You’ve often come across the term ‘DNS’ ever since you matured and started to get to know more about the internet space. For the layman, when you install a brand new internet connection, you will automatically be assigned a default DNS server, but there are some situations in which you will be required to change this DNS server in order to experience a better internet experience. There are several other factors why you might want to change these values, and so here are the 15 best free DNS servers for you to test out right away.
What Is A DNS Server And How Will Changing It Be Beneficial For You?
DNS stands for Domain Name Server and its primary objective is to link an IP address with a domain name (or a website name). Now, suppose if you punch in the address www.facebook.com into your browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Windows Edge, you will arrive at Facebook yes? Well, that is correct, but that is only half the story.
Essentially, network entities are controlled by IP addresses and a DNS matches the name to the IP address so you go where you are needed to go. Now when you punch in the URL www.facebook.com, the DNS server is going to be handling all of the magic, so depending on how fast the DNS server happens to be, the quicker you will arrive at Facebook and start browsing.
Which Public DNS server is the fastest one out there?
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, so just like imperfection exists in everything, you will need to find the best solution for yourself and that will depend on a variety of factors.
The internet connection company or ISPs normally use their own DNS servers and the speed of these DNS servers can vary greatly. Some might augment your internet experience while some might put you in a state of frenzy just wanting to yank the Ethernet cable from the internet communicator.
What Are Public DNS servers?
Now come public DNS servers, which are going to be the crux of this list. These servers do not belong to internet service providers but other companies ranging from Google, OpenDNS, DNS.Watch and several others. Remember how we said that you will have to test out each DNS server to find out which one will serve you in an optimum capacity? Well, that is because there are three main attributes that determine how fast a DNS server truly is.
- The speed and location of the server and your current location
- How busy that DNS server in terms of handling and filtering traffic
- Is the domain cached or not?
Speed and reliability will play a vital role on how quickly it can find the IP address. The servers’ locations will play a part in figuring out how long each request takes to reach the DNS server and be returned to your browser. A busy DNS server that is attempting to filter out a lot of traffic will obviously take a far longer period to process your request while a more reliable solution will leave you thoroughly satisfied with the result.
So if you’re playing an online game, using a video streaming service or just engaging in plain and simple browsing, selecting the ideal DNS server based on location, reliability, speeds, and time of the day will ultimately make or break your experience.
Figuring out which DNS server is best for you will require you to test out each alternative by yourself because like we stated earlier, even your location will play a role in determining how optimized your internet experience ends up becoming. Here is the best DNS server list we organized for you.
15 Fastest Free and Public DNS Servers List
Google Public DNS
Without a doubt, this was going to be our first pick of the list and why not? Google Public DNS was launched in December in 2009 and has been helping millions of internet users experience the best possible experiences. If you want to change your current DNS server to Google Public DNS, you will need to change your IP addresses to 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
Google Public DNS also provides support for IPv6 connectivity so if you meet the necessary requirements for setting up an IPv6 connection, you will have to alter your IP address accordingly.
This is just one of the many popular DNS servers that you will be testing out and one of the biggest perks of using this is improved security. Another advantage for users who often come across ‘less than stellar’ internet speeds, Google Public DNS is going to be the right choice for you. This one is the fastest DNS server and best DNS server for gaming.
Additionally, Google Public DNS is also resistant against DNS Cache Poisoning attacks and DoS attacks. For most of you, this is going to be the weapon of choice but if you have something else in mind, then feel free to go through the entire list.
- Free for everyone to use.
- No fioters.
OpenDNS is also regarded as one of the best DNS servers out there because they are more geared towards power users, or people that know what they are getting themselves into. In short, if you not looking for an ordinary DNS server replacement and want ample levels of control on which setting you are allowed to tweak, then OpenDNS is going to be the ideal pick for you.
Right now, there are two versions of OpenDNS that you can access and they come under Personal and Business use. Both of these versions come with dedicated controls ranging from parental controls, phishing protection, and enhanced speed. Currently, OneDNS can be accessed for the regular version, but if you want to gain entry into some power-features, then there are paid plans that you can try when you have come to your decision. If you wish to experience a feature-rich option among best free DNS Servers, this is where your search should end.
Now for the IP addresses that you can punch in, they are 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
- Offers a lot of control over internet.
