Why and How to Use Google DNS on Windows 7/XP

What is DNS?

If you’re a total newbie to these terms, here is a quick summary. DNS is an acronym for Domain Name System, which basically translates websites’ domain URL in IP address. DNS servers are maintained mostly by ISPs (Internet Service Providers), and they have total control on it. But why DNS in so important?

Well, if you remember your first class on computer basics, you probably know that computer only understands binary language, i.e. a combination 0 (zero) and 1 (one). Whatever we type, is converted in a combination of 0s and 1s. Similarly, a website’s address needs to be converted in the form of IP address (eg. 127.228.67.48) for further processing. Suppose you open www.thegeekdaily.com, the DNS server will then translate it to the IP address of the website. You can access some websites by their IP address too, try opening 74.125.236.87 and see it yourself.

What is Public DNS?

Public DNS server is nothing special. It’s just free for public, and can be used by anyone without any restriction. Generally, the default DNS servers of your internet is under control of your ISP, and are often over-loaded. So, it’s better to switch to a good public DNS for hassle free web browsing experience.

There are many options available, most popular of them are just two. First is, Open DNS and second, Google DNS. The procedure to switch to any public DNS is exactly the same, only the DNS IP address will change. So, if you prefer to use some other service, it is still useful to read this article.

Why Should I Switch to Public DNS Server?

Speed man, speed! <- This is what you’ll hear from most of the people recommending to switch to public DNS, but that’s not true in every case. Mostly people think that because it’s Google servers, the internet will work at blazing fast speed – rubbish. The thing is, when you open a website, it first transfers data with DNS servers to get the IP address and then with the servers of website you are trying to open. If the transfer speed of data with DNS server is slow, you will notice a considerable change in your internet’s browsing speed when you switch to a good public DNS. Though, there are some other reasons too. Let’s take a quick look at them.

  1. Your current DNS is dead slow.
  2. Your ISP has blocked some websites (make sure you’re not violating any law or rules).
  3. During peak hours, some websites load like a Tortoise.
  4. You cannot rely on the ISP’s DNS for security purpose.
  5. You just want to try something fresh.

Even I use Google’s public DNS, because my ISP’s DNS is dead slow. Sometimes, I was unable to open websites and blogspot.com sites was blocked by my Internet Service Provider. So, I had to change it.

How to Use Google DNS:

1. In Windows 7, open control panel then navigate to Network Connections from “Network and Internet”. You can also type “view network connections” in Start -> ‘search programs and files’ to find it quickly.

If you’re using Windows XP, go to control panel then open network connections to view the connections available.

2. From the available connections in the window, right-click on the connection which is active (the one you’re using) and click “Properties”.

3. In the properties window select the ‘networking’ tab (‘General’ in Windows XP) if not selected already.

4. From the list box, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click properties, below the list-box (in Windows XP, there is only one option ‘Internet Protocol TCP/IP’).

5. Check the radio button with label “Use the following DNS server addresses”. Now, the two text box below it will get enabled. Input the following values, and press OK.

Preferred DNS server: 8.8.8.8

Alternate DNS server: 8.8.4.4

You can get the DNS addresses of any other public DNS easily, and enter that instead if you don’t want to use Google DNS.

6. Done! You’ve successfully completed everything. Just one more thing, not compulsory though. Open command prompt and type “ipconfig /flushdns” (without quotes) then press enter to clear the DNS cache.

Did you experience any problem? Want to share your views? The comment form is open for you, anytime.

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