How to avoid losing Domain Name System (DNS) service

Avoid losing DNS service when browsing the internet, configuring your computer or router with a really simple tip.

Google OnHub TGR1900 router

Domain Name System (DNS) is a big part of our life online whether we like it or not. Without DNS would be a nightmare to remember website’s names by IP addresses (e.g. 192.168.5.6) instead of friendly names (e.g. https://pureinfotech.com & http://google.com) as we use them every day. Internet Services Providers offer us their DNS services, which are Ok, but not the best.

Many people nowadays are switching from their ISP’s DNS to alternative services, like: OpenDNS and Google Public DNS, just to name a few. A lot of these alternative services offer faster resolution to our DNS requests, which that translate to faster internet browsing experience, plus additional features, like the ones that OpenDNS offers: content filter, phishing protection and many more.

When you switch to a different DNS service, most companies will give you two IP addresses that you have to configure manually in your computer or router, depending on your configuration, and that is all. Now, you could ask yourself: “Ok, I switched, this DNS is faster, but what happens if the service goes down?”.

A lot of DNS services may tell you that they are the best on the business, that they have a great data center and many servers to fail over if something goes wrong, but… the matter of the fact is that no one can really guarantee 100% up time. The service could go down from time to time. Because of this, I think that we can avoid losing temporary service by using two DNS services instead of one.

So, how do we do this? Easy, instead of just choosing one service, choose two DNS services (e.g. OpenDNS & Google Public DNS) and grab only one DNS IP address from each service and configure them in your computer or router. Now, if for any reason the DNS service goes down, you still have another service to backup you up and continue browsing the internet without any interruption.

To give you an idea, here are some examples:

OpenDNS IP addresses:

  • DNS 1: 208.67.222.222
  • DNS 2: 208.67.220.220

OpenDNS website

And Google Public DNS IP addresses:

  • DNS 1: 8.8.8.8
  • DNS 2: 8.8.4.4

Google Public DNS website

You could try something like this in your configuration:

  • OpenDNS as DNS 1: 208.67.220.220
  • Google Public DNS as DNS 2: 8.8.4.4

Or

  • Google Public DNS as DNS 2: 8.8.8.8
  • OpenDNS as DNS 1: 208.67.222.222

You should play with the Domain Name System settings to see which configuration works best for you.

Changing DNS settings in Windows

To manually configure DNS settings in Windows 7 follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and in the search box “Search programs and files” type “network and sharing center”.

  2. In the search result under “Control Panel” title, click on “Network and sharing center”.

  3. Select Change adapter settings.

    Windows 7 Network Sharing Center 

  4. In Network Connections look for the network adapter that you use to access the internet (e.g. Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection), right click it and select Properties.

    Windows network adapter Local  Area Connection

  5. Next, in Local Area Connection Properties select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the Properties button.

    Windows network adapter Local Area Connection properties

  6. Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window will open and select Use the following DNS server addresses, enter the DNS IP addresses that you want to use and click OK and OK again.

    Windows DNS settings

Changing DNS settings in a router

In most case, the steps to configure your router should be something like this:

Note: Depending in the router’s brand that you are using, the configuration process may vary, check your router’s manual for more information or visit the OpenDNS website that has a section very detailed on how to change your DNS settings by router’s brand.
  1. Open your web browser, connect to your router via IP address (most the time it will be http://192.168.1.1) and login.

  2. Find the DNS settings section.

  3. Enter the new DNS configuration.

  4. And save the settings.

  5. Now we need to make the computer aware of the changes that we just made, the easy way is to restart the computer and if you like the geeky way, open the Windows command prompt “CMD” and issue the commands ipconfig/release (this command will release all DHCP settings from the network adapter) followed by ipconfig/renew (this command will contact the router, ask for the new settings and the network adapter will receive all the new information).

You should read this article What is Domain Name System (DNS) if you need a better understanding on DNS.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.