DNS servers are on all computers, including yours. It is the technology that makes when you type Xataka.com in the browser, it connects to the IP of our server to access the content. By default, your computer will connect to the DNS of your operator , but you want to maximize your privacy, increase security against attacks or avoid blocking your dns operator , you have several alternatives in the form of free and paid public DNS.
However, not all DNS you can connect to are the same, and factors such as its speed , some of its extra options in security and privacy, or the simple fact of earning a reputation can completely change your experience. Therefore, today we bring you what we consider the best DNS to test in 2020 based on its speed, the features and the options that they offer us.
As we always do at Xataka Basics, we will try to make this list understandable by everyone. Therefore, we will start with a small explanation of what a DNS is, and then we will go on to list the ones that we have considered the best. In each one that we mention, we will also add a small explanation with the advantages and disadvantages that you can find with them.
As usual in this type of article, as we cannot cover all the existing DNS, we may have left out of the list some of those that you may consider essential. In that case, we invite you to tell us your suggestion in the comments section to add it if necessary.
What is a DNS and what does it know about you
DNS (Domain Name System) servers are one of the essential technologies for Internet browsing, and they usually come preconfigured in the routers provided by the operators. When you enter a website, such as Xataka.com, DNS servers are responsible for translating that web address into an IP address, so that your computer knows exactly which server it has to connect to in order to access the page’s contents.
Since your Internet provider or ISP gives you a router with a preconfigured DNS, it can always know when you connect what your IP is and who exactly you are . Furthermore, when a government forces them to block access to certain pages, this is done by limiting DNS access.
And it is precisely here where the use of alternative DNS comes into play . Your computer allows you to change the DNS , and by doing so you can improve your privacy , allowing you to bypass these regional blocks that try to impose themselves by precisely limiting access to those used by operators.
In addition to all this, there are third party DNS that are advertised promising higher speeds or privacy , so the response time of your computer when searching for pages could be improved. They can also be used to add an extra layer of security with which to prevent, for example, DDoS attacks .
Beyond avoiding censorship and making extra layers of security against attacks, they are not as effective in preventing your operator from knowing where you are browsing . This is so because DNS is a protocol without encryption, and both operators and VPNs can read where you move with it. Therefore, think of these services as an extra layer of security that you can complement with others and not as a definitive solution.
However, one of the problems of DNS is that, unlike VPNs , they do not usually encrypt or hide your IP address when you are browsing, so they do not prevent other pages or the companies themselves after DNS from obtaining certain data about you, such as your IP or the pages you access.
Founded in 2005, OpenDNS has been one of the main references in the world of public DNS for years. Currently belonging to Cisco, it is known above all for its free service, with which they promise high speeds, or stay active 100% of the time, block phishing websites by default, or up to 50 types of customizable filters to have control Absolute about the pages that can be visited.
They also include other types of options and packages such as a free family that blocks adult content by default, a $ 20 payment plan per user to protect your laptop wherever you go, or another $ 20 a year family plan with which Obtain usage statistics or even the option to block the computer and only allow access to certain pages that you put into your whitelist, which is what the exception lists are called.
Therefore, in favor of this option we have its seniority, the control it offers you when it comes to personalizing your browsing , and the security of its automatic filter against phishing. Concerned parents may also be interested in your family plan, and while it is not the fastest on the list it does offer very good speeds.
- Primary and secondary DNS: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 .
2. Google DNS
Created in late 2009, it is focused on the most inexperienced users, and offers all the explanations in its online documentation . It is not as private as Cloudflare’s, as it saves anonymous browsing data to assist in troubleshooting and diagnostics, but at least it promises to erase your IP within 24 or 48 hours from its servers.
This is one of the fastest DNS network, and although you do not have to set up your navigation filters as OpenDNS does offer protection against some attacks such as DNS cache poisoning or DoS attacks. The only downside is found in the simple fact that it is Google who controls the navigation, and the eternal suspicions that it may use the data for more than it says.
We are therefore facing an easy, comfortable and totally free alternative for those who want to replace the DNS of their operator with another in which speed and protections prevail against a common type of attack. Perhaps the only thing missing is some of the extra options and filters that other DNS offer.
- Primary and secondary DNS 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
How to use Google DNS and what are the advantages
Another simple DNS for users who settle for the basics, but who try to compete with Google’s by attacking it where it hurts the most . First attacking its great advantage offering the highest speed in the sector according to some benchmarks , and then to the eternal suspicions that hang over the search engine company offering absolute privacy.
Cloudflare promises that it will not use your data to serve advertising, that ** it will never write your IP on any hard disk , and that any log that is generated with your use of its network will be deleted within 24 hours. In addition, it contracts external audits to carry out public reports with which it seeks to confirm the fulfillment of all its promises related to privacy.
For the rest, it is a service without any kind of extra such as blocking filters or monitoring of your browsing. They also do not add security extras, nor against phishing, nor content blockers. Simply speed and privacy.
- Primary and secondary DNS 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
4. Comodo Secure DNS
The Comodo company is specialized in security products, and also offers a free DNS to help you with navigation. We cannot say that they will surprise you with their speed, but they have preferred to focus on offering the maximum possible security options to help you navigate more smoothly.
Not only do they block phishing pages, but they also warn you when you visit a page with malware, spyware and pages with excessive ads . It also offers its extra security solution Dome Shield , which in its free version offers blocking of malicious IP requests, against more types of advanced threats and customizable blocking of pages, and which also offers paid versions with even more settings.
Therefore, we are facing a service in which security prevails over speed , and where you will find multiple options to navigate more securely and block pages that may be dangerous.
