, the specific one you should use with your model can be found on the Belkin support page.
Change the DNS Server on a Buffalo Router
Change the DNS servers on your Buffalo router from the Advanced menu.
- Sign in to your Buffalo router athttp://192.168.11.1
- Select the Advanced tab at the top of the page.
- Choose WAN Config on the left side of the page.
- Next to the Primary field in the Advanced Settings section, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.
- Next to the Secondary field, type the secondary DNS server you want to use.
- Near the bottom of the page, choose Apply to save the changes.
If the administration IP address isn’t working, or the other steps don’t seem right for your Buffalo router model, find specific instructions in your router’s user manual, available from the Buffalo support page.
Change the DNS Server on a Google Wifi Router
Change the DNS servers on your Google Wifi router from the Advanced networking menu.
- Open the Google Wifi app on your mobile device. You can download the Google Wifi app from the Google Play Store for Android or the Apple App Store for iOS devices.
- Select the upper-right menuitem to enter the settings.
- Scroll down to the Settings section and choose Network & General.
- Tap Advanced networking in the Network section.
- Choose the DNS item.Google Wifi uses Google’s DNS servers by default, but you have the option to change the servers to your ISP’s or a custom set.
- Select Custom to find two new text boxes.
- Next to the Primary server text field, enter the DNS server you want to use with Google Wifi.
- Next to Secondary server, enter an optional secondary DNS server.
- Select the Save button at the upper-right corner of the Google Wifi app.
Unlike routers from other manufacturers, you cannot access Google Wifi settings from your computer using its IP address. You must use the accompanying mobile app.
All the Google Wifi mesh points connected to one network use the same DNS servers that you choose following the steps above. You can’t pick different DNS servers for each Wi-Fi point.