How to Change DNS Server Settings on Home Computer Networks

You may never need to change your DNS settings

Man using a laptop
Richard Saville/Getty Images

You may never need to change the DNS settings on your home network, but if you do, the process is as simple as entering a few numbers on a screen. You just have to know where to look.

Choosing a DNS Service

Internet connections rely on the Domain Name System (DNS) to translate names like lifewire.com into public IP addresses. To use DNS, computers and other home network devices must be configured with addresses of DNS servers.

 

Internet providers supply DNS server addresses to their customers as part of setting up the service. These values are often automatically configured on the broadband modem or broadband router via DHCP. Large internet providers maintain their own DNS servers. Several free internet DNS services exist as alternatives.

Some people prefer to use certain DNS servers over others. They may feel that some are more reliable, secure, or better at name lookup performance.

Changing DNS Server Addresses

DNS several settings for the home network can be set on the broadband router (or other network gateway device). When DNS server addresses are changed on a specific client device, the changes apply to that one device only. When DNS addresses are changed on the router or gateway, they apply to all devices connected to that network.

Changing a DNS server requires only entering the chosen IP numbers into the appropriate fields of the router or other specific device configuration page.

The exact fields to use vary depending on the type of device. Here are some examples of the fields:

  • D-Link routers: Primary DNS Server and Secondary DNS Server fields
  • Linksys routers: Static DNS 1 and Static DNS 2 fields
  • Netgear routers: Primary DNS and Secondary DNS fields
  • Windows devices: TCP/IP Properties of the network connection, Preferred DNS server, and Alternate DNS server fields
  • Mac OSX and macOS:  System Preferences > Network > AdvancedDNS tab for the network connection
  • Apple iOS and Android: DNS section of Wi-Fi settings

About OpenDNS

OpenDNS uses the following public IP addresses: 208.67.222.222 (primary) and 208.67.220.220.

OpenDNS also provides some IPv6 DNS support using 2620:0:ccc::2 and 2620:0:ccd::2.

How you set up OpenDNS varies depending on the device you are configuring.

About Google Public DNS

Google Public DNS uses the following public IP addresses:

  • IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  • IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844

Caution: Google recommends that only users who are proficient in configuring operating system settings should configure the network settings to use Google Public DNS.

Was this page helpful?