14 Best Free DNS Servers of 2023
When it comes to DNS servers, most people only understand the working and benefits of it. Less understood, however, is the difference between various sets of servers available in the market.
Domain Name Systems are an essential part of communication via the internet. Upgrading to a better DNS server will increase your website's loading speed and provide added security.
This article discusses some of the best free alternative DNS servers and explains what DNS is and why you may want to choose a better DNS provider for your website.
What is DNS?
The Domain Name System servers are the internet's version of a directory. When you want to look for a number, you must search it against a person's name. DNS works on the same concept.
Whenever you enter a website's name, it explores the server for the IP address and opens the webpage for you. It is how your computer knows how to find google.com, upwork.com, or founderjar.com.
It is convenient for us to remember domain names, like zoollery.com, instead of the IP address – 172. 67. 194. 123. However, computers don't work that way. It is much easier and faster for the computer to connect to an IP address.
Your DNS server is responsible for finding the correct IP address for the browser. The browser would then move ahead to connect to the given server and access the website for you.
What to Consider When Switching Your DNS?
The Domain Name System is a significant part of your internet business. A small error in your server can sometimes give a bad experience to your visitors.
When switching from your old DNS server, you should prioritize your preferences and look for DNS providers that provide a fast and secure server.
Before choosing a DNS server, you should always check the providers' uptime and availability. You should avoid joining with a server that has a history of outages.
It is also essential to understand their architecture and DNS server delivery method.
The performance of your DNS server is an important factor to consider when choosing your provider. Your provider should be able to solve DNS queries all around the globe quickly. You can also use a server monitor tools to check if your server provides optimum performance.
Website security is a significant factor to consider when choosing your DNS provider. Secure DNS servers provide more value than a simple SSL. It helps you access control on DNS Management Interface and gives you options to define different roles for multiple user accounts.
Top DNS servers also provide two-factor authentication, making it improbable for hackers to log in to the interface with stolen credentials.
It is vital to know your business requirements before comparing different DNS servers. Top DNS servers can also provide you with options to automate the updating of DNS records during DNS failover.
The Geo DNS function is an important feature that directs users to data centers depending on their geographic locations.
Best Free DNS Servers
After prioritizing your website's needs, identify the features you want and look for the best and the fastest DNS servers.
There are hundreds of providers available on the internet with different features and varying performance records. To help you pick the perfect provider for your organization, we have made a list of top DNS servers you should consider.
Best Free Public DNS server for faster and reliable service
OpenDNS servers help make your website load faster for your customers by making it secure and reliable. It is one of the oldest Public DNS servers.
With the help of global data centers and partnerships, OpenDNS shortens the route between their network and data centers, allowing users to access the website faster. It also improves your search engine rankings.
This public DNS server provides premium features for free, including a Whitelist & Blacklist mode, smart cache, web filtering, and detailed statistical report. OpenDNS is the most secure DNS server that helps protect your websites against malware and phishing.
They are a reliable server and promise 100% uptime to their customers with a faster domain name resolution speed than other Public DNS. OpenDNS has a much quicker response rate and can solve domain name resolutions in less than 23.72ms.
OpenDNS servers are a freemium service. Most of its features like web filtering, securing your website, and many more are accessible with a free account.
However, if you need premium support or built-in protection from malicious software and domains, you can buy their VIP plan.
Best Free DNS Server for Optimizing Websites of All Sizes
Cloudflare is one of the top DNS servers that protect your website's privacy along with speeding up your page load time. It helps to filter out your web traffic based on the blacklists, HTTP headers, and reputation.
Besides providing a free SSL certificate, the DNS server can limit abusive or spam comments, identify and mitigate DDoS attacks, and protect your website from hackers. It acts as a load balancer, which protects your website and keeps it online.
This public DNS server promises 99.99% uptime to its customers. It has a much quicker response rate of 13ms, as compared to other free DNS servers. Cloudflare is an easy-to-setup DNS server that offers plenty of features in its free plan.
Cloudflare offers four pricing plans – Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise.
Their Free plan offers a wide range of services, including an automated SSL certificate, full access to global CDN, basic security options, and a detailed statistical report on your web traffic. It is perfect for individual blog websites.
The Pro plan offers a few more security features including, a web application firewall, alerts to DDoS attacks, and bot reports.
