Many people ignore the DNS settings of their system and let their Internet Service Provider (ISP) deal with it. For those who don’t know what DNS is, it’s basically a tool used to look up the IP address of a domain name so that you can reach the right server on the Internet.
Most Internet users use the default DNS service of their ISPs, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you use a more reputed DNS provider like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Public DNS, then things can be improved further.
If you don’t set proper DNS settings, there are a couple of issues that can crop up, such as (but not limited to):
- Your default DNS may be blocking certain sites, or redirect users from their original server. This means that you won’t be able to access certain sites.
- Lookup speed may not be fast, which means slower browsing speed.
- Default ISP DNS may be less reliable.
In short, a good DNS can give you better and faster web browsing experience. You might want to switch to a better third party DNS provider which will probably fix the above issues.
How to configure DNS manually
You can configure DNS manually by visiting Network connections, or there’s a better alternative known as QuickSetDNS, a freeware utility for Windows users.
QuickSetDNS allows you to easily change the DNS servers that are used for your Internet connection. In fact, its beauty lies in the ability to quickly switch between the default DNS provider and alternate providers with a couple of clicks.
When you start the program, it scans your current DNS provider and then displays it in the list. It also displays automatic DNS configuration and Google’s Public DNS. As you can see in the above screenshot, it shows active status for Google Public DNS.
To add any other DNS provider, go to File > New DNS Server, or use the shortcut of Ctrl+N to open the dialog box.
Type a name for the new DNS service, and enter DNS IP address separated by commas. When done, click the OK button.
The new DNS server will be added to the list of available DNS servers. You can now switch to this new DNS service. To do this, select it and then click on the “Set Active DNS” button. You can also use the F2 shortcut key for the same task.
Overall, Nirsoft’s QuickSetDNS is a very handy small, free and portable utility to set and quickly change DNS servers on your system. If you’ve ever feared to go in to Network-related settings and change DNS, then this utility will come to your rescue.
Bonus Tip: You can use the popular Google Public DNS by using IP addresses 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 as your DNS servers.