Google DNS complete guide

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Aina Prat Blasi
@ainapratblasi

By reading this article you will learn how to use Google DNS and what are the advantages. Let's get started right away. Most of us use the internet on a daily basis without realizing the huge number of systems, networks and servers operating in the shade to bring us the different online services directly to our screens.


One of these technologies essential for navigation, but little known to the general public, is the DNS ( Domain Name System o Domain Name System ), which are usually configured as standard on routers provided by our internet access provider (ISP).



How to use Google DNS and what are the benefits

However, this configuration is not always the most appropriate or convenient for our country, hence the possibility of selecting an alternative service such as Google Public DNS. What is it, how can I use it on my computer and what benefits will it give me?

What is Google DNS and what is it for?

When a computer is connected to a network, a IP address to identify it among other computers. If we are in a local network with few computers, it is easy to recognize and write, even on paper, the IP addresses of each. But what if we are faced with a global network like the Internet with billions of connected devices?


Well, things get complicated and the human user, who is more able to handle text addresses (e.g. Holygamerz.net) than IP number strings (54.230.78.52), needs more help, so you need to an intermediate system that translates these domain names in the IP addresses of the server hosting the page or service we want to use.



DNS is a technology based on a distributed database which is used to translate these domain names on networks. That is, to know the IP address of the machine hosting the service we want to access.

Each computer, by default, has a small DNS server which stores a cache with the most recent addresses we have accessed. If the domain we want to visit is not in this cache, the server Google DNS that we have configured in our operating system or router (which will be the one provided by the ISP), thus starting a recursive search until the address is found.


And this is where free public DNS services like Google Public DNS come into play, which allow us to replace the address lookup in our internet provider's databases with another on Google's servers. Why would we want to do this?

Advantages of using Google DNS servers

The first reason is the response speed in the resolution of requests. When visiting a website, not only is a single DNS request generated, but depending on the content being accessed, there may be many requests for IP address resolution. This causes an increase in logon time if the DNS server is slow, saturated, or unable to resolve this request by forwarding it to another computer.

The servers of some ISPs can at certain times be saturated with requests from many users if the network is overloaded, slowing down the navigation of their clients. Furthermore, the location of these servers is not always close to our homes, so time is also wasted in sending data, even to the speed of light.



Google has updated servers with the latest technology with large databases that index most of the web pages in the world, constantly update this information (as much of its business depends on it) and direct us to the server closest to our location. Therefore, in some cases the response while using DNS is faster than that of our ISP.


Is Google's DNS Always Faster Than Others? Well no. It depends on our position, how and where our ISP's servers are located, and in particular the network to which we are connected. How do I know if it's worth it? Well, there is a very useful tool called namebench that after running it will tell us which DNS service is best for us in terms of speed.

The next big reason is to circumvent access restrictions to certain services or web pages relating to censorship or prohibitions. One of the most common ways to prevent access to a website is to block the domain at the DNS level of country operators. It is something we have seen for example in the cases of The Pirate Bay, or in countries with dictatorships and limited access to information. In these cases, using the operator's DNS will prevent us from accessing the desired website, the trap that we can easily skip using, for example, Google's DNS.

Another important advantage is the improvement of stability and safety. Google's DNS is constantly updated with security updates to prevent different types of attacks (such as denial of service) that compromise network performance or can even block access to certain pages. Also, when the ISP's DNS workload is very high, there may be stability problems that could slow down or stop browsing completely. Hence the advantage of having an alternative system to get us out of trouble.


How do I set up Google DNS on my computer?

If after reading all of the above you have decided to try Google's DNS and replace those of your ISP, go ahead, it's a very quick and easy process to do and can also always return to the previous state (for this it is better than before to start replacing anything, write down on a paper the addresses provided by your ISP that you will usually find on the router). There are two basic ways to change DNS: directly on your home router or on all computers connected to the Internet.


Change DNS on the router

The changes will affect all devices connected to the local network and that are automatically prompted for DNS, so you don't have to set up on a computer by computer basis. The server addresses are as follows (we usually use IPv4 addresses, as not all current routers, computers and networks support IPv6):

Google public IPv4 DNS:

  • Dns 8.8.8.8
  • Dns 8.8.4.4

Google public IPv6 DNS:

  • 2001:4860:4860 ::8888
  • 2001:4860:4860 ::8844

To change them, the first thing to do is go to the router settings through the web browser, usually by typing the address 192.168.1.1, 192.168.2.1 or 192.168.0.1 in the navigation bar.

  • Then a we log in to the web interface by entering username and password, the values ​​which by default are usually "1234/1234", "1234 /" (empty password), "admin /", "admin / admin", depending on the model we have and how has configured our operator.
  • We look for the configuration card and the section of the local network or LAN. Here le should appear options "Primary DNS" and "Secondary DNS".
  • We write down the addresses on a sheet of paper that appear in case we want to change them again and we enter both Google DNS.
  • Let's just save the changes. (In some cases it may be necessary to restart the router for this to take effect).

Change DNS in Windows

If what we want is to use Google DNS only on a Windows computer, we can do it easily and edit it will only affect that computer. Here are the steps to change DNS in Windows 10.

  • We open the Windows 10 configuration menu. In it we choose the Network and Internet option to change the characteristics of our Internet connections.
  • If the computer is connected directly to the router, enter the Ethernet option and if not, we will use the Wi-Fi option that will appear. Either way, now we do click the Change adapter options option.
  • The Network Connections panel will open, in which we will right-click on our connection by selecting Properties. Once there, we look for and select the option * Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and click the * Properties * button. In case we have IPv6 we will also have to configure this section in addition to the IPv4 one.
  • Once in these properties we choose the option Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the Google DNS addresses. When we do, click Accept and we're done.
  • And in case we have an older version of Windows, here's the process to do it.
  • We open the configuration of the network interface that we have (for example "Connection to the local network") To do this, click on the icon that appears at the bottom right on the Windows desktop, we enter "Open the network and the shared resource center" or we can access it by accessing from Control Panel> Network Connections, depending on the version of our operating system.
  • We double-click on the connection we want to configure (in our case “Connection to the local network”), then let's do it click on properties and finally on the service we want to modify ( Internet Protocol version 4 ).
  • We mark the option "Use the following DNS server addresses" and enter the Google DNS addresses in the corresponding boxes.

Change DNS in OS X

To change DNS on a computer running OS X, the steps are very similar to the ones we followed in Windows.

  • We open the System Preferences panel (in the Apple menu), look for the Network icon and let's select the network interface that we want to configure and press the "Advanced" button, and in the dialog box that opens when we click on it we access the DNS tab.
  • We write down the addresses that appear by default on a piece of paper in case we wish to return to them later and replace them with those of Google's DNS.

Modify DNS your iOS and Android

In mobile terminals with an iOS or Android operating system, the change is very simple. Go up WiFi network settings / configuration. We will see that the network to which we are connected appears.

Click on "Edit Network", "Advanced Options" or "Information", depending on the version and operating system we have and look for the option where the default DNS addresses, exchanging them with Google if you wish.

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