The Domain Name System is one of the internet’s pillars, functioning in the background to match website names entered into search bars with the matching IP address, a long string of numbers that no one can expect to remember. In the process, DNS can add efficiency and security for internet users.
What is DNS, and why should I use it?
Domain Name Systems (or DNS) are the internet’s address books. Domain names (such as https://www.urban-vpn.com) are used to visit websites. DNS converts these domain names into IP addresses that computers utilize. The URL address is then processed by your browser, which connects you to a website.
Your DNS address is provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP); however, a Smart DNS service replaces your ISP’s DNS address with one for a different DNS server. A DNS server not connected to your ISP provides better privacy and security while browsing online. Moreover, DNS allows you to access geo-blocked content since the website believes you are in a different area.
It’s vital to understand that this does not provide you with a new IP address; instead, it alters how a website perceives your IP address.
How is DNS different from a VPN?
In a nutshell, Smart DNS and VPN services both bypass geo-restricted websites and allow you to view video content from other countries. Only a VPN, on the other hand, hides your IP address and conceals your web traffic through encryption. DNS does not disguise your location or encrypt data transfers but can increase internet speed and security.
DNS and VPN technologies both improve your internet browsing experience in distinct ways. They each have their own set of disadvantages as well. Let’s break down their differences:
A VPN conceals your IP address, “changes” your location, and protects your web traffic with end-to-end encryption. It’s the simplest way to unblock geo-restricted streaming video on a laptop or mobile device and the only solution that hides your browsing activity from your ISP.
Smart DNS redirects your DNS requests through a proxy server, allowing you to evade content geo-restrictions. It is inexpensive, quick, and simple to set up for devices that do not support VPN apps. Nevertheless, it does not safeguard your privacy.
There is also the option of Custom DNS. A Custom DNS modifies the DNS server that your device uses to access websites and services. In some cases, it can help enhance your connection speed and security, but it will not allow access to geo-restricted streaming services.
Default ISP DNS vs. Google DNS
Computers, phones, and other devices typically connect to the router’s DNS server. The router’s DNS server is frequently the one provided by your ISP. These default DNS servers lack privacy features and may be slower than other options.
Utilizing your ISP’s DNS server is a huge concern if you value online privacy. Every request is logged, and your ISP knows which websites you visit down to the hostnames and subdomains. This type of browsing history is the kind of data that many businesses profit from.Since 2009, Google Public DNS has been accessible via the easy-to-remember IP numbers 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. Google promises a secure DNS connection protected against cyberattacks and increased performance.
Google’s public DNS servers can accomplish fast speeds because they are hosted in data centers worldwide, which means that when you try to access a website using the IP addresses above, you are sent to the server closest to you.
What DNS settings should I use?
You have a few options to use a public DNS server. Google’s Public DNS, which uses the addresses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, is the most common. The ideal way to make DNS modifications is at the router level. Changing the DNS server on your router will apply to all devices on your home network.
Since the instructions vary between operating systems, you may need to follow particular instructions for your operating system. Google offers instructions on changing to their public DNS for Windows, macOS, Linux, and more.
The Domain Name System is one of the core mechanisms that power the internet today. As we move towards IPv6 and, eventually, new incarnations of the internet, DNS servers will assist in connecting computers to an endless number of websites without the need to remember any IP addresses.