The DNS provided by your ISP does not suit you, but you are not ready to invest to improve your web browsing?
Then you should turn to a free service. Don’t worry, there are platforms that do the job perfectly.
Whether it is for security, anonymity or performance reasons, there is no lack of arguments to change DNS and turn to a third party service.
But you still need to know which platform is trustworthy, reliable, fast and free. This is a question we answer in this dossier.
What’s A DNS Server?
DNS is the acronym for “Domain Name System”, a term that can be translated as “domain name system”.
The interactions it manages are crucial to the functioning of the Internet, since the DNS translates domain names into IP addresses.
When you type google.com in your URL bar, it doesn’t mean much to the network. Because the real identification of this address is actually 18.104.22.168.
It’s the role of the DNS to make the link between the two, so that you can access a page without needing to know its exact IP.
Without DNS performing this translation task, we would have to fill in a string of numbers rather than a name to land on a web page. It would be very difficult to remember so many IP addresses.
Why Change The DNS Server?
By default, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign their customers the DNS servers they need, but it cannot be said that what is made available to customers offers the best service.
To achieve better performance, and in particular faster page loading, it is then necessary to turn to more efficient, but also more reliable DNS servers.
We remember the national failures known by Free and Free Mobile due to a DNS problem.
The good news is that there are free services of excellent quality that allow you to improve your web browsing experience without spending anything.
It is important not to turn to just any free DNS service, not all of them will do better than the servers provided by your ISP. We have selected for you what we believe to be some of the best platforms.
Also keep in mind that in order to get the best possible service, it is obviously the paid DNS services that you should turn to, which will combine speed, security and extra features. But these are especially recommended for specific uses.
How Do I Change The Default DNS Address?
The exact procedure varies depending on the type of device and software used, but it is not difficult to change the default DNS address used. Simply go to the network settings and enter new addresses.
Below are some suggestions for third party DNS services we recommend using, each with their primary and secondary DNS server addresses filled in.
For more information on how to do this, please refer to our step-by-step tutorial on how to change DNS servers.
Google Public DNS
Is there any part of the web where Google is not present? The Mountain View company provides users with particularly fast DNS servers.
It achieves this thanks to the presence of a large number of servers around the world and a technology that specifically targets cache failure problems, a major concern in slowing down and clogging DNS.
Simplicity of configuration is also one of the strong points of this platform, making it perfect for insiders who have never changed their default DNS.
For a first experience, Google Public DNS is therefore highly recommendable. The lack of customization options, on the other hand, may cool down hackers and those who are used to this kind of manipulation.
Unlike other services, Google Public DNS keeps connection and browsing logs for troubleshooting and diagnostic purposes. So it’s not the best when it comes to privacy. For security purposes, the American group uses the DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) protocol. The service offers protection against DDoS (denial of service) attacks, phishing attempts and cache poisoning attacks.
Primary DNS: 8.8.8
Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
Cloudfare is probably the best known service of its kind, and rightly so. It is by far the fastest DNS service according to the measurements of the independent DNSPerf site.
A query is processed about twice as fast on a 1.1.1 DNS server than on an OpenDNS or Google Public DNS server, the two platforms that complete the podium.
This makes it the best choice for anyone who wants raw performance above all.When it comes to the processing of personal data, Cloudfare also does well.
The navigation data is not used for advertising purposes, the original IP address (yours) is not stored on its servers, and all logs are deleted within 24 hours.
Another advantage of Cloudfare is the existence of dedicated applications for mobile phones, under Android and iOS.
A simple way to improve the speed of your navigation and hide certain activities from your operator not only on your computer, but also on your smartphone.
Primary DNS: 1.1.1
Secondary DNS: 126.96.36.199
OpenDNS has been a recognized player in the sector since 2005. Renowned for its versatility and efficiency, it was acquired in 2016 by the giant Cisco.
It is one of the fastest DNS services on the market, in terms of what Google Public DNS offers.
On the security side, it offers protection against identity theft, DDoS attacks, malicious websites, phishing attacks and cache poisoning attacks.
Where OpenDNS stands out is above all in its countless parental control options, which can be configured for every device in the household.
For example, you can target certain types of pages for web site access bans: pornography, gambling, etc.
OpenDNS offers three formulas. The paid VIP offer adds some functionalities for blocking and authorizing access to web pages and internet consumption and browsing statistics.
The other two are free. FamilyShield is pre-configured and therefore perfect for beginners or users who don’t want to bother configuring everything by themselves,
while Home is perfect for anyone who wants to customize their service from A to Z.
Primary DNS: 188.8.131.52
Secondary DNS: 184.108.40.206
Verisign is committed to stability, security and privacy with its service. It offers robust protection against the main types of attacks and malware.
The platform also ensures that your data is not sold to third parties, especially for ad targeting purposes.
But while Verisign stands out from the crowd in some areas, it’s also slightly behind in others. It is slower than the other solutions presented in this selection of DNS services.
If you don’t mind losing a few milliseconds for every query you make to gain security and ensure the protection of your personal data, then this free DNS may be for you.
Primary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Secondary DNS: 18.104.22.168
It is a non-profit organization, supported by IBM and several organizations specialized in cybersecurity.
This platform has been available since 2016, so it is relatively new on the market compared to the old briscards we know. But it still has undeniable advantages.
Quad9 does not reach the speed level of Cloudfare or Google DNS servers, but it remains one of the fastest services of its kind on the market according to DNSPerf measurements.
For example, it outperforms Yandex or Comodo, two well-known services that we have chosen not to detail here precisely because of this performance deficit compared to other challengers.
The interest of Quad9 also lies in its safety features. It protects against most computer threats thanks to its collaboration with 18 companies working in the field of intelligence against cyber threats.
As a not-for-profit organization, Quad9 has no “commercial motivation or desire to profit or distribute data that we believe is private and vital to an open and free Iiternet,” we are assured.
Primary DNS: 9.9.9
Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124