Changing DNS Address: The Complete Guide for Beginners

There are many reasons that can make you want to change DNS servers, from simple parental control with OpenDNS and advanced security features to connection speed and reliability. It is possible to change the DNS of the entire WiFi network at home via the WiFi router or simply change the DNS of an individual device under MAC, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome and many other OS.

Make DNS Changes on the Router

If you want to change DNS servers for your entire network at home, rather than doing the manipulation once per device, you can do it on the router directly. All devices on your network (computers, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, smart speakers, Wi-Fi bulbs, etc.) acquire their DNS server settings from the router unless you choose to change the default settings directly on the devices. By default, your router uses the DNS servers of your ISP. If you change the DNS server on your router, all other devices on your network will use it.

In fact, if you want to use a third-party DNS server on your devices, I recommend that you simply change it on your router, so you only have one change to make. If you change your mind and want to change your DNS server later, you can make the change when it sings.

To do this, you will have to access the configuration interface of your router. The following steps will greatly depend on the model of your router. If you do not really know how to do this, I advise you to learn about the documentation online or directly on the user manual of your router. It will give you the instructions for accessing the web interface as well as the default username and password combination that you can connect to if you have never changed it.

Once in the web interface, you should find a DNS server option through the navigation menu. Change it and the setting will affect your entire network. The option can be in the LAN or DHCP server settings because the DNS server is provided via DHCP to devices that connect to your router.

If you can not find this option, I advise you to look at the user manual of your router or to do a Google search with the router model you are using and “Change DNS server”.

If you do not want to change the DNS server for all devices on your network, or if you want to use different servers for each device, you can also define a custom DNS server by Device – here’s how to do it on each platform.

On Windows

  • On Windows, it is possible to change the DNS server settings via the control panel. To do this, you can go to Control Panel => View Status and Network Management => Change Map Settings.
  • Right-click on the network adapter you want to set up (On your Ethernet network adapter or WiFi adapter) and click on “Properties”. You will need to do this for each adapter if you want to use the same DNS Server over WiFi and Ethernet.
  • Click “OK” on the dialog box that will open to ask you for Admin permission to proceed. Then select the line “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4)” and click on “Properties”.
  • Then click on “Use the following DNS server address:”, enter the address of the server you have chosen, and click on “OK”.
  • If you want to use a custom DNS server address for the IPv6 internet protocol, just do the same for this protocol: When you are on the “YourConnection Properties” window select “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP / IPv6)”, click on “properties” and enter the IPv6 address of your choice, do not forget to validate to save your changes.

After changing DNS on Windows, you should need to clear your DNS hide to make sure that Windows is using the servers you have requested and not the results cached by the previous server.

On Android

Android also allows you to change DNS servers, but not for the entire system. Each WiFi network you join has its own settings. If you want to use the same DNS servers for all your connections, you will need to change them for each new connection you join.

  • To make this change, go to “Settings” => “WiFi”, then stay on the connection you want to set and select “Change Network”.
  • To change the DNS settings, press “IP Settings” and set it to “Static” instead of the default DHCP. Depending on your device, you may need to click on “Advanced” box to see this setting appear.

Leave the IP server setting as it is because it is automatically acquired from the DHCP server. Enter your preferred primary and secondary DNS servers in the “DNS 1” and “DNS 2” settings and save your settings.

On IOS

As on Android, IOS allows changing DNS server but not to define for the whole system. You will be able to change the DNS servers of each separately registered WiFi connection and if you want to use the same servers on all your connections, you will have to modify the parameters of each connection one by one.

  • To change the DNS servers of an IOS device, go to the settings => Wi-Fi and click on the “i” button on the right of the WiFi network that you want to configure. Go down a little and press “Configure DNS Servers” under “DNS”.
  • Click “Manual” and remove all DNS servers from the list you do not want to use by pressing the red “-” sign. To add a DNS server address, simply press the green “+” and enter the settings for your new DNS server. Click on “save” and it’s over!
  • You can always change to “Automatic” to let the device manage the DNS servers.

On a Mac

  • To change the DNS settings on a MAC, go to “System Preferences” => “Network”. Choose the network adapter you want to set up (like WiFi in my example), and click the “Advanced” button.
  • Click on the “DNS” tab and configure your DNS servers as you wish. Click the “+” button at the bottom and change the IPv4 and IPv6 address in the list. Finally, click on “OK” to validate your changes.
  • If all else does not happen as you expected after changing your DNS servers, you will have to clear the DNS cache to make sure that MacOS uses the new DNS servers and not the cached results of the previous server.

On a Chromebook

It is also possible to change DNS servers on ChromeOS. However, as with Android and IOS devices, you will only be able to change settings one network at a time. You will need to make the change on all networks on which you want to use the DNS servers.

  • On a Chromebook, go to the “Settings” => “WiFi” and click on the name of the WiFi network to which you are connected.
  • Click on the section title “Network” to open it and look for the “DNS” part. Check “Automatic DNS” and select either “Google DNS” if you want to use the GoogleDNS public server or “Custom DNS” to enter your own DNS servers.
  • Enter the DNS server address that you want to use in the fields of this dialog box. You will need to do this for each new network you join if you want to use other DNS servers.

Conclusion

Other devices should also be able to connect through other DNS servers. Look in the network settings of the device you are looking to connect and you should find a menu quite similar to the ones I described in this article to set your own DNS servers.

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