Domain Name System (DNS) is a resolver service that can translate friendly domain names (Google.com) into IP addresses (126.96.36.199) which aren’t easy to remember. Usually, you don’t have to worry about this, because your Internet Service Provider (ISP) always provides these settings automatically. However, there are a number of other DNS resolvers that are faster, reliable, and more secure, including from CloudFlare, Google, and Cisco.
Although setting up any of these resolvers on your computer or router is a straightforward process, after changing the DNS settings there isn’t an obvious way to test if the network traffic is passing through the servers you configured.
If you’re switching to CloudFlare 188.8.131.52, Google Public DNS 184.108.40.206, or Cisco OpenDNS 220.127.116.11, you can quickly test your settings in at least three different ways.
In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to make sure your network traffic is going through the DNS servers you have previously configured.
- How to test your DNS settings using DNSleaktest.com
- How to test your DNS settings on Windows 10
- How to test your DNS settings using Router
How to test your DNS settings using DNSleaktest.com
Use these steps to find out if your network traffic is getting routed through the DNS servers you’ve configured:
Open dnsleaktest.com website.
Click the Standard test button.
Once you complete the steps, in the result, check the ISP column to see the name of the DNS service you’re currently using.
How to test your DNS settings on Windows 10
If you’ve previously configured custom DNS settings from CloudFlare, Google Public DNS, or Cisco OpenDNS, you can quickly check if the traffic is going through the resolver you’ve configured using the nslookup tool.
Use these steps to test with the nslookup command if your internet traffic is using the new DNS settings on Windows 10:
Open Start on Windows 10.
Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the console.
Type the following command and press Enter:
Under the “Default Server field,” you’ll notice the name of DNS service you’re using. The Address field will also indicate the DNS address that your computer is using to to route the network traffic.
How to test your DNS settings using Router
In the case you’ve changed the router settings, the nslookup won’t work, because it’ll show your router IP address as the DNS server, but it doesn’t mean your traffic isn’t using the service you’ve configured.
Use these steps to verify your traffic is routing through the DNS servers you set on your router:
Open a web browser.
Sign in to your router portal using its IP address.Quick tip: If you don’t know the address, use the nslookup tool in Command Prompt, and the IP address that shows in the result will be the one of the router.
Browse to the network tools. (If you don’t know, refer to your router’s manual to get this info.)
Select the nslookup option as the test method.
After you complete the steps, in the nslookup result should be able to determine the TCP/IP address the router is using to route the traffic.
In this guide, I’m using the Asus RT-AC68U router, which is an excellent router with a slew of features. However, all routers are not created equal, if you can’t find the tool to perform a test, you can still figure out if your DNS settings are configured correctly using the first method outlined in this guide.