DNS servers are required to convert domain names (which are understandable names of websites) to IP addresses (which are necessary for your device to download a webpage), as described in our article Speed Up DNS Look-ups For Faster Web Browsing. Below are the DNS server settings for the main UK ISPs and Public DNS servers, such as Google.
|Google (Public DNS)||126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52|
|Open DNS (Public DNS)||184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11|
|BT Broadband DNS||18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124|
|PlusNet DNS||126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11|
|Sky Broadband DNS||18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124|
|Virgin Media DNS||126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52|
|TalkTalk DNS||184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11|
|Zen Internet DNS||18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124|
Google Public DNS
Google's Public DNS servers, which launched in 2009, have become popular among broadband enthusiasts. In February 2012, Google claimed that its DNS service was the largest public DNS service in the world, with more than 70 billion requests per day on average. Google's DNS servers implement a number of approaches to minimise DNS look-up times, which include:
- over provisioning of servers (to provide high-volume input/output and protection against possible Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks)
- load balancing for shared caching
- hosting in data centres worldwide, with look-up requests sent to the geographically closest data centre.
The settings for Google's Public DNS are:
We strongly recommend trying these DNS settings as an alternative to the default settings for your ISP. Our article Speed Up DNS Look-ups For Faster Web Browsing explains how a software utility called Namebench can be used to identify the best DNS server settings for your particular location.
Open DNS - which is now part of Cisco - delivers public DNS services in a similar way to Google. Open DNS claims to offer the "world's largest, fastest and most reliable" DNS service. The settings are:
Open DNS offers its 'Family Shield' service (free of charge to registered users), which provides parental control by disallowing DNS look-ups to certain types of web content (e.g. adult material).
Other popular pages:
Increase Broadband Speed Guide - our guide to substantially increase your broadband speeds
WiFi Optimisation Guide - how to speed up your WiFi connection