Your ISP automatically assigns DNS servers when your router or computer connects to the Internet via DHCP… but you don’t have to use those. I personally like to use OpenDNS & Google’s DNS servers on my home and office routers. There are many noticeable effects that happen when you switch DNS providers.
Below are free DNS servers you can use instead of the ones assigned, the best and most reliable of which, from the likes of Google and OpenDNS, you can find below:
More help is below the table.
Free & Public DNS Servers (Valid June 2016)
|Provider||Primary DNS Server||Secondary DNS Server|
|Comodo Secure DNS||126.96.36.199||188.8.131.52|
Note: Primary DNS servers are sometimes called preferred DNS servers and secondary DNS servers are sometimes called alternate DNS servers. Primary and secondary DNS servers can be “mixed and matched” to provide another layer of redundancy.
Why Use Different DNS Servers?
One reason you might want to change from the DNS servers assigned by your ISP is if you suspect there’s a problem with the ones you’re using now
An easy way to test for a DNS server issue is by typing a website’s IP address into the browser. If you can reach the website with the IP address, but not the name, then the DNS server is likely having issues.
Another reason to change DNS servers is if you’re looking for a better performing service. Many people complain that their ISP-maintained DNS servers are sluggish and contribute to a slower overall browsing experience.
Yet another, increasingly common reason to use DNS servers from a third party is to prevent logging of your web activity and to circumvent the blocking of certain websites.
The Small Print
Don’t worry, this is good small print!
Many of the DNS providers listed above have varying levels of services (OpenDNS, Norton ConnectSafe, etc.), IPv6 DNS servers (Google, DNS.WATCH, etc.), and location specific servers you might prefer (OpenNIC).
While you don’t need to know anything beyond what I included in the table above, this bonus information might be helpful for some of you, depending on your needs:
 The free DNS servers listed above as Level3 will automatically route to the nearest DNS server operated by Level3 Communications, the company that provides most of the ISPs in the US their access to the Internet backbone.
 Verisign says this about their free DNS servers: “We will not sell your public DNS data to third parties nor redirect your queries to serve you any ads.” Verisign offers IPv6 public DNS servers as well: 2620:74:1b::1:1 and 2620:74:1c::2:2.
 Google also offers IPv6 public DNS servers: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844.
 DNS.WATCH also has IPv6 DNS servers at 2001:1608:10:25::1c04:b12f and 2001:1608:10:25::9249:d69b. In an uncommon but much appreciated move, DNS.WATCH publishes live statistics for both of their free DNS servers. Both servers are located in Germany which could impact performance if used from the US or other remote locations.
 OpenDNS also offers DNS servers that block adult content, called OpenDNS FamilyShield. Those DNS servers are 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. A premium DNS offering is also available, called OpenDNS Home VIP.
 The Norton ConnectSafe free DNS servers listed above block sites hosting malware, phishing schemes, and scams, and is called Policy 1. Use Policy 2 (18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124) to block those sites plus those with pornographic content. Use Policy 3 (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) to block all previously mentioned site categories plus those Norton deems “non-family friendly.” Be sure to check out the list of things blocked in Policy 3 – there are several controversial topics in there that you may find perfectly acceptable.
 GreenTeamDNS “blocks tens of thousands of dangerous websites which include malware, botnets, adult related content, aggressive/ violent sites as well as advertisements and drug-related websites ” according to their FAQ page. Premium accounts have more control.
 Register here with SafeDNS for content filtering options in several areas.
 The DNS servers listed here for OpenNIC are just two of many in the US and across the globe. Instead of using the OpenNIC DNS servers listed above, see their complete list of public DNS servers here and use two that are close to you or, better yet, let them tell you that automatically here. OpenNIC also offers some IPv6 public DNS servers.
 FreeDNS says that they “never log DNS queries.” Their free DNS servers are located in Austria.
 Alternate DNS says that their DNS servers “block unwanted ads” and that they engage in “no query logging.”
 Yandex’s Basic free DNS servers, listed above, are also available in IPv6 at 2a02:6b8::feed:0ff and 2a02:6b8:0:1::feed:0ff. Two more free tiers of DNS are available as well. The first is Safe, at 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, or 2a02:6b8::feed:bad and 2a02:6b8:0:1::feed:bad, which blocks “infected sites, fraudulent sites, and bots.” The second is Family, at 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, or 2a02:6b8::feed:a11 and 2a02:6b8:0:1::feed:a11, which blocks everything that Safe does, plus “adult sites and adult advertising.”
 The censurfridns.dk DNS server is uncensored, operated by a privately funded individual, and is physically located in Denmark. You can read more about it here. An IPv6 DNS server is also available at 2002:d596:2a92:1:71:53::.
 Hurricane Electric also has an IPv6 public DNS server available: 2001:470:20::2.
 puntCAT is physically located near Barcelona, Spain. The IPv6 version of their free DNS server is 2a00:1508:0:4::9.