Change Your DNS Server Settings, Get Faster Internet

Jan 14, 2022
Broadband
By Staff writer

The Domain Name System, also known as a DNS Server, serves as the phonebook of the internet. It’s used to match website and domain hostnames to their corresponding IP addresses. Usually, by default, these servers are set by your broadband provider, but you can change them to improve your internet connection.

Changing a DNS server may seem daunting, especially for the unfamiliar. However, it’s actually not as difficult as you think. Simply follow these few steps and see a boost in your internet speed.

How does a DNS server work?

Whenever you search for a domain name in your browser, it’s responsible for finding the correct IP address and directing you to this domain. Browsers use multiple servers to access different website information and remember it in the long run.

For example, you’re searching for our website, glimp. It’s much easier for your browser to input the domain name, ‘glimp.co.nz,’ instead of remembering the IP address numbers 111.121.3.114. This makes it easier for your device to locate you at the right address.

How do DNS servers resolve DNS queries?

Each time you search for a domain name on your browser, DNS servers connect to several other servers and solve queries in four different steps. 

  1. The DNS resolver, also known as the DNS recursor, receives your request to show the IP address by entering a domain name.
  2. The root server then returns the result of this request and lets the DNS resolver match the address of the Top-Level Domain (TLD) server where all the info is stored.
  3. The TLD server is queried through the DNS resolver, then returns to the Authoritative Name Server.
  4. Coming from the name itself, the Authoritative Name Server learns and redirects you to the IP address you’re trying to deliver.

Once the IP address is redirected to the right domain name, it will then be shown on your browser. This seems like a lot of work, but this actually happens within a fraction of a second. 

Read: How Much Is The Average Internet Bill In New Zealand?

Does changing your DNS server increase internet speed?

DNS servers are assigned automatically by your internet service provider. While this is convenient, this may also prevent you from taking advantage of the servers without heavy traffic, especially during peak times. 

Think of the DNS servers as the routes to your destination. In this case, this is the IP address of the domain name you’ve entered. These servers can experience heavy traffic, so it’s more efficient to look for alternative routes that can take you to the IP address quicker. If you’re using the default servers that your ISP has set, you have no choice but be stuck in heavy traffic.

By changing your DNS servers, you can choose to take the faster route to the domain name you’ve requested. This can show the website you’re trying to access a millisecond to a few seconds faster. It doesn’t increase your internet speeds in a way that influences the Mbps of your broadband plan. It simply helps the user experience to feel snappier.

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How do you change DNS servers?

Depending on your device, changing your DNS servers may vary greatly. 

For macOS

  1. Open the System Preferences on your computer
  2. Search for DNS servers
  3. Click the ‘+’ button to add a DNS server
  4. Enter 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 (more for redundancy)
  5. Click ‘Ok’ then ‘Apply’

Read: Top 10 Fastest Broadband Providers In New Zealand

For Windows PC

  1. Click the Windows button, then search for ‘Control Panel’
  2. Go to the ‘Network and Internet, then click ‘Change Adapter Settings’
  3. Select your wifi network and then click ‘Properties’
  4. Keep any existing DNS server in case you need it later on
  5. Click ‘Use The Following DNS Server Addresses’
  6. Replace the addresses with the 1.1.1.1 DNS addresses
    • For IPv4, replace it with 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
    • For IPv6, replace it with 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
  7. Click ‘Ok’ then ‘Apply’
  8. Close the tab and then restart your browser

Read: Broadband in NZ: What Is a Good Internet Speed?

For Android devices

  1. Connect to the Wi-Fi network where you need to change DNS servers
  2. Enter your router/modem’s gateway address on your browser
  3. Fill out the username and password (usually just ‘admin’)
  4. Locate the DNS server settings on the configuration page
  5. Keep any existing DNS servers for future use
  6. Replace the address with the 1.1.1.1 DNS addresses
    • For IPv4, replace it with 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
    • For IPv6, replace it with 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
  7. Save your settings then restart your browser

Note: Some Android devices may require you to connect to a static IP address before changing DNS servers. This may require you to tweak your router settings beforehand or get an additional subscription from your broadband provider.

Read: NZ Broadband Deals: Where To Get Free Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, And Disney+

For iOS/iPadOS

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ page on your device
  2. Connect to the Wifi network that you want to change DNS servers
  3. Long-press this network then select ‘Configure DNS’
  4. If there are existing entries, click the ‘—’ button
  5. Click the ‘Delete’ button next to each entry
  6. Add 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 to the DNS address (more for redundancy)
  7. Click the ‘Save’ button on the top-right corner of the screen

Get a fast and reliable broadband plan

Changing your DNS servers is a great way to improve your connection. But if your provider continues to deliver slow or inconsistent speeds, it may be time to switch. This enables you to download and upload files with ease, stream in 4K resolution, and play games with no lags.

Compare, switch, and save. Find the best broadband plan in your area using glimp's free comparison tool.

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Karyn Swallow , 2022-03-14

Extremely easy and fast to show suitable and economical choices, and also special promotions , I used it to find the best value and most suitable broadband for my situation. I am very happy with the results and to also see and understand the comparisons between the different businesses and their offerings. Will definitely use Glimp again

tom anderson , 2022-04-06

Fast easy service - was able to tailor to my situation. Would recommend!

Kijo “Anyway” , 2022-04-21

Nice experience and helped me found my suitable power, telecom and gas provider.

Kay Urlich , 2021-05-11

Thank you. Very helpful, lots of info and friendly!

Salote Fonua , 2022-03-02

Larry G was very helpful when we were setting our internet provider. He was very informative and patient with the process. Glimp is an awesome website when comparing and switching power/internet providers.