The Domain Name System (DNS) server is vital to internet connectivity.
In Windows, the DNS server used for Wi-Fi and LAN connections is often set to the default DNS server provided by the internet service provider (ISP).
However, many Windows users are unaware that using the default DNS server can have drawbacks, including potential data tracking by the ISP, slower internet speeds, and security risks such as DNS hijacking and cache poisoning.
It’s advisable to use a custom DNS server to enhance security and internet speed. This article provides instructions on how to change DNS settings in Windows 11.
We Covered- ways to Change DNS Settings in Windows 11
- Change DNS Server from the Settings
- Change DNS Server from the Control Panel
- Change DNS Server by Using Command Prompt (CMD)
- Change DNS Server by Using PowerShell
What is DNS in Windows 11?
A Domain Name System (DNS) is often likened to a phonebook for the internet. When you attempt to access a website on your Windows 11 laptop, it automatically connects to a DNS server to retrieve the website’s IP address.
Since most users can’t easily remember the complex IP addresses of websites, DNS servers serve as a crucial translation tool.
Various types of DNS servers are available, including those provided by ISPs, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, and others. Each DNS service provider claims to be the fastest and most reliable. Some also offer enhanced security features like DNS-over-TLS.
A recent article by Beebom highlighted the importance of Windows 11 users switching from their default DNS servers to custom DNS servers.
Default servers may lack security and potentially expose users to data tracking by their ISPs. Custom DNS servers typically offer enhanced security, do not log your queries, and provide quicker information retrieval.
Free DNS Servers for Windows 11
These days there are hundreds of DNS servers available on the internet. A limited number of servers are available for free of cost, and most of the servers ask for subscription fees.
Here is the few free and reliable DNS servers for your Windows 11 laptop.
- Preferred DNS: 22.214.171.124
- Alternative DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Preferred DNS: 188.8.131.52
- Alternative DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Preferred DNS: 220.127.116.11
- Alternative DNS: 18.104.22.168
Comodo Secure DNS
- Preferred DNS: 22.214.171.124
- Alternative DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Preferred DNS: 188.8.131.52
- Alternative DNS: 184.108.40.206
Method 1: Change DNS Server from the Settings
There are many different methods to change the DNS server, and between all those methods, it is the simple and easiest way to modify your DNS server. Follow the steps below to change the DNS server in your Windows 11.
- First, press the “Windows button” and “I button” at the same time then a “Settings menu” will appear on the screen.
On the left-side corner, you will find the “Network & Internet” tab; click on it.
On the right side of the screen, you can see a “Wi-Fi” option set to “ON.”
- Now scroll downwards to find the “Hardware Properties” tab, then click on it to open.
- After that, look for “DNS server assignment” then, on the right side, you can see an “Edit” option tap
- on it. By default, it is set to Automatic, which means internet service providers choose the DNS server.
- Now an ‘Edit DNS settings” box will appear on the screen there, and you will see the “Automatic (DHCP)” option tap on it, then set it to “Manual.”
- After that, turn on either “IPv4 or IPv6”; it depends on your need.
- Above, I mentioned a few free-of-cost DNS servers, so I chose one and typed the IP address here in Preferred DNS and Alternative DNS. For example, if I choose the Google DNS server, Preferred DNS is 220.127.116.11, and Alternative DNS is 18.104.22.168.
- Isn’t it quite simple?
- Now look for the “Alternative DNS encryption” and “Preferred DNS encryption” options and set these options to the “Encrypted only” option.
- Below you can see a “Save” option” tap on it. Now your DNS server has been changed.
Method 2: From the Control Panel
You can also have the option to change the server from the Control Panel. Don’t worry; the process is quite simple; follow a few simple steps to change the DNS server.
- First, press the “Windows button” and “R button” at the same time then a Run box will pop up on the screen.
- Now, type “ncpa.cpl” then you can see an “Ok” option tap on it.
- After that, a “Network Connection” window will pop up on the screen. It will directly open the “Network & Internet” tab inside the Control Panel.
