What is a DNS Server?

When you browse to a URL (website address), the DNS server tells your web browser where to go (the address on the internet where that website is found).


What determines which DNS server my computer uses?

Several settings determine which DNS server your computer will use:

  • Your DNS server can be configured in the network settings of your Operating System.
  • If you don't configure DNS in your Operating System, then you can set it in the router.
  • If you don't set it in the router, then your ISP decides which DNS server you use.



Check DNS Settings in Windows


  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Windows button, then click Control Panel.
  2. Type "Network and Sharing" in the upper right-hand corner and click on Network and Sharing Center
  3. Click Change Adapter Settings
  4. Right-click on the network adapter you'd like to check (wired or wireless) and click Properties
  5. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties
  6. Make sure you do not have the SCS DNS entries listed under Use the following DNS server addresses
  7. Instead, select Obtain DNS server address automatically


Check DNS Settings in macOS.


  1. Open System Preferences, either from the Dock or the Apple menu > System Preferences
  2. Click Show All
  3. Click Network

    Note: If the lock in the lower-left corner of the window is closed, you must click it and enter your Mac OS X administrator password before you can make changes to settings.

  4. In the left-hand pane, choose the network connection you want to check
  5. Select the Advanced button and the DNS tab
  6. If you have manually entered settings, the SCS DNS servers will be listed in black font. If this is the case, use the minus ( - ) button to remove them. If you're on campus and the DNS servers appear in gray font, that means they are automatically assigned. When you leave the Carnegie Mellon campus, your DNS settings will be updated to your local network provider, and you will not be affected by the DNS update.


Note:
We recommend that only users who are proficient with configuring operating system settings make these changes.

Depending on your network setup, you may need administrator/root privileges to change these settings.






Change your DNS server settings.


Windows

DNS settings are specified in the TCP/IP Properties window for the selected network connection.

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
  3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:

    • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click the Ethernet interface and select Properties.
    • To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click the Wi-Fi interface and select Properties.
  4. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  5. Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.

  6. Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there are any IP addresses listed in the Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server, write them down for future reference.

  9. Replace those addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers:

    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844.
    • For IPv6-only: you can use Google Public DNS64 instead of the IPv6 addresses in the previous point.
  10. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Test your new settings.

  11. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.


macOS

DNS settings are specified in the Network window.

  1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.
  2. If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your password.
  3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
    • To change the settings for a Wi-Fi connection, select Wi-Fi, and click Advanced.
    • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click Advanced.
  4. Select the DNS tab.
  5. Click + to replace any listed addresses with, or add, the Google IP addresses at the top of the list:
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844.
    • For IPv6-only: you can use Google Public DNS64 instead of the IPv6 addresses in the previous point.
  6. Click OK > Apply.
  7. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Test your new settings.
  8. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.



Note:
We recommend that only users who are proficient with configuring operating system settings make these changes.

Depending on your network setup, you may need administrator/root privileges to change these settings.







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