The Business and Enterprise plans are perfect for large firms. Along with offering 100% uptime, they also prioritize your network and provide premium support.
The Best Free DNS Server for Faster Page Loading Speed
1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp or Warp is a subproject of Cloudflare, introduced recently in 2020. It focuses on the privacy and security of the website viewers and your employees.
Warp is the world’s fastest public DNS resolver and allows users from all over the world to connect to your website in microseconds.
It also encrypts all traffic from the device, providing more privacy and security to your website visitors. Warp uses its global data centers to devise the shortest path and quickly connect the viewer to your website.
This Public DNS server helps in protecting the privacy of your employees and keeping their data secure. Your employees can use the Cloudflare WARP application on their corporate laptops to connect to the Cloudflare Gateway, to access advanced web filtering.
With the advanced security benefits of 1. 1. 1. 1 w/ Warp, you can protect your corporate systems by encrypting your data. It also protects your visitors from phishing links or spammy content.
1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp is an application that you can download free from the Playstore or App Store. It works perfectly for your android, Windows, or iOS devices.
The Free version offers limitless services without any caps on bandwidth. However, the app also has a Paid subscription version known as Warp+.
Warp+ increases internet speed by directing the web traffic to Cloudflare’s private backbone instead of depending on the public internet. The plan starts at $4.99 a month.
Best Free DNS Server for Keeping Your Websites and Data Secure
Google Public DNS is one of the fastest, most secure, and stable servers. This DNS helps to adequately balance the load among servers to ensure shared caching of addresses.
It reduces the time required to load the webpage, hence boosting the performance of your website. It also monitors your client's IP address to respond to every request faster than other servers.
This public DNS helps enhance the security and privacy between the user and the server. Unlike others, this DNS guarantees the legitimacy of responses and ensures that they are not used to carry DoS attacks.
Google Public DNS assures customers to keep their users' data private and not use them to target ads. All of the collected information stored in its temporary logs cleans every 48 hours.
The DNS server has a decent uptime of 99.97% and an average quick response rate of 22.17 ms worldwide, efficiently solving users' queries. However, the competence of Google DNS servers does vary with regions and ISPs. It provides the best results for users in North America.
Google Public DNS server is a Free service that you can integrate with your website. It protects your data and helps load your website much faster with caching.
The server also has a Premium service designed for organizations, known as Google Cloud DNS. Besides keeping your data secure, it also allows you to control traffic and block malware sites or phishing links.
Best Free DNS Server for Web-Filtering
Comodo Secure DNS server is a highly available, cloud-based service, and no hardware or installation is required to connect to this server. It has data centers hosted in over 25 countries, thus helping to balance the load efficiently and improving the load time for your visitors.
Comodo protects your network against phishing links, malware domains, malicious websites, and other web-borne attacks and enables you to create custom web filtering rules from over 80 predefined categories.
The Comodo Secure DNS server provides access to a brief real-time report of your web security. You can also schedule a detailed report of your network, mailed to you directly. They also claim to protect your employee's data, regardless of the geo-location.
The smart routing technology gives Comodo a decent query response rate of 22 ms. Their efficient customer service makes them one of the best free Public DNS available in the market.
Comodo Secure DNS offers three pricing plans – SIG Gold, SIG Platinum for Enterprise, and SIG Platinum for MSPs.
The Gold plan offers a free DNS server for managing the functionality. This plan is suitable for small office networks and can answer up to 300,000 DNS requests every month.
The SIG Platinum plan for both Enterprises and MSPs are paid plans and offer a little more than web-filtering. You can easily encrypt all your DNS traffic and manage multiple websites from a single dashboard.
Best Free DNS Server to Protect from Malicious Domains
Quad9 is a reputed, recursive DNS server managed by a non-profit organization. This relatively new DNS server emphasizes performance, security, and privacy.
Quad9 has more than 18 Threat Intelligence providers to protect your website and customers against malware and phishing links. This Public DNS server keeps your data secure and ensures privacy to all your customers.
It stores the geolocation of the requesting computers instead of logging in to the users' IP addresses. It also guarantees never to share your customer's data with advertising agencies.
Quad9 DNS server improves the stability and security of your website, making it less vulnerable to risks. It protects your customers from domain spoofing and other similar attacks.
