The best free public DNS servers include Google, Quad9, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, CleanBrowsing, Verisign, Alternate DNS, and AdGuard DNS.
Here’s a quick reference if you know what you’re doing, but we get into these services a lot more later in this article:
A list of additional free DNS servers can be found in the table near the bottom of the page.
Let’s get started!
What Are DNS Servers?
The term DNS stands for Domain Name System.
On the other hand, Web browsers interact through IP (Internet Protocol) addresses only and the DNS Systems translates those Domain names to IP addresses so that browsers can load the content.
Why Use Different DNS Servers?
One reason you might want to change the DNS servers assigned by your ISP is if you suspect there’s a problem with the ones you’re using now.
An easy way to test for a DNS server issue is by typing a website’s IP address into the browser.
If you can reach the website with the IP address, but not the name, then the DNS server is likely to have issues.
Another reason to change DNS servers is if you’re looking for better performing service.
Many people complain that their ISP-maintained DNS servers are sluggish and contribute to a slower overall browsing experience.
Yet another common reason to use DNS servers from a third party is to prevent logging of your web activity and to circumvent the blocking of certain websites.
Know, however, that not all DNS servers avoid traffic logging. If that’s what you’re interested in, make sure you read through the FAQs on the DNS provider’s site to make sure it’s going to do (or not do) what you’re after.
If, on the other hand, you want to use the DNS servers that your specific ISP, like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast/XFINITY, etc., has determined is best, then don’t manually set DNS server addresses at all—just let them auto-assign.
Finally, in case there was any confusion, free DNS servers do not give you free internet access!
You still need an ISP to connect to for access—DNS servers just translate between IP addresses and domain names so that you can access websites with a human-readable name instead of a difficult-to-remember IP address.
Best Free & Public DNS Servers (Valid March 2020)
Below are more details on the best free DNS servers you can use instead of the ones assigned.
Google Public DNS
The first on our list is Google DNS Server.
It’s the world’s most leading and largest DNS Server available online.
Trusted by billions of people across the globe, “Google DNS Server” has become the most popular option, as “best DNS for gaming”.
The biggest feature of Google DNS Server is that it boosts up the browsing experience with enhanced security and gaming experience with lag-free and smooth gaming.
- Primary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
- Secondary DNS Server: 184.108.40.206
- Primary DNS Server: 2001:4860:4860::8888
- Secondary DNS Server: 2001:4860:4860::8844
The only problem of the Google Public DNS is that is provided by Google, this can be a serious problem if you care about privacy, even if Google said that they don’t keep any logs.
Here are some useful lunks about Google Public DNS:
Cloudflare's 220.127.116.11 DNS
Cloudflare DNS is the fatest DNS of world right now.
Becoming always more popular, Cloudflare DNS protect your privacy, doesn’t keep your queries logs and activity, and the completely free.
It also support DNS-OVER-HTTPS and DNS-OVER-TLS.
- Primary DNS Server: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS Server: 22.214.171.124
- Primary DNS Server: 2606:4700:4700::1111
- Secondary DNS Server: 2606:4700:4700::1001
Here are some useful links about Cloudflare DNS:
AdGuard DNS has two sets of DNS servers, both of which block ads in games, videos, apps, and web pages.
The basic set of DNS servers are called the “Default” servers, and block not only ads but also malware and phishing websites.
- Primary DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
- Primary DNS Server: 2a00:5a60::ad1:0ff
- Secondary DNS Server: 2a00:5a60::ad2:0ff
Quad9 has free public DNS servers that protect your computer and other devices from cyber threats by immediately and automatically blocking access to unsafe websites, without storing your personal data.
- Primary DNS Server: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS Server: 220.127.116.11
- Primary DNS Server: 2620:fe::fe
- Secondary DNS Server: 2620:fe::9
OpenDNS claims 100% reliability and up-time and is used by 90 million users around the world.
The offer two sets of free public DNS servers, one of which is just for parental controls with dozens of filtering options.
- Primary DNS Server: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS Server: 22.214.171.124
- Primary DNS Server: 2620:119:35::35
- Secondary DNS Server: 2620:119:53::53
Verisign’s public DNS services are centered around stability and security with 100% up-time, as well as privacy, citing that they “will not sell your public DNS data to third parties nor redirect your queries to serve you any ads.“
- Primary DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
- Primary DNS Server: 2620:74:1b::1:1
- Secondary DNS Server: 2620:74:1c::2:2
Verizon DNS Servers & Other ISP Specific DNS Servers
Verizon DNS servers are often listed elsewhere as 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, and/or 126.96.36.199, but those are actually alternatives to the CenturyLink/Level 3 DNS server addresses shown in the table above.
Verizon, like most ISPs, prefers to balance their DNS server traffic via local, automatic assignments.
For example, the primary Verizon DNS server in Atlanta, GA, is 188.8.131.52 and in Chicago, it is 184.108.40.206.