- Comes for business owners, as well as home owners.
- A lot of security features.
- Might be a bit difficult for non power users.
Norton ConnectSafe (No Longer Available)
Norton ConnectSafe wants to provide you with a sufficient amount of security and is actually meant to be accessed when you desire enhanced protection for your browsing experience. So far, Norton ConnectSafe offers you three different variations of protection and they are detailed as follows:
- Malware, phishing, and scam
When you start using the service, you will be able to use Norton ConnectSafe’s systems and routers, meaning real-time protection for when you start browsing using this DNS server. It is not surprising that Norton offers a safe and secure environment for millions of users out there, given that the company develops and sells digital security solutions such as Antivirus and more.
- Is good for people looking for security.
- Provides protection against malware, and phishing.
- Can be used to block pornographic websites.
- Real time protection.
- Not a direct replacement to anti-viruses.
DNS.WATCH is a third-party service that allows you to have access to the fast and uncensored internet and that too without paying a single cent for it. The service believes in DNS Neutrality, so there is not going to be a reduction in internet performance or intrusion of any sort. Best of all, you will be able to use it with a variety of devices ranging from a PC, Mac, or Linux-based computer systems. To punch in the numbers for your IP addresses, they are 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
- No performance impact.
- Does not interfere with the traffic.
- Completely secure.
- Unfiltered internet, as it should be.
- Lack of some of the advanced security features.
OpenNIC is also a great solution when it comes to using the best faster DNS servers around. Since DNS Neutrality is also a motto of this solution, it means you will effortlessly be able to browse the vast corners of the World Wide Web without having external elements coming in between and putting a stop to your activities.
Additionally, by implementing OpenNIC DNS, you will be able to get free from things like ISP DNS Hijacking. In order to choose the right DNS server for you, all you need to do is visit the website and choose the most appropriate choice. This one is most trusted among free DNS servers.
- Allows you to access the unadulterated version of the internet.
- Provides security against ISP DNS hacking.
- Simple to setup.
- Not good for people with younger siblings, or underage kids.
Another immaculate DNS server that offers reliability and performance is Level3 DNS. This is due to the fact that Level3 DNS is a provider of a network-based service that requires top-notch hardware in order to function in an optimum manner. Rest assured, when you start using Level3 DNS, your internet experience and speeds are expected to be one of the very best around. To switch to Level3 DNS, punch in the following numbers.
- Perfect for people who want the best possible internet experience.
- Simple to setup.
- Works well with all routers and ISPs.
- You might experience some slowdowns every now and then.
One of the very best DNS servers for gaming around, Comodo Secure DNS combines speed, reliability, and safety into one convenient package. Comodo Secure DNS utilizes a powerful network that sports a huge number of servers. When performance is the primary concern, it will be optimized by selecting the server depending on where you’re attempting to access the internet from.
Last, but certainly not least, Comodo Secure DNS takes advantage of a powerful layer of security. This security prevents you from visiting harmful websites that can accompany a huge list of malware and wreck havoc to your system. Now, this is definitely something you should rely on. Now, if you want to switch to this DNS server, you will need to change your IP address to 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
- Gives you the best ping for online gaming.
- Has a lot of servers in its network.
- Offers the best possible performance.
- Has a strong security layer that prevents all sorts of security threats.
GreenTeamDNS lives and breathes security and is able to keep out tens of thousands of potentially dangerous websites that includes things like malware, botnets, adult related content, and other elements. However, if you wish to have greater control over what will appear in front of you when you start browsing, then there are also premium accounts that can be made, for a fee of course.
- Great for people who are looking for security.
- Provides protection against botnets, malware, adult content.
- Gives you the deeper control over how you want to use the internet.
- Might be a bit too secure for some users.
If you live near Austria, then FreeDNS should be chosen as your daily DNS server since it is located in the aforementioned location. According to the service, they claim that they never log DNS queries, suggesting that your search results and interests will always remain confidential and that your information is not going being sold to different companies.
- Everything you search is not logged.
- Great DNS for people located in Austria.
- Explore internet any security concerns.
- Not as suitable for people living in different countries because of distance.