Quad9 DNS promises a 99.999% uptime to its users. It has an average query resolution time of 40ms worldwide, making it a little slower than other public DNS servers.
Quad9 DNS server is a Free Public DNS that helps filter out malware and malicious content from your website. However, it is an automatic process and does not allow any manual filters.
Best Free Public DNS Server for Your Website’s Stability and Privacy
Neustar UltraDNS Public server, previously known as Verisign Public DNS, was acquired by Neustar in the fourth quarter of 2020 and later renamed Neustar UltraDNS Public. It is a user-friendly server that assures you to keep your data safe from hackers and advertising agencies.
This public DNS system offers a global, redundant platform to websites. They have data centers in over six continents, providing low latency responses and instant cache updates. It helps in loading web pages much faster for your users.
Neustar UltraDNS Public server is a free, recursive server that keeps your company’s data safe and assures you of no data leaks to third-party organizations. It mitigates threats to your website by blocking malware, spyware, phishing links, or comment spambots.
This secure DNS system promises 100% uptime to its customers. With an average query resolve time of 60ms, it is certainly not the fastest DNS server. However, it performs better in North America and Europe.
Neustar UltraDNS Public has four plans to choose from – Unfiltered Resolution, Threat Protection, Family Secure, and Business Secure.
The first three plans are free and provide reliable services and protect against malicious links and malware.
The Business Secure plan is a paid version for big enterprises and companies. It promises early detection of malware, adequate protection against spyware and bots, along with enterprise-wide control over access to internet resources.
Best Free Public DNS to Prevent DNS Hijacking
OpenNIC is a non-profit organization, which provides free access to its DNS services. It is not a traditional public DNS server but an alternate DNS run by a group of volunteers.
Amongst the OpenNIC's four different servers, you can pick the best fit for your business. They have data centers distributed worldwide, and selecting a server where most of your traffic comes from would help load your site faster.
OpenNIC assures the prevention of DNS hijacking or poisoning. The DNS protects your website from malware or misleading links that redirect your visitors to a malicious webpage.
Their servers let you control how your DNS would work. OpenNIC promises 99.96% uptime to its customers.
OpenNIC lets you access its DNS servers free of cost. They mention their server as user-owned.
Best Free Public DNS Server for an Uncensored Experience
UncensoredDNS is founded and run solely by Denmark-based system architect Thomas Steen Rasmussen. It is an uncensored alternative to the traditional DNS servers supplied by internet providers.
This Public DNS server ensures their customers with utmost privacy, as the server logs no personal information, including your IP address, on their data center.
However, both of their servers are in Denmark, leading to a slower page loading time for viewers staying in farther continents.
UncensoredDNS allows access to advanced-level security features for its customers. Along with protecting your website from malware and dangerous links, it also provides various web developer tools and dynamic DNS support.
UncensoredDNS offers two different servers to their users with advanced security and management tools, free of cost.
Best Free Public DNS Content Filtering Tool
CleanBrowsing DNS server offers DNS resolution services along with a wide range of content filtering options. You can use these filtering options for your employees to block access to malicious websites, harmful content, or general sites that might be irrelevant for your company.
With the help of content filters, you can keep your website and data secure from any malware. It also ensures that your customer’s data is never corrupted or hacked. The DNS server also makes sure to not log any data in its server and gives you access to delete them if it gets stored.
CleanBrowsing DNS is one of the very few servers that allows encrypted DNS. It makes it much more difficult for malicious websites and hackers to access your website.
The server has a faster query resolving time of 13.80 ms, helping your pages load faster for your viewers.
CleanBrowsing has four plans to choose from – Free, Basic, Pro 50, and Pro 100. With the free plan, you can access their content filtering features.
Their Basic Plan is suitable for individuals and allows you to access more than 19 custom filters to keep your website safe.
The Pro 50 plan is suitable for small organizations. Along with custom filtering options, you can also schedule regular checks and block websites or users on your site.
The Pro 100 plan is for big enterprises and allows you to create custom block pages. You can also install their dashboard API for easy access.
Best Free Public DNS Server to Keep Your Websites Secure and Fast
Yandex.DNS is a Russia-based DNS server. With servers in over 80 cities and countries all over Russia and Western Europe, they are among the fastest DNS servers you will come across.
