The best DNS server can make your web experience faster, more secure, and more reliable. But with so many servers available, it’s hard to know which is best.
For this reason, we’ve reviewed and compared some of the DNS servers for 2023.
This article will explore the features you should look for in a server and some of the best free and paid services available—so let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What Are DNS Servers?
- In Search of an Excellent DNS: What Should You Consider?
- Best Free & Public DNS Servers
- Best Paid DNS Hosting Providers
- Why Use Different DNS Servers?
What Are DNS Servers?
Domain Name System (DNS) servers act as the backbone of the Internet.
They translate human-friendly website names into computer-friendly IP addresses allowing devices to communicate with each other.
In essence, DNS servers act as the Internet’s phonebook—efficiently providing access to websites and other online resources.
While most internet service providers (ISPs) provide DNS servers by default, they can often be slow, unreliable, and insecure.
Users can improve their internet speed, security, and overall experience by choosing the correct server.
Both free and paid DNS hosting providers are available, each with their advantages and disadvantages.
DNS Domain Name Server
In Search of an Excellent DNS: What Should You Consider?
If you are looking for a good server, here are a few aspects to take into account:
Choose a server that is reliable and stable. Its uptime should be high with rare downtimes or frequency maintenance.
Ensure it has regular updates and security patches to safeguard it from hacking or security breaches.
The server should also be redundant. Ensure it has backups if one of its working servers goes down for maintenance or some other reason.
It ensures that a user will never have to experience any disruptions.
The correct DNS server can lead to a smoother internet experience.
A slow server means compromising user experience and security. Users should not take over a few milliseconds to get to their page.
Work with a DNS server optimized for speed and performance.
The server should be secure and encrypted to protect user data and privacy. It can prevent cyber threats from happening in the first place.
Go for servers with advanced features such as DNSSEC and DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE). They will help you manage your servers worry-free.
Best Free & Public DNS Servers
There are plenty of DNS servers to choose from on the market. Here are some of the best free & public DNS servers to consider:
Cloudflare’s 188.8.131.52. is one of the top-scoring public servers in the market today.
The reliable DNS server uses a distributed cache system instead of a centralized one, providing better latency and performance.
It also uses security features like DNS-over-TLS to guarantee user privacy.
Additionally, it uses third-party firms like KPMG to back its privacy claims of not using client data for advert retargeting.
- Highly secure
- Fast performance
- DoH encryption for better privacy
- It can block malicious traffic, including DDoS attacks and malware
- Limited features for free users
- Not ideal for users who require advanced features
- Some users may experience issues with Cloudflare’s caching
Google Public DNS has set a standard in the market as reliable, secure, and fast. It is mainly due to its large capacity, use of caches, and load balancing.
These three features allow Google to easily handle a high volume of queries, delivering a speedy response.
Unlike competitors, Google’s DNS does not redirect users to ads when the URL is unavailable.
It ensures a more streamlined browsing experience. Moreover, the company’s extensive web security expertise and use of DNSSEC cryptographic standards make the system resistant to attacks.
- Fast performance
- It comes with advanced security features
- Limited customization options
- Google’s data collection policies may be a concern for some users
DNS servers at work
If you are looking for a server with high accuracy in domain name resolution, Quad9 is your go-to tool.
With Quad9, users can rest knowing that their websites will redirect to the correct IP address.
The platform’s sophisticated blocking system is also impressive. It leverages multiple commercial and publicly available threat intelligence sources to block harmful sites.
With over 100 million sites blocked daily, Quad9 offers superior web protection compared to most providers. Best of all, Quad9 is free to use.
- Robust security features
- Excellent performance
- Comes with advanced DNSSEC validation
- Limited customization options
- Some users may experience issues with Quad9’s blocking policy
OpenDNS is a fantastic DNS resolver platform offering many useful features.
The platform’s phishing protection and custom content filtering options are especially noteworthy.
It can benefit parents who want to regulate their children’s Internet usage and businesses looking to improve network security.
