Have you ever heard of DNS servers? No? It’s kind of weird; you use them pretty much every day! DNS are the tools that allow you to reach the websites you visit by typing simple text addresses (e.g., google.com) instead of long number sequences (e.g., 188.8.131.52), which would then be the absolute coordinates of the sites. As a result, managing DNS servers and setting them fast can make it faster to open web pages.
Good question! already but how do I find fast DNS servers for your connection and set them up on your devices? Although it may seem complex, the answer is highly trivial: using programs for DNS, for example, those that I will indicate to you in this tutorial, which are all free and easy to use. Already…
Are you interested in that? Yes? Very well. I suggest, then, that we do not waste any more time and immediately take action. Position yourself handsomely in front of your trusty PC and start focusing on reading everything below right away. I very much hope that, in the end, you will be able to be very happy and satisfied with what you have learned.
The best DNS programs
Let’s start immediately on the highlight of the tutorial and find out, together, what are the DNS programs that you can use on your computer: you find the ones that I think are the best in the category right below, for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Try them now, and you won’t regret it!
The first of the DNS programs I want to talk to you about is Namebench: it’s free Software compatible with Windows and macOS that allows you to find the fastest DNS servers for your connection—featuring a virtual user interface that can test all the most popular DNS servers, such as those of Google and OpenDNS, comparing them to each other and with the carrier’s DNS servers that provide carriers DNS servers that provide the Internet connection.
Use it on your computer, connect to the program’s website and click on the namebench-x.x.x-Windows link.exe (if you’re using Windows) namebench-x.x.x-Mac_OS_X.dmg link (if you’re using macOS) that are at the top of the page displayed.
When you’re done downloading, if you’re using Windows, open the .exe file and click the Extract button in the window that appears on your desktop. If, on the other hand, you are using macOS, open the .dmg package you have obtained, drag the program icon to the Applications folder on your computer, right-click it and select the Open entry twice in a row so that you can start Namebench but circumvent the limitations that Apple imposes on applications from unspoiling developers (which should only be done on the first boot).
Now that you see the software window on the screen, regardless of the operating system you use, click the Start/Start Benchmark button at the bottom right to search for the best DNS servers. When you’re done, you’ll open a webpage with the recommended DNS configuration for your computer in the upper right. The test will go on for a very long time, so try to bring patience.
Keep in mind that, by default, the program includes global DNS (e.g., Google DNS) and the best DNS for your area in your search. If you want to turn off either option, remove the check from its entries at the top of the window before you start searching for DNS.
From the Options section, you can make additional customizations to the modus operandi of the program. At the same time, the menus below allow you to select “by hand” the reference location, the number of queries, etc.
DNS Jumper (Windows)
DNS Jumper is one of the best DNS programs available on Windows, through which you can discover the DNS addresses that are fastest for the connection used. It’s super easy to use, at no cost, doesn’t require installation, and allows you to change the DNS you find without having to go through your system settings. In addition, its user interface is fully translated into Italian.
To download the Software to your computer, visit the DNS Jumper website and click the Download button at the bottom of the page. When the download is complete, check out the obtained ZIP archive anywhere on your PC, double-click the .exe file inside it, and press the Yes button in response to the warning that appears on the desktop.
Now that you see the DNS Jumper main window select your PC’s network adapter from the Select Network Adapter (top) drop-down menu, click the fastest DNS button (left), then select the Start DNS Test button in the additional window that opens and wait for a speed test of the various servers to be performed.
When you’re done, you can decide whether to speed up your web browsing by adopting the new DNS (the ones listed below), clicking the Apply DNS Server button, whether to stay with the default DNS servers, or whether to manually change them (taking note of what the program reports) by simply closing the window displayed.
If you’re interested in this, I’ll point out that you can also choose which DNS to apply manually via the Choose a DNS server in the middle menu (to use them, then click the Apply DNS button) and that you can access the program settings to customize the server list and operation by clicking the Options button (lower left).
Change DNS Helper (Windows)
Change DNS Helper is an elementary program that allows you to quickly change the DNS servers of your Internet connection, avoiding errors and unnecessary waste of time in advanced network settings. It is free, works only on Windows operating systems, and is also available in portable versions, requiring installations.
To download it to your computer, connect to the program’s website and press it on the Potable Version button attached to the displayed web page. When downloaded, check out the obtained ZIP store anywhere on your computer and start the .exe file that corresponds to the version of Windows you are using: ChangeDNSHelper32.exe for 32-bit Windows or ChangeDNSHelper64.exe for Windows at 64-bit, after which click the Yes button in the window that opens.
