How to Change DNS Server Address and Settings for Your Computer [Guide]

DNS is a system that gives names to other computers and devices connected to the internet. It also works to identify computers on private networks. While most end users won’t know the more obscure functions that a DNS service performs they will know that it helps them browse the internet.

DNS is basically a directory that matches names i.e. website domains to their IP addresses. You can use a public DNS service like that provided by Google, or you can let your ISP decide which DNS service to use.

Changing the DNS service that you use can often speed up browsing which is why users will often configure the Google DNS on their desktops, and even their smartphones.

A fast DNS service can quickly look up a domain name, get its IP address, and fetch the website for you. You can use any DNS service if it is public and you know the server address for it. Google’s DNS service is public and its server address is:

Change DNS Server – Windows

You must be connected to a WiFi network. A DNS server is set on a per-connection basis so, if you change the DNS server for your home network, it will not automatically change the DNS server for your office.

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To change the DNS server on Windows, open the Control Panel. On Windows 10, you can access the Control Panel from Windows Search, or you can type Control Panel in the address bar in File Explorer. Go to Network and Internet>Network and Sharing Center. Click the WiFi network you’re currently connected to.

On the WiFi Status window, click the Properties button in the Activity section. On the WiFi properties window that opens, double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).

This will open Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) properties window. Here, select the ‘Use the following DNS server address’ option. Enter the DNS server address you want to use, and click OK.

Change DNS Server – macOS

Open System Preferences and go to the Network group of preferences.

Select a network, Ethernet or WiFi, from the left column and click the Advanced button at the bottom right.

On the advanced settings panel, go to the DNS tab. Here, click the plus sign at the bottom of the column on the left. Enter the DNS server address for the DNS service you want to use. Click Ok, apply the change, and the DNS server will be changed. macOS lets you configure several different DNS services which means if one goes down, it will automatically use the second, or third one. This is something Windows doesn’t support.

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