Manage web browsing speed by changing DNS settings

DNS or Domain Name System, helps resolve the name of any web address. When you type a domain name in your browsers address bar, say, your computer resolves this name into the IP address of the Internet server, where the site is hosted, using the Internet Protocol.

The Windows operating system, is set by default, to automatically use the DNS server of your ISP or Internet Service Provider.

A slow DNS server could be one cause for poor web browsing speed. If your ISP’s DNS server is slow, or responds slowly, or at times is overloaded, it may cause an additional delay of a few seconds, every time you go on to load a new web page.

While is most cases, keeping the default option is a good idea, if you find that your default DNS provider is slow, you may want to consider finding one that is fast. To test the response time for your DNS server, you can use Dig. It is important to know that what may be good for one person in one part of the world may not necessarily be good for another person sitting in another part of the world.

This is where you can consider alternative 3rd-party DNS providers like OpenDNS, UltraDNS, Google DNS etc. Do however note that one must consider using a reputed and a reliable DNS server only, as such providers offer a better browsing experience, provide protection from phishing sites and refresh their DNS records faster when website change their IP addresses or new domains are registered.

Find out fastest nearest DNS server

To find out which is the most suitable DNS provider suitable for you, in your location, you can use Namebench, an open-source DNS benchmarking utility. Once you download and then run it, it will first extract its content and then you will quickly get to see its UI.

It will load your current default name servers. Once you have set the options to your liking, you can click on the Start Benchmark button. And the end of the run, it will display a list of 3 fastest DNS servers for your location.

Change DNS server

To change your DNS server address type ncpa.cpl in start search and hit Enter. The image is self-explainatory, but if you need more details, you can get them here.

You can also use DNS Jumper to change your DNS settings with one click. This tool will automatically enter the DNS server addresses of the providers you select. This has been covered here.

If you find that your DNS server is not responding in Windows, you can check out the Windows Network Diagnostic tool. It will help you resolve your issue.

Do let us know if you decide to change your DNS server and if you noticed a change in your browsing speed. And if you do use a 3rd party DNS provider like OpenDNS, Google DNS, etc, we’d love to hear your experiences about them.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.