- Primary and secondary DNS 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
Active since 2016, even though it is almost a newcomer, this alternative has managed to position itself as an alternative to consider if you are looking for security. Quad9 boasts of having the support of more than 18 threat intelligence providers to be more effective in defending you, although of course, the amount in this regard is not always so important.
As for its performance, it does not reach the speeds of alternatives such as Cloudflare or OpenDNS, but it is still well positioned and above average, surpassing other members of the list such as Comodo. It offers security extras such as protection against online threats, default blocking of malicious domains , and whitelisting methods to ensure that secure websites are accessible.
In short, it is a DNS that is trying to position itself as an alternative for those seeking security, but who want to maintain a good balance in terms of browsing speed and privacy. In this aspect they promise to respect your privacy, although they keep some logs for internal use . It is also totally free, although the configuration options for security that other more established DNS have are missing.
- Primary and secondary DNS 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
6. Verisign DNS
Founded in 1995, it is a company that offers different types of service, including some security services. Its performance and speed are not its strong point, especially when compared to other members of the list, but in return it promises you a stable experience, and good security and privacy .
Stability is above all very important, since it is what helps you always have a good connection. As for security, it protects you against security flaws, and on its website they promise not to sell your personal information to third parties , which if it is met is always appreciated in terms of privacy.
Otherwise, it is a free service , something that is also an incentive. Of course, it also does not have some of the configuration options or parental controls that we have seen in an alternative a little higher.
- Primary and secondary DNS 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
Okay, all this adding layers of personalization and blocking some pages is fine. But you also have other alternatives such as DNS.Watch , which prefer to offer you a maximum speed experience without any type of control or censorship . They defend it by calling it “DNS Neutrality”, where no one decides what you can see and what you cannot see.
Otherwise, the service also boasts of defending your privacy by not keeping any kind of log about your activities , and they promise that your connection speed will not be compromised by using its service. All this is offered completely free of charge, without any type of payment option with which you can have more advanced options.
This means that if you are looking for a service that gives you control over your browsing, allows you to block pages for when your children browse, or prevents you from entering fraudulent and dangerous pages, you better look at other options. This DNS is limited, according to what it says, in offering the fastest possible service, respecting your privacy as much as possible and without blocking any type of content.
- Primary and secondary DNS 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
And we go from one extreme to the other, because SafeDNS is very similar to OpenDNS, with parental controls and the possibility of blocking or allowing the entrance to certain pages that you decide. In addition, filters can also be applied to block different types of websites, such as adult, gaming and casino pages, pornographic, or with excessive or intrusive advertising, among others.
It also blocks some ads at the DNS level so you don’t have to spend time on blockers and pages go faster, and as a member of the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation), it also automatically blocks pages it detects showing sexual abuse of minors. Lastly, it also has filters to block pages with malware , as well as phishing attacks, DDoS, DNS cache poisoning, botnets, etc.
The downside is that most of these advanced filters are paid , with packs ranging from $ 19.95 a year for family protections and filters to various business plans starting at $ 80 a year to protect 5 employees, and whose price increases as the number of equipment to protect increases.
- Primary and secondary DNS 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 .
9. AdGuard DNS
And we go with a newcomer. AdGuard is a company that specializes in ad blocking at the network level, and at the end of 2018 it released the final version of its own DNS . AdGuard DNS specializes in blocking ads , both videos and browsers, web pages or even video games.
Protection also includes a series of filters with which you can prevent the content of certain applications or browsers from being blocked. It has a family protection mode that blocks access to adult content and forces secure browser searches, and also blocks trackers, malware and phishing pages to enhance your security and privacy.
In short, an interesting alternative for those who want to have a good amount of filtering options. The bad news is that your best options are not free, since it is part of the different AdGuard packs for mobile and computer, which have prices of around 20 euros a year.
- Primary and secondary DNS 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
Dyn’s DNS , belonging to Oracle, is a premium service aimed at companies and users who don’t mind paying for premium protection. In its basic options you will find advanced protection against DDoS and phishing attacks , good speed and good geolocation. But if you want to take advantage of it, you will have to pay.
Its lowest pack is priced at $ 0.85 for every million queries, although it also has two other options for small and medium-sized companies of $ 100 and $ 400. For the initial pack you get the so-called Managed DNS , which offers customization options to manage traffic , browsing data, user permissions and other advanced options .
In short, in this case we have already entered a solution for those who do not simply need a common DNS, but need one that allows them to control their computer browsing as much as possible and protect themselves against attacks.
- Primary and secondary DNS 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
And we end up with a different alternative, which is specially designed to block adult content when browsing. No more no less. You can use it in any operating system as with any other DNS, but it also has an Android application with which it tries to make the process as easy as possible.
Cleanbrowsing follows a freemium model, with which the free version offers you three different types of filters to control navigation. On the other hand, its paid version of $ 5 a month offers up to 12 filters with support for up to 100 devices.
Thus, we find another DNS that is not intended for majority use, but is offered as a specific solution for parents and schools who want to remove adult content from PC users.
- DNS 184.108.40.206
Do you want to try one of these DNS?
If you want to give one of these DNS a try, Windows 10 is very easy. You just have to go to the Network Connections panel , right click on your connection and choose Properties to access the tab where you can enter the properties of Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4) to enter a new DNS. You have the complete tutorial in Xataka Basics in which we explain it step by step.
In GNU / Linux and macOS it is much easier, just enter its configuration panels and look for the network option. There you can enter your connection settings where you will immediately see the DNS options. You can also do it from the configuration of your own router, just look at its manual to know how to access it and find the precise configuration.