OpenDNS also uses an extensive and frequently updated database, ensuring that the websites you visit always redirect to the correct IP address.
OpenDNS has an Umbrella enterprise version with additional features for those needing advanced protection.
These include protection from malware, botnets, and other sophisticated attack vectors.
- It comes with parental controls
- Highly customizable
- Offers advanced security features
- Limited free version
- It may not be helpful for users who require advanced features
- Some users may experience slower performance due to filtering
DNS Domain Name System Server
Comodo SecureDNS is an excellent DNS resolver platform that offers web protection against malware and phishing attacks.
Its most commendable feature is the advanced parental controls. Users can easily restrict remote access to specific website categories with them.
, it is ideal for parents who want to keep their kids safe while browsing the Internet.
Moreover, since the platform is cloud-based, users can configure all the settings to apply to all their devices.
- Fast server
- High level of privacy protection
- Comprehensive security features
- The free version is limited in its functionality
- Some websites may not load properly
Best Paid DNS Hosting Providers
Paid DNS hosting providers usually offer more advanced features, excellent reliability, and better security than free or public-facing options.
Among the many providers, here are the three that stand out:
WordPress DNS is a hosting solution belonging to WordPress. This system benefits users who already use WordPress for their websites.
Also, this system features a globally distributed network of servers, making it fast and reliable for its users.
- Easy to integrate with existing WordPress websites
- Global server network for fast and reliable DNS resolution
- Competitive Pricing
- Limited features compared to other hosting providers
- Support is only available through email and chat
As the name suggests, this server provides dynamic hosting services allowing users to link their changing IP addresses to a hostname.
It benefits users with dynamic IP addresses or those needing remote access to their home network or devices.
It is also befitting to users often on the go or those with multiple devices requiring access to their websites.
- Automatic updating of DNS records for dynamic IP addresses
- Supports a wide range of devices and operating systems
- User-friendly interface
- Limited support for advanced features and customization options
DNSMadeEasy is a comprehensive hosting provider offering advanced features such as DNS failover, load balancing, and geographical routing.
Its global network of servers ensures fast and reliable DNS resolution.
- Reliable and fast DNS resolution
- Excellent customer support
- Relatively higher pricing compared to other hosting providers
- A complex user interface for beginners
Why Use Different DNS Servers?
The wrong DNS server can lead to frustrating internet experiences
Using different servers can offer various benefits, such as:
- Enhanced Security: Different servers have varying security protocols, making it possible to switch to one that offers higher protection against online threats.
- Faster Speeds: Changing servers can improve internet speed and performance by using servers closer to your location, reducing latency and connection times.
- Bypassing Geo-Restrictions: The servers can help bypass geo-restrictions, allowing users to access content ordinarily unavailable in their region.
- Customization Options: Different servers offer various customization options, enabling users to tailor their internet experience based on their preferences.
Using different servers allows users to improve their internet experience and enjoy various benefits they might not have been able to access otherwise.
How can I find my DNS server?
You can find your server in your device’s network settings. You can do this by initiating the command prompt and typing “ipconfig /all” if you use Windows.
For Mac users, go to System Preferences, click Network, and select your network connection. Then, click on Advanced.
You will find the DNS server information right under the DNS tab.
Why is paid DNS better Than A Free Version?
A Paid DNS service provides better reliability, faster speeds, and more robust security features.
They also offer more advanced features like load balancing, failover, and analytics.
Paid services also have dedicated customer support teams that can help resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.
What is the Best DNS Server for Gaming?
The best servers for gaming depend on your location and internet service provider.
The server should also offer low latency, faster speeds, and robust security features.
Some popular DNS servers good for gaming include Cloudflare, Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, and Quad9.
Your internet experience largely depends on the type of server you choose.
You must consider reliability, redundancy, speed, and security factors to identify the best DNS server for your needs.
Whether you opt for a free or paid option, learning the benefits of each can be a plus.
As technology evolves, staying informed about the latest developments can ensure you are always a step ahead.
As such, you can always make a decision that befits your experience.