- Now look for a “Wi-Fi” option, then right-click on it.
- After that, a menu will appear on the screen there find the “Properties” option then tap on it.
- Now a “Wi-Fi Properties” window will pop up on the screen; there, scroll downwards and look for the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” option, then tap on it.
- After that, another window will appear on the screen; look for the “Use the following DNS server address” option, then tap on it.
- Now look for “Preferred DNS server” and “Alternative DNS server,” which I already mentioned above; just choose a server then paste it here. For example, let’s assume I want to use Cloudflare’s DNS server. Then Preferred DNS is 22.214.171.124 and Alternative DNS is 126.96.36.199; isn’t it quite simple?
- After completing, all these steps, tap on the “Ok” button. Now DNS server has been changed in Windows 11.
Method 3: Using Command Prompt (CMD)
It will take a few simple steps to complete, so follow the procedure mentioned below.
- On the Taskbar, you can see a “Search box” tap on it, then type “cmd,” then a menu will appear on the screen. Now on the right side of the menu, you can see a “Run as administrator” option tap on it.
- Now a window will pop up on the screen there, and you have to copy-paste the code of Preferred DNS as well as Alternative DNS. For example, I want to use the Google server, so instead of typing 188.8.131.52 as Preferred DNS, copy and paste the code- “netsh interface ipv4 set DNS servers Wi-Fi Static preferred primary”.
- Instead of typing 184.108.40.206 as Alternative DNS, copy and paste the code- “netsh interface ipv4 add DNS servers Wi-Fi Alternative index=2”. After this, press the “Enter” button.
- Now go to “Settings” on the left side; you can find a “Network & Internet” tab, then tap on it to open.
- Now scroll downwards then you can see a “Hardware Properties” option tap on it to open the tab.
There you can see that the “DNS server assignment” is updated to manual and connected to the Google server. If you want to reset the DNS settings, copy and paste the code- “netsh interface IP set DNS “Local Area Connection” DHCP” in the Command Prompt.
Method 4: Using PowerShell
You can also change the DNS server by using the PowerShell method. Follow a few simple steps to change the DNS server in your Windows 11 laptop.
- On the Taskbar, you can see a “Search box”; type “PowerShell,” then a menu will pop up on the screen. Now look for the “Run as Administrator” option, then tap on it to open the PowerShell window.
- fter that, look for the InterfaceAlias and InterfaceIndex below these options; copy & paste the code- DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex N -ServerAddresses (“Preferred, “Alternative “) then press “Enter.” Now DNS server has been changed.
- Remember that you need to replace the value; for example, if you want to connect to the Google server, then instead of “Preferred,” just put the value 220.127.116.11, and instead of “Alternative,” just put the value 18.104.22.168.
Method 5: Using DNS Jumper.
If you think all the methods mentioned earlier are complicated, you can use a third-party app to change the DNS server. If you ask me which tool you should use, I suggest trying the “DNS Jumper.” you can download this app from the Microsoft Store for free.
- First, download the DNS Jumper app and double-click on it to open it.
- After that, you have to select a “DNS server” then, on the left side, you can see an “Apply DNS” tab then tap on it to change the server (Here, given all the DNS servers are free to use and secure).
- Now, the DNS server has been changed. You also have the option to customize the server.
- Below the “Choose a DNS Server” option, you can see a “Customize DNS Server” tap on it and type the IP address of the server to which you want to connect.
A DNS server is a tool where you can find the IP address of a website you want to connect. For example, let’s say that you type Google.com, then the DNS server looks for the IP address of the Google server and then tries to connect it.
Yes, you can change the DNS server from Control Panel, and the process is also quite simple. Above, I already mentioned this method so you can check it out.
In this article, we have explored various methods for changing the DNS server in Windows 8, 10, and 11. I recommend trying each method outlined in this article to determine which one works best for your device.
If you are facing any problems in implementing these methods, then you can write in the comment box.