When a user accesses your website, Yandex.DNS makes sure that the closest server resolves the query. It reduces the website loading time along with the bounce rate.
Yandex.DNS has built-in antivirus software that keeps a check on your website. It blocks any malware capable of infecting your website and protects your information from hackers.
This Public DNS server also helps in blocking and filtering out unwanted websites and content for your employees. Yandex’s algorithm identifies adult and inappropriate content and blocks them right away, protecting your website from phishing links and spambots.
Yandex.DNS has a moderately decent uptime rate of 99.96%. However, their average query resolution time is way higher than other services. Most of their servers are in Russia and Europe, and therefore it does not perform very well in other parts of the world.
Yandex.DNS is a free and recursive DNS server. Depending upon your requirements, you can choose from Basic, Safe, or Family mode. The Basic plan offers merely a quick and reliable DNS service.
The Safe and Family plan allows you to filter out inappropriate content and protect your websites from malware and hackers.
12. Alternate DNS
Best Free Public Ad-Blocking DNS Server
Alternate DNS is a free-to-use server best known for blocking inappropriate advertisements and malware on your website. You can use this service as an additional security element with your current DNS provider.
It gives you an option to choose Alternate DNS as either your primary or secondary DNS resolver. The Alternate DNS server also protects your website from malicious activities along with phishing links.
It makes sure to protect your customer's personal information as well as their payment information from leaking.
Alternate DNS has two plans to choose from – Free and Family premium.
Their Free version allows you to access almost all of their features and is reliable with a decent query resolving time.
Their Family premium plan gives you an added option to protect your website and employees from inappropriate content.
13. AdGuard DNS
Best Free Public DNS Server to Protect from Online Tracking and Ads
AdGuard aims at providing a safe and clean user experience. This Russia-based DNS server protects your customer’s data and does not allow intrusive ads on your website. This easy-to-use server is cloud-based and does not require the installation of any software.
AdGuard has over 13 servers located all around the world. Along with improving the page loading time for your viewers, it also keeps your website safe from malware, malicious ads, and phishing links.
AdGuard DNS also gives a web-filtering option. With this, you can block and filter inappropriate content so that your employees cannot access them on their corporate computers.
The server ensures privacy for your customers by employing DNSCrypt, DNS-over-HTTPS, and DNS-over-TLS protocols.
AdGuard DNS server is a free-to-use service, which comes in two modes, Default and Family Protection.
The Default mode allows you to block ads, prevent malware from infecting the website, and protect it from phishing links.
On the other hand, the Family Protection mode allows you to filter content and block websites with inappropriate content. You can also enable Safe Search mode for your employees.
Best Free Public DNS with an Easy-to-Use Interface
NextDNS is a Public DNS service started in May 2019. It was launched as a privacy-oriented service, which is a feature-rich alternative to the present DNS servers.
It has a long list of content-filtering options which you can enable for your website and corporate computers. This Public DNS server also protects your employees from online trackers, keeping your company data safe from hackers.
NextDNS has over 60,000 preloaded blacklist entries to protect your website from malware. It uses protocols to encrypt your DNS traffic and does not save your customer's personal or payment information.
This easy-to-use service has a tabbed dashboard along with a detailed set-up guide for beginners. It has an impressive 99.96% uptime. It is also one of the fastest DNS servers in the market, with a query resolution time of just 30ms. It will allow your customers to access your website quickly.
NextDNS server has four plans to choose from – Free, Pro, Business, and Education. The free plan allows access to all the features along with premium customer support. However, it restricts the users by solving only 300,000 queries a month.
The Pro plan is suitable for individual use and can resolve unlimited queries a month. The Business plan is ideal for small businesses. Besides resolving limitless queries, it also has email support.
The Education plan is suitable for big enterprises, with over 250 employees. This plan gives you access to all features and integrates with unlimited devices.
Free DNS Servers FAQ
The Domain Name System (DNS) is essential for the security and privacy of your website. It protects your website from malware infestation and keeps it safe from other malicious websites, phishing links, and spambots.
With the help of DNS, you can also block different websites and links from your employee's systems. It will help keep their data safe and secure from hackers.
You can filter out harmful domains, inappropriate content, and distracting websites from their corporate computers.