UncensoredDNS servers are operated by a privately funded entity and present a ton of features for the average user such as improved security, speed and of course reliability. The 126.96.36.199 address is anycast from multiple locations but if you are living in Denmark, you will want to punch in the numbers 188.8.131.52 for optimized performance. If you have an IPv6 connection, then these services are also going to be provided at the IP addresses 2001:67c:28a4:: and 2a01:3a0:53:53::
- Private DNS means top of the line performance.
- A great load of security features.
- Very reliable.
- Great for people living in Denmark.
- People outside Denmark usually have latency issues.
As the name suggests, SafeDNS allows for content filtering in several areas so that you do not erroneously wander off into uncharted territory where you will be greeted with things like malware, adult content and other things that would be not suited to the eyes of an average internet user.
- Best for people who have younger siblings, or children using the internet.
- Provides safety against malware, and other internet threats.
- Has a great up time.
- Not best for people who want an unfiltered internet experience.
If you are looking for a relatively new DNS in the market that is aimed at people who are looking for smoothest possible experience, then Quad9 is the DNS that you should look at it. It is private, and completely secure, so if you are worried about putting your internet’s security at risk, then you really do not have to worry about it as Quad9 will protect everything for you. In addition to that, another reason why I am suggesting Quad9 is because it can block malicious domains as well, making the Quad9 one of the best free dns servers available in the market.
- Completely free and private.
- Very reliable as far as speed and up time is concerned.
- Provides security on the internet against all the threats.
- Blocks all the malicious domains.
- The security features can be a bit too aggressive.
I have used some of the offerings by CloudFlare before and I can tell you that the company has all the right intentions. However, when I first heard about the CloudFlare DNS, I was a bit skeptic because I was not sure what I am getting myself into. The good thing is that CloudFlare DNS is everything most people would want, it is the new kid in the block, but it is already making waves as the fastest dns server, thanks to the fact that it is completely private, and unfiltered as well. It offers DNSofferHTTPS, as well as DNSoverTLS. So, as far as features are concerned, you should not have any issue.
- Great speed and up time.
- Offers you a lot of security.
- Completely private.
- Unfiltered internet.
Although there is nothing with adult content on the internet, if you are concerned about your children or siblings stumbling upon these websites, then you should definitely look at CleanBrowsing. The DNS is completely private and is made for people who are concerned about security, Aside from blocking the adult websites, it is great because it provides security features such as DNSCrypt as well as DNSoverHTTPS for added depth of security.
- Great for people who want security as their priority.
- Block access to malicious domains and adult content.
- Not for people who want unfiltered internet access.
Perhaps one of the oldest DNS on the list is Yandex DNS that is good for people who want to block malicious domains, and it is a lot more popular than some of the other options available in the market, but the most important thing that you need to know about Yandex DNS is that it is particularly low on some of the security features, so you must keep in mind.
- Great for people looking for protection against malicious content.
- Pretty reliable when it comes to speed.
- No evident down time.
- Not a lot of security features.
The last DNS that I had to mention in this list is Neustar DNS, it is one of the best I have used, and I am recommending it because Neustar DNS is actually great because you get 5 benefits from using it. This best free DNS server aims to offer you quicker access of the websites you are trying to access, in addition to that, it offers threat protection as well, that is great if you are looking for protection against threats like malware, ransomware, spyware, as well as phishing websites.
The DNS is also family friendly, so if you are concerned that the underage members of the family might end up on certain websites that they were not supposed to be in the first place, don’t worry as Neustar DNS provides you the option to block those websites. In addition to that, it is also business secure, so if you are worried that your data might be compromised, then don’t worry as there is no chance.
- Provides you protection against threats like malware, spyware, ransomware, and so on.
- Reliable when it comes to speed and up time.
- Great for blocking adult content.
- Can be customized easily.
- Great for people who are business owners.
DNS Comparison Charts
Note: All these informational charts were taken from DNSPerf
We will reiterate this; it does not matter which DNS server will provide the best performance for video streaming, online gaming or simple browsing. There are other factors that also determine your overall experience.
Even then, if a reputable DNS server is crowded with overwhelming traffic, you might end up being disappointed with that. Hence, it is important to bookmark the entire list and try your luck from time to time. You never know when you might get lucky in the very first attempt.
Please make sure to share your thoughts about our best free DNS servers for 2020. We’d love to hear from you.