4 of the Best Alternate DNS Services You Should Use

One of the cornerstones of Internet access is DNS (also known as Domain Name System). With this service users can easily resolve domain names into IP addresses within the browser. For the most part, users find themselves using the DNS service that their ISP provides. Still, as good as a standard internet service provider DNS service can be, there is always something better.

In this list we’ll go over some of the best alternate DNS services – ones that block advertisements, increase privacy, and even increase browsing speed.

alternative-dns-adguard

Though Adguard DNS is new on the scene, people should take notice. With it users can easily make their own Internet connection safe from trackers, phishing, and even advertisements. Obviously this is not a new concept, as many DNS alternatives promise to protect users from bad things on the Internet.

Still, Adguard has a pretty advanced advertisement blocking system already available on PC and Mac that works very, very well. With their public DNS servers, Adguard has brought this advanced technology to networks as well. For those looking to block advertisements over their networks rather than adding a browser extension, this is one to try.

alternative-dns-dns-watch

Some people ditch their ISP’s DNS service due to privacy reasons. It’s no wonder, as privacy on the Internet is getting more and more scarce.

Introducing DNS.WATCH, a freedom and privacy-based DNS replacement that believes in freedom. Users that set up this DNS service will rest easy knowing that DNS.WATCH doesn’t log anything you do. Additionally, they have the service optimized for “maximum speed” and have enabled standard DNS security.

Paranoid? Try this service.

alternative-dns-google-public-dns

It is hard to talk about public DNS without talking about Google DNS, as it is the most well-known public DNS out there. With Google’s public service, you get the advantage of having a domain name system powered by Google and its massive data centers. You’ll get top-notch security features, speed and advanced security via DNSSEC.

This service isn’t for everyone, especially those concerned about privacy. However, if you can look past Google’s spying problem in favor of speed, security and reliability, Google DNS is a good option.

alternative-dns-open-dns

Open DNS: perhaps the most versatile and customizable DNS service out there. When this DNS service is in use, users get the expected security features with added bonuses like customizable web filtering. With this feature it’s easy to block and filter out malicious and lewd websites right at the DNS level. For parents, this means no matter what device your child uses to browse, they’ll never run into bad stuff.

Additionally, Open DNS is one of the most trusted names in alternative domain name systems, and it is wildly popular and well known. Users looking for a good alternative DNS system with advanced features they can trust should try this one.

Though alternate DNS services are not a new thing, they’ve been getting increasingly popular. It’s no wonder as Internet freedom in the US and elsewhere gets more and more dicey, people are looking for any way they can to increase their privacy.

Alternative DNS services are a quick and easy way to increase the overall Internet experience. Security, privacy and even browsing speed are made better when people switch their DNS providers to something more robust. However, people shouldn’t rely on these providers alone, as they’re not perfect. At best, these DNS alternatives should be an addition to your setup, not the sole solution.

10 comments

  1. Very useful. Was only aware of Google and OpenDNS. Would be interested in a follow-up how-to on making the changes in both Linux (Ubuntu-based) and Android.

  2. Cannot reply to my own comment (waiting moderation). Just noted that Adguard has very clear instructions covering setting up on most systems. DNS.Watch – not so much but the Adguard instructions apply to any DNS changes. Like the first two options very much. Adguard’s ad-blocking is a great additional feature, especially on non-rooted Android devices.

  3. Thanks for the interesting article. Adguard is a brilliant idea. It does not catch everything yet but its excellent browser extension catch the rest until they fix it up.

  4. ” if you can look past Google’s spying problem”
    That’s like overlooking the elephant in the room. Didn’t you just recommend Adguard and DSN.Watch for privacy? There is no security without privacy.

    I use NameBench to determine the fastest DSN service available. Adguard and DSN.Watch have never come up as any of the fastest. GoogleDSN sometimes. Out of the four DSN services you mentioned, OpenDNS is close to the top of the list most often.

    I am considering installing NameHelp program to handle the switching to the fastest DNS automatically.

  5. SimpleDNS.com allows you to run your own DNS service at an affordable, one-time cost. It even allows you to create your own DynDNS service. This way you don’t have to rely on anyone else and you have complete control over all your DNS needs. You can (easily) assign names to your own internal devices regardless of what O/S they happen to use, or no O/S at all. I personally don’t know why anyone would want to rely on an external DNS service given how necessary it is to EVERYTHING you do on line.

  6. Yeah, good article, and I agree that a more detailed follow-up would be nice. Maybe with a table comparing each’s functions since I’m not sure which all have which features. I’d also like to see their compatibilities with different OSs and how to set them up.

  7. May want to download DNS Jumper and add any resolver service that sounds interesting. Or maybe latency is a thing of the past. Or maybe try Simple DNSCrypt if a touch of paranoia haunts the dark corners of the mind.

  8. A little bit off-topic but would it be possible for you to do an article on ‘namehelp’ utility? AFAIK, it runs as a daemon and, on the fly, changes your DNS to the fastest available.

  9. I’m abit new to all this…If I get a new *DNS service added to my own Internet service plan ( which I pay $80/month for Unlimited Data) with the new *DNS Service will I be able to switch to a lower Internet plan?? Do I still have to get a VPN?

    Is Adguard DNS and Open DNS compatible for MacBook users?

    • JJ, using alternate DNS servers work the same on either Windows or Mac computers, so yes you can use one successfully on your Macbook.

      Sadly, an Internet Service Provider will offer no discount if one uses an alternate DNS server.

      Regarding using Adguard specifically as the alternate DNS on your Windows or Mac computers: You might be better off just adding the free Adguard Browser Extension to your specific Web Browser(s) instead of using their DNS server. If you use their Browser Extension you can easily turn off the Adguard protection when you come upon a Website that will not load correctly because of said protection. (There is a button you press at the top of the Browser.) If you use their DNS server and run into a roadblock, it is much more a process to have to go into your Network settings and switch the DNS server addresses, etc.

      The Adguard DNS server is a good one to use on a WiFi-connected iPad since you cannot use the Adguard Browser Extension on the iPad Web browsers.

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