One way to get all of your iPad/iPhone mobile web browsers to run a little bit better is to change the DNS server. Here’s how to set it up on iOS 7 Devices. iOS 7 browses the web nimbly, whether you use the new and improved Safari app or an alternate web browser like Google Chrome or Opera Mini. But one way you can get all of your iPad/iPhone web browsers to run a little bit better is to change your DNS server. In a few different tutorials, we’ve talked about changing your Domain Name Service (DNS) server on your router or PC. A DNS server, as you may know, is a server that resolves domain names (like groovypost.com or Facebook.com) into IP addresses (like 188.8.131.52 or 184.108.40.206). Usually, you use your ISP’s DNS server. In many cases, your ISP’s DNS server will be fastest for you, since it’s geographically closest to you. But sometimes, it’s not. You can find out which DNS server is fastest for you by running namebench. Also, many would argue that an alternate DNS—like Google Public DNS or OpenDNS is more secure and more reliable. Whatever your reason for switching your DNS server, the best way to do it is through your router. That makes the change for all devices on your network. But if you don’t have access to your router’s settings, you can change your DNS server directly on your device. For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users running iOS 7 (that includes iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S and earlier generation iPhone/iPod users who have upgraded their OS), you can use these instructions. Before we begin, you should choose an alternate DNS server. Here are a few:
- OpenDNS – Free, and lets you block websites and filter out known malicious sites.
- Google Public DNS – Free, won’t redirect to ads, faster and more reliable than many ISP DNS servers.
- DynDNS – Phishing protection, faster, content filtering.
Pick one or two that you like. You can set up a primary and secondary DNS for your iPhone or iPad.
Changing DNS Settings on the iPhone
Pop open your iOS device and tap Settings. From settings, choose WiFi. Look for the WiFi network that you use to connect your iOS device. In my iPhone screenshot, it’s slamson extreme. Tap the info icon to the right of it. It looks like a blue “i” with a circle around it. In your WiFi network settings, look for the field for DNS. Tap it. Type in your preferred alternate DNS server. You can use a semicolon for multiple DNS addresses. For example, Google Public DNS has two servers: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. If you enter them both (22.214.171.124;126.96.36.199), then your phone will fall back on the second one if the first one is down. When you are done, tap WiFi in the top-left to return to the WiFi menu. Test out your new DNS server by trying to visit a website. Preferably, try one that you haven’t visited recently. If the domain name resolves (i.e. the website loads), try bookmarking it and then loading the bookmark. If that works, you’re all set. If the domain doesn’t resolve, try typing in an IP address directly. For example, instead of typing in Google.com, type in: http://188.8.131.52/ and see what happens. If that loads Google, then your DNS servers may be misconfigured. Go back and check for typos. If nothing loads, then you may be having some other network connectivity problem.
What About Changing DNS Servers on 4G?
There is no quick and easy way to change the DNS servers (or practically any other settings) for your cellular data connection. You can jailbreak or use the iPhone Configuration Utility. But I’ll cover that in another post.
Depending on how fast and reliable your default DNS server is, you may see significant improvement by switching to a public DNS. Or, you can enjoy the web content filtering and monitoring benefits of OpenDNS on your iPhone. No matter what, now that you’ve read this tutorial, you have the option to choose who resolves your domain name requests. Usually, you end up using the DNS servers your ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides on your Android and iPhone. You may want to switch to a third-party DNS server for better privacy, reliability, and more security features. Thankfully, changing DNS server settings is relatively easy whether you’re using an Android or an iPhone. Before we begin, check the advantages of using a custom DNS server on your Android or iPhone.
Why Should You Use a Third-Party DNS Server
Your default DNS server run by your ISP is often crowded and may not be reliable or secure. You may often experience slow internet speeds or random connection errors while browsing. Hence, switching to a third-party DNS server can help over come those problems. Further, popular DNS services also offer better privacy features, so you don’t have to worry about your Internet Service Provider (ISP) logging your DNS queries. Some DNS services, such as Open DNS, also provide protection against malicious or phishing sites by blocking them automatically. Switching to a custom DNS server can provide better reliability and internet browsing speeds. All of this is dependent on the DNS server you choose. Here are some of the best options if you want to switch to a free public DNS servers:
- Google: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
- Cloudflare: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
- OpenDNS: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
The steps for changing the DNS server on Android vary depending on which Android version your phone is running. On Android 9 and higher, you can configure a system-wide DNS setting that applies to all networks. On the other hand, if your phone runs Android 8.1 or earlier, you’ll need to change the DNS server for each network separately. Let’s see how.
Changing the DNS Server on Android 9 and Higher
Changing DNS server settings is fairly simple on devices running Android 9 and higher. Here’s how you can go about it. Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone and navigate to Connections. Step 2: Tap on More connection settings and select Private DNS from the following menu. Step 3: Select ‘Private DNS provider hostname’ and type in a TLS hostname in the box. If you wish to use Google’s public DNS servers, type dns.google in the text field. Alternatively, if you wish to use Cloudflare’s DNS servers, type 184.108.40.206.cloudflare-dns.com in the text box. Lastly, tap on Save.
Changing the DNS Server on Android 8.1 and Older
Follow the steps below to change the DNS server on older Android devices. Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone and tap on Wi-Fi. Step 2: Long press on your Wi-Fi network and select Modify network. Step 3: Tap on Advanced options to expand it. Then, use the drop-down menu under IP settings to select Static. Step 4: Your phone should automatically acquire the IP address and the Wi-Fi router’s gateway from the DHCP server. Enter your primary and backup DNS servers in the DNS 1 and DNS 2 fields, respectively. If you want to use Google’s public DNS servers, type 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 in the text fields. Lastly, tap on Save. You’ll have to repeat the above steps to change the DNS server for each of your networks separately. However, this does allow you to use different DNS servers for different networks.
