Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 1,004 1004 people found this article helpful Free and Public DNS Servers Updated list of the best publicly available and free DNS servers by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on May 03, 2021 reviewed by Chris Selph Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Chris Selph is a CompTIA-certified technology and vocational IT teacher. He also serves as network & server administrator and performs computer maintenance and repair for numerous clients. our review board Article reviewed on May 16, 2020 Chris Selph Tweet Share Email Home Networking ISP The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless In This Article What Are DNS Servers? Best Free/Public DNS Servers Why Use Different DNS Servers? More Public DNS Servers Verizon and Other ISP-Specific DNS Servers Frequently Asked Questions 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 Google 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 Quad9 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 OpenDNS Home 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 Cloudflare 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 CleanBrowsing 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 Alternate DNS 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 AdGuard DNS 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 A list of additional free DNS servers can be found in the table near the bottom of the page. What Are DNS Servers? DNS servers translate the friendly domain name you enter into a browser (like lifewire.com) into the public IP address that's needed for your device to actually communicate with that site. Your ISP automatically assigns DNS servers when your smartphone or router connects to the internet but you don't have to use those. There are lots of reasons you might want to try alternative ones (we get into many of them in Why Use Different DNS Servers? a bit further down the page) but privacy and speed are two big wins you could see from switching. Primary DNS servers are sometimes called preferred DNS servers and secondary DNS servers sometimes alternate DNS servers. Primary and secondary DNS servers can be "mixed and matched" from different providers to protect you if the primary provider has problems. Best Free & Public DNS Servers (Valid May 2021) Below are more details on the best free DNS servers you can use instead of the ones assigned. If you're not sure, use the IPv4 DNS servers listed for a provider. These are the IP addresses that include periods. IPv6 IP addresses use colons. Google: 22.214.171.124 & 126.96.36.199 Google Public DNS promises three core benefits: a faster browsing experience, improved security, and accurate results without redirects. Primary DNS: 188.8.131.52 Secondary DNS: 184.108.40.206 Google also offers IPv6 versions: Primary DNS: 2001:4860:4860::8888 Secondary DNS: 2001:4860:4860::8844 Google can achieve fast speeds with its public DNS servers because they're hosted in data centers all around the world, meaning that when you attempt to access a web page using the IP addresses above, you're directed to a server that's nearest to you. Quad9: 220.127.116.11 & 18.104.22.168 Quad9 has free public DNS servers that protect your computer and other devices from cyber threats by immediately and automatically blocking access to unsafe websites, without storing your personal data. Primary DNS: 22.214.171.124 Secondary DNS: 126.96.36.199 There are also Quad 9 IPv6 DNS servers: Primary DNS: 2620:fe::fe Secondary DNS: 2620:fe::9 Quad9 does not filter content—only domains that are phishing or contain malware will be blocked. Quad9 also has an unsecured IPv4 public DNS at 188.8.131.52 (2620:fe::10 for IPv6). OpenDNS: 184.108.40.206 & 220.127.116.11 OpenDNS claims 100% reliability and up-time and is used by 90 million users around the world. The offer two sets of free public DNS servers, one of which is just for parental controls with dozens of filtering options. Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168 Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124 IPv6 addresses are also available: Primary DNS: 2620:119:35::35 Secondary DNS: 2620:119:53::53 The servers above are for OpenDNS Home, which you can make a user account for to set up custom settings. The company also offers DNS servers that block adult content, called OpenDNS FamilyShield: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 (shown here). A premium DNS offering is available, too, called OpenDNS VIP. Cloudflare: 184.108.40.206 & 220.127.116.11 Cloudflare built 18.104.22.168 to be the "fastest DNS service in the world" and will never log your IP address, never sell your data, and never use your data to target ads. Primary DNS: 22.214.171.124 Secondary DNS: 126.96.36.199 They also have IPv6 public DNS servers: Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1111 Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1001 There's a 188.8.131.52 app for Android here and iOS here, for quick setup on mobile devices. CleanBrowsing: 184.108.40.206 & 220.127.116.11 CleanBrowsing has three free public DNS server options: a security filter, adult filter, and family filter. These are the DNS servers for the security filter, the most basic of the three that updates hourly to block malware and phishing sites: Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168 Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124 IPv6 is also supported: Primary DNS: 2a0d:2a00:1::2 Secondary DNS: 2a0d:2a00:2::2 The CleanBrowsing adult filter (126.96.36.199) prevents access to adult domains, and the family filter (188.8.131.52) blocks proxies, VPNs, and mixed adult content. More features can be had at a price: CleanBrowsing Plans. Alternate DNS: 184.108.40.206 & 220.127.116.11 Alternate DNS is a free public DNS service that blocks ads before they reach your network. Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168 Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124 Alternate DNS has IPv6 DNS servers, too: Primary DNS: 2602:fcbc::ad Secondary DNS: 2001:4800:780e:510:a8cf:392e:ff04:8982 You can sign up for free from their signup page. There's also a Family Premium DNS option for $4.99 /month that blocks adult content. AdGuard DNS: 126.96.36.199 & 188.8.131.52 AdGuard DNS has two sets of DNS servers, both of which block ads in games, videos, apps, and web pages. The basic set of DNS servers are called the "Default" servers, and block not only ads but also malware and phishing websites: Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206 Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11 IPv6 is supported, too: Primary DNS: 2a10:50c0::ad1:ff Secondary DNS: 2a10:50c0::ad2:ff There are also "Family protection" servers (18.104.22.168 and 2a10:50c0::bad1:ff) that block adult content plus everything included in the "Default" servers. Non-filtering servers are available if you're not interested in blocking anything: 22.214.171.124 and 2a10:50c0::1:ff. 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 website's IP address 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. Know, however, that not all DNS servers avoid traffic logging. If that's what you're interested in, make sure you read through the FAQs on the DNS provider's site to make sure it's going to do (or not do) what you're after. If, on the other hand, you want to use the DNS servers that your specific ISP, like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast/XFINITY, etc., has determined is best, then don't manually set DNS server addresses at all—just let them auto assign. Finally, in case there was any confusion, free DNS servers do not give you free internet access. You still need an ISP to connect to for access—DNS servers just translate between IP addresses and domain names so that you can access websites with a human-readable name instead of a difficult-to-remember IP address. Additional DNS Servers Here are several more public DNS servers. Let us know if we're missing any major providers. OpenNIC has several DNS servers. Visit its website and select one that's geographically nearby for the optimal performance. More Free DNS Servers Provider Primary DNS Secondary DNS DNS.WATCH 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 Comodo Secure DNS 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 CenturyLink (Level3) 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 SafeDNS 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 OpenNIC 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 Dyn 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 FreeDNS 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 Yandex.DNS 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 UncensoredDNS 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 Hurricane Electric 126.96.36.199 puntCAT 188.8.131.52 Neustar 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 Fourth Estate 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 DNS servers are referred to as all sorts of names, like DNS server addresses, internet DNS servers, internet servers, DNS IP addresses, etc. Verizon DNS Servers & Other ISP Specific DNS Servers Verizon DNS servers are often listed elsewhere as 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, and/or 18.104.22.168, but those are actually alternatives to the CenturyLink/Level 3 DNS server addresses shown in the table above. Verizon, like most ISPs, prefers to balance their DNS server traffic via local, automatic assignments. For example, the primary Verizon DNS server in Atlanta, GA, is 22.214.171.124 and in Chicago, is 126.96.36.199. Frequently Asked Questions Should I change my primary DNS Server to 188.8.131.52? If you want a fast, secure, and easy-to-remember DNS server—and you have experience configuring operating system settings—yes. Google's public server has been around for over a decade and it's proven to be everything it claims. To change your DNS server, enter 184.108.40.206 into the appropriate router fields or specific device configuration page. What are best practices when creating internal DNS namespaces? When selecting your internal domain names, try to avoid too many domain levels; keep the names short and easy to spell; and, use the same naming convention for each. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! 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