The speed of your DNS service usually depends upon the location of your website viewers. If your service provider has a server close to your audience's place, it will load your web pages much faster than usual.
You should always select a DNS server that has data centers distributed all over the world. It will help in loading your website faster, despite the user's location.
However, if you target the audience from a specific country like the United States, you should choose a DNS service with the most servers in the country.
The price depends upon the features you want from your server. It can also vary depending on the geo-location of your website visitors. However, there are some superb DNS servers that you can link to your website for free.
We have listed over 14 free Public DNS servers in our article to help you compare their features and choose the best from the list.
If you want to switch from your old DNS server, all you have to do is to change the IP address on the new server. Follow these steps to switch to a new DNS server –
1. Log in to your domain provider account (like Namecheap, GoDaddy, Hostinger, Bluehost)
2. Under the Menu option, click on Domains and select My Domains.
3. Now click on the Domain name for which you want to change the DNS.
4. From the Manage domain drop down list, select DNS Server Settings.
5. If you are using a third-party server, just select a Custom server from the list and enter the name server addresses.
6. Click on save.
It can take up to 48 hours for your DNS to switch to the new one.
Google Public DNS server is considered one of the best DNS servers for gaming. Along with the fast internet speed and better browsing experience, it also keeps your data safe from hackers.
Google DNS server ensures a smooth gaming experience, which is accessible by anyone free of cost. With tens of data centers located worldwide, this public DNS loads your web pages much faster and efficiently.
Every information that the DNS collects gets saved in its temporary logs and wipes out every 48 hours. The DNS server has a decent uptime of 99.97% and an average quick response rate of 22.17 ms worldwide.
Cloudflare's 1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp is the fastest DNS server in the world. It allows hundreds of people to connect to your website within microseconds.
They have more than 40 data centers in over 100 countries worldwide. It helps improve your page loading time and also helps rank your website on search engines.
Besides the faster network, 1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp keeps your company's and user's data secure. It also assures its customers that their data will never be leaked or sold to advertising agencies.
With the advanced security benefits of 1. 1. 1. 1 w/ Warp, you can protect your corporate systems by encrypting your data.
You can easily find your current DNS provider by logging in to your domain provider account. Follow these steps to find your current DNS server –
1. Log in to your domain provider account (like Namecheap, GoDaddy, Hostinger)
2. Under the Domain menu option, select My Domains.
3. Now click on the Domain name for which you want to find the DNS.
4. From the Manage domain drop-down list, choose DNS Server Settings. Here you can see the DNS server you are using for your website, along with the nameserver’s address.
Most DNS servers have their testing page, where you can run a quick standard test to determine the IP address, hostname, city, country, and ISP.
If you are using OpenDNS, you can test your server at the OpenDNS homepage. Instead of a detailed report, it just shows a yes or a no, confirming whether you are using the service or not.
If you are using Cloudflare DNS, you can test your server at the Cloudflare help center. For 1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp, the test page is their help center. It also confirms with a yes/no option stating whether you are using the server or not.
For the AdGuard DNS server, you can log in to their DNS service page and under the AdGuard DNS servers map heading, the page states if you are using the service or not.
For all other DNS services, you can test your server at DNS Leak Test. It gives a detailed report on your server.
A paid version of DNS guarantees that your website is both secure and available to your customers at all times. It gives you access to an administrative board to use all features with ease.
Paid DNS is much more secure than a free version. It provides a two-factor authentication process to protect your domain from hackers and malware. They also promise a reliable service with 100% uptime.
Premium DNS servers guarantee domain resolution on millions of queries every month. Besides providing an additional layer of security, paid DNS servers also give you access to high-end customer service and ease of use.
What is the Best Free DNS Service?
The best free DNS service depends on your requirements and the features you want.
- If you are looking for a faster DNS service, you should choose Cloudflare’s 1. 1. 1. 1 with Warp.
- If you want a more secure server, then you should select Google PublicDNS. They assure their customers of protecting their data and not selling it to third-party agencies.
- If your priority includes filtering the web, then you can use the CleanBrowsing DNS server. It offers tens of filtering options free of cost.
- If you are looking for an ad-free experience for your employees, then AdGuard is the best in the market. This cloud-based server blocks all the intrusive ads on your corporate computers, keeping you safe from malicious content.