How to Change the DNS Server on iPhone
Changing the DNS server on iOS is also not difficult. You can employ the following steps to change the DNS server for any Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad. Step 1: Launch the Settings on your iPhone and navigate to Wi-Fi. Tap on the info icon next to your Wi-Fi network. Step 2: Scroll down to DNS and tap on Configure DNS. Then, select Manual from the following screen. Step 3: Tap on the minus icon to delete the prefilled entries under DNS servers. Step 4: Tap Add Server and type the DNS server address you want. If you want to use Google’s public DNS servers, type 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 in the text box. Then, tap on Save in the top-right corner. Similarly, you can configure DNS servers for other Wi-Fi networks. To revert to the default DNS servers at any time, repeat the preceding steps and set DNS to Automatic.
Ready to Switch
You can also find dedicated third-party apps on Play Store or App Store that can help you change DNS servers quickly. However, we’ll strongly advice following the native methods for they’re easy to follow. So, did you notice any differences after changing the DNS server on your phone? Let us know in the comments below.
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At times when websites take longer than needed to load up on an iPhone or iPad, the problem could be caused by your Internet provider’s slow DNS server. AppleInsider advises how to update your iOS device’s network settings to use a different DNS service than the one provided as part of the Wi-Fi connection settings. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a way for computers to find where it can find specific websites and services online. Effectively acting as a directory enquiries service or a phonebook for the Internet, the DNS takes the domain name requested by a browser and returns the IP address, which is then used by the browser to connect to what it needs to access. Generally, the DNS server is defined to a device automatically when they connect to a network, and is usually a server operated by the Internet Service Provider for the connection. For most users, this is fine, but there are a number of other DNS servers online that can be used instead.
Why change DNS servers?
Depending on your Internet Service Provider, the DNS server may not update to reflect domain name changes as others, leaving the site inaccessible in some cases with users being directed to the wrong IP address. Some DNS servers update at a faster rate than others, and so are more likely to have the latest address information after such a change. Depending on the size of the ISP and the resources it puts into running its DNS server, the reliability and speed of the service could degrade if too many requests are made to it at a time. Extremely large third-party DNS services are usually better equipped for massive loads from its users. Using a DNS service that you trust is also handy in cases where some sort of intervention makes an Internet provider’s server unusable, such as during the 2014 elections in Turkey, when governments blocked access to social media for a number of weeks. Details for Google’s DNS service started spreading between citizens as a workaround for the block, but only for a brief time. In the case of public Wi-Fi hotspots, it is also good practice to use a DNS service you are familiar with as there is no guarantee that the DNS offered by the connection will provide correct results, or even the possibility the company running it has taken steps to prevent access to certain sites and services by its users. While there are many plusses for using a third-party DNS, it can also cause some problems. In some cases, the use of a centralized DNS service can slow down media access to content delivery networks. For example, using a centralized DNS could cause a content delivery network for a service to use the same, and potentially lengthy, connection path between the server and the user as others using the same DNS provider. By comparison, ISP-level DNS services could inform the content delivery network of its location, allowing for a more local server to be used instead.
Wi-Fi: Changing DNS details
Enter the Settings app on your iOS device, and select Wi-Fi. Tap the small «i» icon next to the name of the network that needs the DNS server details changed, scroll down, and tap Configure DNS. At the top, change the setting from Automatic to Manual. In the section below, tap the red minus circle next to the DNS servers followed by Delete to remove them. Tap Add Server, then in the new empty listing, type in the DNS server IP address you wish to use, and repeat for a second listing if a redundancy option is available. Once finished, tap Save in the top-right corner. The same process can be used to change the servers again at a later time, or to revert back to the connection’s default. To use the DNS server the Wi-Fi network specifies, change from Manual back to Automatic. Note that this change will only apply to a specific Wi-Fi network, not for all networks. This setting needs to be changed on all Wi-Fi networks you wish to use a specific DNS server through.
Cellular: Workarounds required
Apple has not included the ability to change the DNS details for cellular connections in iOS. By default, users are stuck connecting to whatever DNS server is set up with their carrier. It is possible to make changes to the cellular DNS, but only through the use of third-party applications. One option is DNS Override, a tool for easily changing the DNS details for Wi-Fi connections, but is also capable of working around Apple’s restriction. Once unlocked with an in-app purchase, the app effectively creates a dummy Virtual Private Networking (VPN) profile that isn’t actively used, but does allow for the app to set the DNS server, including for cellular networks. Another alternative is to set up a VPN on the iOS device. As this creates a connection with a remote server before accessing the wider Internet, it can be used to bypass your carrier’s DNS server completely. Various VPN servers are available, both in paid and free forms, though if you have a good connection at home, it is also possible to set up your own.
There are lists of publicly-accessible DNS servers online, giving you a wide variety of options to choose from. Two major third-party DNS services that are also easy to remember are offered by Google and Cloudflare, with both boasting speed and security improvements compared to ISP versions. If you have control over your home network’s router and want to change the DNS for all of your devices, the best option is to attempt to change the DNS on the router itself. Making the change here means any device connecting to the Wi-Fi network with the DNS set to automatic will use the updated details.
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