How to Change Windows DNS Server: A Complete Guide for Dev

As a Dev, you understand the importance of DNS servers in connecting to the internet. DNS (Domain Name System) servers are responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, allowing your computer to communicate with other devices on the internet. At times, it may be necessary to change your DNS server to access certain websites or improve your internet speed. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of changing your DNS server on a Windows computer.

Step 1: Determine Your Current DNS Server

Before changing your DNS server, it’s important to know your current DNS server. This can help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the process. Here’s how to determine your current DNS server:

  1. Click the Start button and type “cmd” in the search box. Press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
  2. Type “ipconfig /all” and press Enter.
  3. Look for the “DNS Servers” line in the output. This will display the IP address of your current DNS server(s).

If you are connected to a network, your DNS server may be set by your network administrator. In this case, you may not be able to change your DNS server.

Step 2: Choose a New DNS Server

There are several DNS server options to choose from, including Google DNS, OpenDNS, and Cloudflare DNS. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before making a choice. Here are some popular DNS server options:

DNS Server
Primary IP Address
Secondary IP Address
Benefits
Google DNS
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
Reliable, fast, and easy to remember
OpenDNS
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220
Provides additional security features, including phishing protection and content filtering
Cloudflare DNS
1.1.1.1
1.0.0.1
Fast and privacy-focused, with built-in malware and adult content blocking

Once you have chosen a new DNS server, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Change Your DNS Server

Now that you have determined your current DNS server and chosen a new one, it’s time to make the switch. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Start button and open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on “Network and Sharing Center.”
  3. Click on “Change adapter settings” on the left-hand side of the screen.
  4. Right-click on your network connection (either Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and select “Properties.”
  5. Click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click on “Properties.”
  6. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses.”
  7. Enter the IP address of your new DNS server in the “Preferred DNS server” field.
  8. If your new DNS server has a secondary IP address, enter it in the “Alternate DNS server” field.
  9. Click “OK” to save your changes.

You may need to restart your computer or network connection for the changes to take effect.

Step 4: Test Your New DNS Server

After changing your DNS server, it’s important to test it to ensure that it’s working correctly. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Start button and open the Command Prompt.
  2. Type “nslookup” followed by the domain name you want to test (e.g. “nslookup google.com”).
  3. The output should display the IP address associated with the domain name. If it does not, your DNS server may not be working correctly.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why would I want to change my DNS server?

There are several reasons why you may want to change your DNS server, including:

  • To improve your internet speed
  • To access websites that may be blocked by your current DNS server
  • To improve your security and privacy online

2. How do I know which DNS server to choose?

There are several DNS server options to choose from, including Google DNS, OpenDNS, and Cloudflare DNS. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before making a choice. Consider factors such as speed, security, and reliability when choosing a DNS server.

3. Can I revert back to my old DNS server?

Yes, you can revert back to your old DNS server at any time by following the same steps to change your DNS server and entering the IP address of your old server.

4. Will changing my DNS server affect my internet connection?

Changing your DNS server may affect your internet connection if the new server is not reliable or if there are issues with your network connection. However, in most cases, changing your DNS server should not have a noticeable impact on your internet speed or performance.

5. Do I need to change the DNS server on all of my devices?

No, you only need to change the DNS server on the device(s) that you want to use the new server on. However, keep in mind that changing the DNS server on one device may not affect the DNS server used by other devices on the same network.

By following these simple steps, you can easily change your Windows DNS server and enjoy a better internet experience. Remember to choose a reliable and secure DNS server and test it to ensure that it’s working correctly. Happy browsing!