Using an alternative DNS server can speed up your internet and strengthen your privacy. In this article we explain when it is worthwhile to configure such a DNS service and what is important when choosing the right DNS service provider.

The domain name system (DNS) is at the heart of everything we do. Whenever you access any website on the Internet, a DNS server is involved. The so-called Domain Name System translates requests for domain names e.g. if you enter “” in the navigation bar of your web browser, your DNS server converts the text entry into the IP address “”.


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By default, you use the DNS service of your Internet provider for name resolution. If there is an overload or failure here, this can slow down your Internet speed or completely prevent a connection from being established. For this and other reasons, the use of an alternative DNS can be useful. The good news is most of the third-party DNS services are completely free.

When is it worth using an alternative DNS?

Configuring an alternative DNS can be worthwhile for a number of reasons. Here are a few of them:

Alternate DNS server for better internet speed

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In general, an alternative DNS cannot work miracles at slow surfing speeds, because if the overall speed of data transmission is low, faster name resolution cannot help. However, if your connection is slow or prone to failure despite actually high upload and download speeds, the standard DNS server of your Internet provider could be the problem. In this case, it is worth configuring an alternative DNS.

You can use the DSL speed test to check whether your internet speed corresponds to the terms and conditions contractually agreed with your internet provider. If your connection is bad despite a higher score in the speed test, you should definitely consider an alternative DNS.

More security and privacy

Even if the performance of your standard DNS is good, switching to an alternative could be worthwhile: some Internet providers collect your DNS requests and evaluate them for monetary purposes. If you want to prevent this, it is worth using an alternative service.

Furthermore, some DNS services offer concrete added benefits in the area of security: corresponding providers block websites that are known to spread harmful content. To do this, these DNS services work together with IT security companies. Although this does not create all-round internet security, it can be understood as an additional level of protection which doesn’t come with the default DNS provided by your ISP.

Bypass country blocks

Some DNS services also specialize in bypassing country blocks and thus, for example, enable access to French broadcast portals from abroad. Conversely, the DNS service enable access from France to services that are not normally available here.

Which DNS server is the best?

If you search for “public DNS”, for example, you will find numerous options. Many DNS services are powerful, but by no means all can be trusted with certainty. In terms of security, privacy and speed, however, the free DNS from Quad9 stands out from the crowd. This DNS server is operated by a non-profit organization founded by IBM, Packet Clearing House and the Global Cyber Alliance, which promises not to analyze or share any personal data with third parties.

Thanks to a server infrastructure that has been expanded around the world, the users can always achieve very good response time. Thanks to cooperation with 17 renowned security companies, Quad9 maintains a very up-to-date list of malicious websites that their DNS can block to protect you from viruses and malwares. According to the name Quad9, you can reach their DNS service under the IPv4 address “”.

The DNS “” from Cloudflare DNS is also worth considering. Just like Quad9, Cloudflare guarantees strict data protection standards, and the company also promises extremely fast response time, which should be well below those of the regular DNS servers of many Internet providers. However, it does not include the blocking of dangerous websites.

Google also offers a solid DNS service, which can be found under the IP address “”. Google’s DNS does not filter when surfing either. However, Google makes fewer clear promises than other providers regarding the handling of the user data. So, if you don’t trust Google when it comes to your privacy, you can go with the other two DNS providers.

How to set up DNS?

DNS services can be configured in the network settings of numerous end devices – for example under Windows, mac OS, Android and iOS. Nowadays, game consoles and smart TVs also offer corresponding setting options. If you want all of your network traffic to use the new DNS, you can configure it in the settings of most routers. You can learn how to configure a DNS service for different operating systems in this article.

Possible DNS vulnerabilities

DNS servers, including Google’s, are very useful in terms of browsing, but they have some limitations that can put us at risk when browsing with them privately. For example, unlike VPNs, DNS does not hide the user’s IP address when browsing, so your data and privacy could be exposed. For example, a DNS provider company may know the IP address of the computer from which you connect and what web pages and services you access when you browse.

DNS can also be vulnerable to distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks caused by accessing the DNS server of the user or the Internet provider itself.


If you want faster internet speeds with better privacy and security on all your devices, I recommend changing your ISP’s default DNS server to either Cloudflare or Quad9.