How to Change DNS Server Settings on Home Computer Networks

Alternative DNS servers can boost speed and security

Man using a laptop

Richard Saville / Getty Images

You might never need to change the DNS (domain name system) 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.

Choose a DNS Service

Internet connections rely on DNS to translate names such as into public IP addresses. To use DNS, computers and other home network devices must be configured with the addresses of DNS servers

Internet providers supply DNS server addresses to their customers as part of setting up the service. Typically, these values are configured automatically on the broadband modem or broadband router via DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol). 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, for reasons such as reliability, security, or better name lookup performance.

Change DNS Server Addresses

You can set several DNS settings for the home network on your broadband router (or other network gateway device). Changing a DNS server requires only entering the chosen IP numbers into the appropriate fields of the router or other specific device configuration page.

DNS Settings on ASUS RT-AC66U Router
Yaplex, Inc.

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

When you change DNS server addresses on a specific client device, the changes apply to that device only. When DNS addresses are changed on the router or gateway, they apply to all devices connected to that network.

About OpenDNS

OpenDNS uses the public IP addresses (primary) and 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: and
  • IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844
Google Public DNS screenshot

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

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