4 Reasons Why A Third Party DNS Server Is Better Than What Your ISP Gives You

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.

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…

speed of third party dns server is faster

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.

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.

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!

dns server 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!

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.

12 comments

    • That is the most basic permission required by G+ to integrate to the login system. We will never access your contact list or post anything to your account without your permission.

    • The G+ integration API is tied to that. There’s no way not to do it that way, unfortunately. Anyway, you’re at liberty to do as you wish :)

  1. Really, Damien? But the NSA will, through your access, won’t they? Which is the real reason why you require access to the contact list. There isn’t a technical reason that you should snoop into our info. This is why I will not use Google + and I’m weening myself away from the now-filtered Google search engine. Yes, you’re too big to ignore completely, but I’m trying.

  2. Can the NSA monitor other countries such as England or would that then be up to the likes of MI6

  3. The NSA have a cozy little arrangement with the GCHQ in the UK by which they exchange information, including, of course, information on each other’s citizens and residents. Nothing new, of course ; it all goes back to the so-called UKUSA Agreement of 1946. Check out, e g, the Guardian newspaper’s coverage of the surveillance scandal….

    Henri

  4. Using a 3rd-party DNS is a good idea, but use OpenDNS. Don’t use Google. When not using Google’s DNS, Google can track everything you do and everywhere you go, but *ONLY* when you’re logged into one of their services. But if you use Google’s DNS, Google can track you *all the time*, even when you’re *not* logged into one of their services. Don’t use Google. Google is evil.

  5. Ok right, Google is evil. Good to know. You just go ahead and use Microsoft Word, Skype, Office365, DuckDuck, Facebook, etc. Personally, I’m happy to use Google products as long as they have a lot more to lose than I do if they cross the line and truly become “evil”.

  6. An article about 3rd-party DNS servers without even a mention of Norton ConnectSafe? Sorry, you fail.

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