Using a Secure DNS Server: The Best Servers and How to Use Them

If you’re looking for a secure DNS server, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you our picks for the best servers, whether you’re interested in security, streaming capabilities, or both. And we’ll even show you how to use one.

Keep reading to find out more.

Benefits of Using Secure DNS Servers

There are multiple benefits to changing your DNS server, including:

  • Improved privacy and security, by separating your DNS from your ISP and even blocking trackers
  • Ability to block ads on the DNS level, even on apps that don’t natively support ad blocking
  • Unblocking streaming services and other websites
  • Creating your own content blocks for things like adult, gambling, or malware-infected sites

So, whether you want to stream content without ads, protect your children from harmful content, or simply maintain your privacy online, a secure DNS server can help.

Best Secure DNS Servers

Here are our picks for the best DNS servers that you can use today.

Best All-Around: playmoTV

If you’re looking for a DNS server with both security and streaming capabilities, playmoTV is a good pick.


  • Supports a ton of streaming services, including HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer
  • Built-in ad and tracker blocking
  • Fast speeds


  • Requires a subscription
  • May not always work with Netflix

Best for Security: Cloudflare

If you’re not interested in streaming and just want the best security and privacy features, then Cloudflare is worth a look.


  • Encrypts traffic
  • Strong privacy features, doesn’t keep logs
  • Great performance


  • A little tricky to set up
  • May not unblock streaming services

Other DNS Server Options

If you’re not sold on the above options, these other DNS servers are worth a look.

  • Quad9: Quad9 is another excellent privacy-focused DNS server, which will block malicious sites and even offers encryption.
  • DNSWatch: Blocking malicious DNS requests, shady websites, and even phishing is easy with DNSWatch.
  • Google Public DNS: We personally wouldn’t trust Google with our web traffic, but many people still prefer Google’s public DNS to the one provided by their ISP
  • OpenDNS: Owned by Cisco, OpenDNS is one of the more popular DNS servers, but its logging policies make it a mess for privacy.

How to Change Your DNS Server

Once you’ve decided on a DNS server to use, it’s time to set it up. Fortunately, this process isn’t super complicated, but it will change a bit depending on the device you’re changing.

Change your router’s DNS server

All of your internet traffic goes through your routers, so changing the DNS server there will affect your entire network – your laptop, your desktop, your phone, and everything else – all at the same time. 

However, each router has a slightly different process for doing this. And with some routers, it’s easier than others. Because of this, we can’t give you a detailed step-by-step guide, other than to advise you to check your router’s manual – or to simply search for your router’s specific model along with the keywords “change DNS”.

Change your DNS server in Windows 10

Another option is to change the DNS server for your individual devices, like your laptop or desktop computer. Here’s the process for doing it in Windows 10:

1. Pull up your Control Panel.

2. Choose ‘View network status and tasks under’ the Network and Internet heading.

3. Select ‘Change Adapter Settings’ from the menu column on the left.

4. Find your connection. This could be Wifi or Ethernet, depending on how you’re connected to the internet. Note: If you use both Wifi and Ethernet, you’ll want to follow these steps for both of them.

5. Right-click on your connection and select ‘Properties’.

6. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 in the list and then click on ‘Properties’ below it.

7. Select ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ and enter the IPv4 addresses provided by your preferred DNS server.

8. Hit ‘OK’.

9. Now, you want to repeat steps 5 through 8 for Internet Protocol Version 6 using your DNS server’s IPv6 addresses.

10. Remember, if you use more than one internet connection (Wifi + Ethernet) you’ll need to change the IPv4 and IPv6 settings for both.

With that done, you’re ready to go! It may seem a little complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy if you follow the steps above.

Change your DNS server in Mac

But maybe you’re a Mac user. Don’t worry, the process for changing your DNS server on your Apple device is pretty straightforward as well:

1. Go to ‘System Preferences’.

2. Select ‘Network’.

3. Find your connection (ex. Wifi) and hit ‘Advanced’.

4. Navigate to the DNS tab.

5. Use the + button below to add your DNS server’s IPv4 address, then again for the IPv6 address. Note: You can also use the – button to remove any existing DNS addresses that you’re no longer using, if necessary. By default, the list will be empty though.

6. Hit ‘OK’.

Change your DNS server in Android

Are you an Android user? You can change the DNS settings in on your phone or tablet using these steps:

1. Head to ‘Settings’.

2. Select ‘Network & internet’.

3. Open the ‘Advanced’ menu.

4. Click on ‘Private DNS’.

5. Now, select, ‘Private DNS provider hostname’ and enter the info provided by your DNS server. Note: Android does not allow you to use a DNS IP address, like the Windows or Mac examples above.

6. Hit ‘Save’.

Change your DNS server in iOS

If you’re using iOS, whether on an iPhone or iPad, you have a bit less control of your DNS server settings, compared to Windows, Mac, or Android. But you can follow these steps to change it for individual Wi-Fi connections:

1.  Open ‘Settings’.

2. Go to ‘Wi-Fi’ and select your connection for the list provided.

3. Select ‘Configure DNS’ and change it from Automatic to Manual.

4. If there are existing DNS servers here (and you don’t want to use them), select the red – next to each listing to remove it.

5. Then select ‘Add Server’ and enter your IPv4 address, then do it again for IPv6.

6. Hit ‘Save’.

Keep in mind that this only changes the DNS server for that particular wi-fi connection. If you want to use it on other connections, you’ll need to change them each individually.

Also, iOS does not let you change the DNS for your cellular connection. For that, you’ll need a good iPhone VPN. Or you can use something like Cloudflare’s app.

June 28, 2023

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