You’ve probably heard of alternate DNS servers and how they could probably help you in some way or another. MakeTechEasier covered how to configure your DNS settings to use the Google Public DNS server as your provider. But why do you have to do this? Does it even help you in any way? The answer to that last question is “yes,” but perhaps you want a little more of an explanation before you hop into it. I’m going to give you some reasons why you probably should be using third party DNS server. You will end up wondering why you haven’t done it yet.
What Is A DNS Server, Though?
An ISP’s DNS server is a special computer designed to resolve host names (like google.com). It gets the address’ IP address so that your computer can connect to it. It’s really that simple. Keep this in mind. Now, let’s get down to the reasons why you should configure an alternate one…
1: It *Could* Increase Your Overall Browsing Speed
Notice the emphasis on the word “could.” Most third party DNS server fans will tell you about how they have seen speed improvements, but some of these people could just be using the power of auto-suggestion. In many cases, the DNS server improves your overall browsing speed. However, this won’t increase your broadband speed. It will only affect how quickly you resolve domain names. In some cases, using an alternate server could actually worsen your speed. It all depends on your ISP. If you’d like to see which DNS server is right for you, in terms of speed, use something like Namebench.
2: Third Party DNS Servers Are More Reliable
When it comes to resolving domain names, alternate DNS servers are a great way to get around dodgy ISP servers. When you notice lots of “page not found” or “cannot display page” errors on your browser, your first instinct may be to refresh. If you keep getting these errors, but no longer get them after a refresh, you are dealing with a bad DNS server. An alternate server can help fix that issue.
3: Extra Security!
OpenDNS and Google’s Public DNS both have a beautiful array of security features that don’t exist in some major ISPs. They can verify to make sure that your requests for domain name resolution are verified and signed, which may let you know if your computer is being exploited. A bad DNS means that it has either been hijacked or that your computer is infected. This is a good way to protect yourself from threats!
4: Jump Over The Walls Of Censorship!
If a country censors content, it’s probably blocked at the ISP’s DNS server level. A proper alternate DNS server will help you jump past the hoops that governments put in your way so that you can get some juicy content from another part of the world. By the way, you can also use Namebench to detect censorship!
Change Your DNS Server Today!
Now you know there are many more reasons to change your DNS server! If you have any further questions, leave them below in the comments.
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