Test DNS settings on Windows 10 or router
DNS test

How to check if network traffic is using DNS resolver you set

Did you switch your DNS settings to 1.1.1.1, 8.8.8.8, or 208.67.222.222? Here are three ways to test if your network traffic is using the DNS you set.

Domain Name System (DNS) is a resolver service that can translate friendly domain names (google.com) into IP addresses (172.217.12.142) 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 the DNS resolvers that 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’s not an obvious way to test if the network traffic is passing through the servers you configured.

If you’re switching to CloudFlare 1.1.1.1, Google Public DNS 8.8.8.8, or Cisco OpenDNS 208.67.222.222, 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 configured.

How to test your DNS settings using DNSleaktest.com

The fastest way to find out if your network traffic is getting routed through the DNS servers you’ve configured is to use the DNS leak test website.

  1. Open your browser.

  2. Visit dnsleaktest.com.

  3. Click the Standard test button.

    DNS leak test
    DNS leak test

Once you’ve completed 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.

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for cmd and click the top result to open Command Prompt.

  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    nslookup

    Command Prompt nslookup
    Command Prompt nslookup

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.

How to test your DNS settings using Router

In the case you’ve changed the router settings, the nslookup will not 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.

To verify that your network traffic is using the DNS servers you set, you’ll need to use the nslookup tool built into the router.

  1. Open your browser.

  2. Sign in to your router using the 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.
  3. Browse the network tools.

  4. Select nslookup as the test method.

    ASUS router nslookup tool
    ASUS router nslookup tool

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.