Once the software window appears on the desktop, select the network adapter from the Select Network Adapter menu, choose the reference Internet protocol ( IPv4 or IPv6 ) from the center menu, and select the DNS you want to use the Select Public DNS Server drop-down menu. Then press on the Chang DNS button at the bottom.
If you want to back up your current DNS before you change your DNS, you can do so by selecting the DNS option from the menu that appears by clicking the button with the dart at the bottom. From the same menu, you can also choose to reset your DNS and restore it.
If you’re interested, I’ll point out that you can access and use a whole series of useful tools to manage and test how the Internet connection works on your PC. by selecting the Network Tools tab of the program.
Public DNS Server Tool (Windows)
Similar to other programs in this review, the Public DNS Server Tool is a small free tool for Windows, through which you can change the DNS servers used on your PC without going into your Internet connection settings.
To download it to your PC, connect to the program’s website, scroll through the page displayed and click on the Download Public DNS Server Tool link. When the download is complete, you extract the ZIP archive obtained anywhere on your computer and start the .exe file contained in it, after which click the Yes button in the window that appears on the screen.
Now that you see the program’s main screen select your computer’s network adapter from the first drop-down menu; choose the DNS server to use from the list in the center, and apply the settings by pressing the Change button at the bottom right. That’s it!
Manually configuring DNS
Didn’t the DNS programs I told you about earlier not satisfy you? Then know that you can also set up DNS servers manually. All you have to do is follow the directions below. Let’s start with computer operating systems.
- Windows – Open Control Panel by searching for it on the Start menu, click, in the window that opens, on the Network and Internet item, and the network and sharing connection center entry (depending on the type of view you set), select the name of the connection and in use, and click the Properties button. In the additional window that opens, double-click Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4), check the following DNS server addresses option, and set DNS server values. Then apply the changes by clicking on the OK button.
- macOS – access System Preferences by clicking on the icon (the one with the gear) attached to the Dock bar, click on the Net entry in the window that opens, and then on the Advanced button. Select, then, the DNS tab, press it on the [+] button at the bottom left, and type the DNS you want to use in the DNS fields, after which you press on the OK button.
DNS can also be set on smartphones and tablets (only about wi-fi connections unless you use unique apps, such as those you find indicated in the final step of this guide). Below you will find out how to proceed on Android and iOS.
- Android – sleep on the Settings icon (the one with the gear) in the drawer (the screen where there are icons of all apps), select the wi-fi entry, and keep pressed for a few seconds on the name of the connection currently in use. Then choose the Edit Network Config item from the menu that appears, check the Show Advanced Options option, select static from the IP Settings menu, and set the DNS servers you want to use in the DNS 1 and DNS 2 fields. Then press the Save button.
- iOS – tap on the Settings icon (the one with the gear) on the home screen, select the wi-fi entry, press on the “i” next to the name of your connection, and fill in the DNS field with the servers you want to use.
For completeness of information, I would point out that DNS can also be modified by acting from the modem control panel. To do this, go to the modem by following the instructions on what to do that I gave you in my guide on how to access the modem, go to the connection status section, locate the primary DNS or DNS and DNS 2 or DNS secondary entries, fill in the adjacent fields with the DNS servers you want to use, and click the Apply/OK button.
For more details on what is indicated in this step and about the nature of DNS servers in general, please refer to my guide on configuring DNS.
Apps for DNS
What about the mobile site? Are there apps that help you determine, set up, and manage the fastest DNS servers for your connection? The answer is yes. If you are interested in this, below you will find indicated what I think are the most exciting solutions in the category, both for Android and for iOS.
- 184.108.40.206: Faster Internet ( Android / iOS ) – is ColoudFlare’s free app that allows you to take advantage of the company’s DNS servers by promising a high level of privacy. Note that it installs a VPN profile on the device, which, thanks to encryption, allows you to screen DNS requests sent from your smartphone or tablet and allows you to take advantage of CloudFlare’s DNS servers even under the 4G/3G network.
- DNS Changer ( Android ) – a free app for Android that allows you to change the servers of your Internet connection, both wi-fi and cellular connection, while also quickly choosing a list of selected and ready-to-use DNS quickly.
- DNS Override ( iOS ) – an app for iPhone and iPad, thanks to which you can choose, set up, and test different DNS servers for wi-fi connection in a practical and fast way. It’s free but offers in-app purchases (starting at 2.29 euros) to unlock extra features.