UK ISP and Best Public DNS Server Settings for 2021

Looking for the best and fastest DNS servers in the UK, or the best DNS settings for the PS4 or other games consoles? Here is our list of the best free public DNS servers and the DNS servers of the major ISPs in the UK. We recommend changing your DNS settings from their default settings (provided by your ISP) to those of the top Public DNS servers (e.g. Google, Cloudflare or OpenDNS). 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.

Provider/ISPDNS servers
Google (Public DNS)8.8.4.4
8.8.8.8
Cloudflare DNS (Public DNS)1.1.1.1
1.0.0.1
OpenDNS (Public DNS)208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220
BT Broadband DNS62.6.40.178
62.6.40.162
194.72.9.38
194.72.9.34
194.72.0.98
194.72.0.114
194.74.65.68
194.74.65.69
PlusNet DNS212.159.13.49
212.159.13.50
212.159.6.9
212.159.6.10
Sky Broadband DNS90.207.238.97
90.207.238.99
Virgin Media DNS194.168.4.100
194.168.8.100
TalkTalk DNS62.24.134.1
62.24.243.2
Zen Internet DNS212.23.3.100
212.23.6.100
AAISP DNS217.169.20.20
217.169.20.21
Hyperoptic DNS141.0.144.64
188.172.144.120
iDNET DNS212.69.36.23
212.69.40.23
EE DNS87.237.17.198
87.237.17.166
Vodafone Broadband DNS90.255.255.90
90.255.255.255
Vispa DNS83.217.161.24
83.217.161.25
Comodo Secure DNS (Public DNS)8.26.56.26
8.20.247.20
Quad9 DNS (Public DNS)9.9.9.9
149.112.112.112
Verisign DNS (Public DNS)64.6.64.6
64.6.65.6
Level3 (Public DNS)4.2.2.1
4.2.2.2
4.2.2.3
4.2.2.4
4.2.2.5
NTT (Public)192.250.35.250
129.250.35.251
Sprintlink (Public)204.117.214.10
199.2.252.10

 

Google Public DNS

Google’s Public DNS servers, which launched in 2009, have become popular among broadband enthusiasts. Google claims that its DNS service is the largest public DNS service in the world. 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:

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

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.

 

Cloudflare DNS

Cloudflare launched its public free DNS service in April 2018, and has rapidly gained an excellent reputation for speed and privacy. Cloudflare claims that its DNS service is the fastest in the world, in part because it is deployed on Cloudflare’s 1000+ servers worldwide. According to measurement site DNSPerf (at the time of writing this), the Cloudflare DNS server delivered the fastest query speed of all DNS servers – worldwide and across Europe, with OpenDNS and Google being second and third in Europe. The settings are:

  • 1.1.1.1
  • 1.0.0.1

 

Open DNS

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:

  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220

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

Online Speed Tests – how to use them and which are the best

Wi-Fi Optimisation Guide – how to speed up your WiFi connection

What is Fibre Broadband?