A major hack attack which hit a company called Dyn (pronounced Dine) was in the news last week, after it briefly took down a number of high-profile sites including Twitter. Many large web sites use Dyn to handle the DNS side of their business.
DNS is the reason that you can type www.techsupportalert.com into your web browser instead of having to type http://188.8.131.52. It's a global directory of IP addresses, and the domain names to which they correspond. Whenever you type www.techsupportalert.com into your web browser, your computer or your router first have to connect to a DNS server in order to look up the corresponding IP address. And if that DNS server isn't available, you won't be able to get to the web site.
Unless you have actively configured your system otherwise, your computer and your router are probably programmed to use the DNS server provided by your internet service provider. But you can, if you wish, change those settings and use a different DNS server instead. This can have its advantages. Some of the freely available DNS servers are probably faster than the one provided by your ISP, and some of them also block access to sites that are known to serve up malware. So you can increase your overall security too.
You'll find details at https://support.opendns.com/hc/en-us/articles/228007207-Windows-10-Confi... on how to change your DNS server settings in Windows 10. Alternatively, you can change the setting in your router if you want to update all your devices in one go. But first, you need to find out which DNS server to use. And that's where a handy program called DNS Benchmark comes in.
DNS Benchmark automatically tests around 50 of the best-known free DNS servers, by contacting them from your PC. It tells you which one seems to be most reliable and is responding most quickly. You can then, if you wish, use that information to change the DNS server setting on your PC or in your router. Even if you don't particularly want to change your DNS settings, you can use DNS Benchmark to see just how well your DNS server is performing when compared with some of the others that are available for you to use.
You can get DNS Benchmark from https://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm and it's free. It's a tiny 0.2 MB download and is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust. It's portable so needs no installation, and is safe to use as it makes no changes to your PC's configuration.
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