Change Your DNS Settings And Perhaps Speed Up Your Internet Access


DNS Benchmark serviceA 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 into your web browser instead of having to type It's a global directory of IP addresses, and the domain names to which they correspond. Whenever you type 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 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 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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Wow! That sure beats DNS Jumper. I can't wait to give this a try without my VPN and set the fastest!

You can always give DNS Jumper a try. Free and never seen any malware of any sort but you can check it yourself:

It gives you a palette of the most common DNS servers checklist worldwide to start with and lets you add your own. You may change your DNS server on the fly with a click of the mouse button.

Been using it for a number of years to find the best termination for VPN choices.

You can add DNS servers to DNS Jumper. The pre defined list is just a starting point

Only useful if you're in the US - all the pre-defined DNS servers are located there, so no point comparing with multi-national services such as Google or OpenDNS, which will be probably have servers nearer to you if you're elsewhere in the world.

It is true that the pre-defined global server list is largely US-based but DNS Benchmark is still useful anywhere in the world. I use it from New Zealand. It has a list of about 5,000 global DNS servers that are open for public use.

See the article How to Find the Best DNS Server for a tutorial. You can also add any number of DNS servers in custom lists.

Thanks, MC. You're right, I did leave out that important piece of information.

I'll check the MS forums for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based system, latest updates, for the problem.

Great idea, but unfortunately when I tried to run it I found that "A required privilege is not held by the client." Same thing if I try to run it as an administrator. Any suggestions?

So 5 stars for a great idea if it works, 3 stars for a great idea but I can't make it work--I'm assuming lots of other people made it work or it wouldn't be listed on this site.

It would have helped if you told us which version of Windows you have. In any case, you have a system error. There are various posts about this in the Microsoft support forums. If you search in the appropriate forum for your operating system, you should find a fix. MC - Site Manager.