How to modify the DNS to navigate without restrictions or blockages?

For some people, browsing the internet freely has become a headache, amidst blockages and slow connections. However, the network itself offers some tricks, data, or simply quick settings to bypass the controls. One option is to modify the so-called DNS in each operating system we use to browse. You can learn how to do this, and the best thing is: you can modify them without asking for an expert's help, because it is a simple process if you follow certain steps.

What are DNS?

Domain Name Systems. It is the easiest tool to modify, used in computing, to fight against blockages in the network. The DNS are in charge of providing names to our IP addresses; generally, the provider companies configure them, and from there the controls can be produced. But the virtual world has free DNS addresses, which can be modified manually by anyone. The most used free DNS are those of Google:

  • Preferred DNS server: 8.8.8.8
  • Alternative DNS Server: 8.8.4.4

Changing DNS for browsers

Chrome OS

Example for Chrome OS 71

To configure the DNS you must enter the Network section in the Settings menu, for the selected network connection. 

1. Opens the Settings menu.

2. In the Network section, select the connection for which you wish to set up the custom DNS. For example:

To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, click on the Ethernet section.

To change the settings for a wireless connection, click the Wi-Fi section, and select the name of the corresponding network.

You cannot change the DNS settings for a mobile data connection established with the snapshot feature. However, for mobile Wi-Fi access points that are set up manually, you can change the DNS settings using the instructions for a wireless connection.

3. Display the Network section for the selected connection.

4. In the Name Servers section:

- For IPv4: select the Custom Name Servers button and change to:

8.8.8.

8.8.4.4

- For IPv6: select the button: Custom Name Servers, and enter:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844

5. Click outside the Network section to apply the settings.

Important: Linux and Android applications running on the Chrome operating system use this DNS server setting by default, but also have the ability to override the setting.

Browsers with alternative DNS included

Although the most prominent are Google Chrome and Firefox, there are new browsers that are being programmed to work under free software, such as the new case of Puffin: https://www.puffinbrowser.com/ and TOR Project: www.torproject.org, however their versions still have some flaws about downloads and the use of Flash Player. But in terms of speed and blocking mockery can be a great alternative.

It is important to remember that both Firefox and Google Chrome have to be updated to their latest version to achieve a higher operability if we change our DNS. But the most direct and reliable way to change the DNS is by configuring, with certain established steps, each of them in the operating systems, or routers. 

Changing DNS in Windows, MacOS, and Linux

In Windows, the DNS settings are specified in the window: TCP/IP properties, for the selected network connection.

If you want to change the DNS in Windows 10 you must follow these steps: 

1. Go to the control panel.

2. Click Network & Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.

3. Select the connection for which you want to set up a custom DNS. For example:

    - To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click on the Ethernet interface, and select Properties.

    - To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click on the Wi-Fi interface, and select Properties.

4. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, provide it.

5. Select the Networks tab. On this connection, use the following items: select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4),

6. Click Advanced, and then select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed, type them in for future reference, and then remove them from that window.

7. Click OK.

8. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there's an IP address for the preferred DNS server, or the alternate DNS server, type it for future reference.

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

- For IPv4:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4.

- For IPv6:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844

Change the DNS in macOS, easy

On this operating system, the DNS settings are specified in the Network window.

Example of DNS change in 10.15 macOS

1. Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.

2. If the lock icon in the lower-left corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes and, when asked to authenticate, enter your password.

3. Select the connection for which you want to set up a custom DNS. For example:

- To change the settings for a Wi-Fi connection, select Wi-Fi and click Advanced.

- To change settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-in Ethernet, and click Advanced.

4. Select the DNS tab.

5. Click + to replace any address in the list with the custom IP addresses at the top, or to add them:

- For IPv4:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4.

- For IPv6:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844.

6. Finish by clicking OK > Apply.

This is how you change the DNS in Linux

In most modern Linux distributions, DNS configuration is done through the Network Administrator.

How is this done in Ubuntu?

1. Click System > Preferences > Network Connections.

2. Select the connection for which you want to configure the custom DNS. For example:

- To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select the Connected tab, and then select your network interface from the list. This is usually called: eth0.

- To change the settings for a wireless connection, select the Wireless tab, and then choose the appropriate wireless network.

3. Click Edit, and in the window that appears, select the IPv4 Settings tab, or IPv6 Settings.

4. If the selected method is Automatic (DHCP), open the drop-down menu, and select only Automatic (DHCP) addresses. If the method is set to something else, do not change it.

5. In the DNS Servers field, enter the custom DNS IP addresses, separated by a comma:

- For IPv4:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4.

- For IPv6:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844.

6. Finish the process by clicking on Apply, to save the change. The system may ask you for your password, or a confirmation.

Changing the DNS in a router

Please note that routers use a different user interface to configure the DNS server settings. In that sense, we will only provide you with the generic procedure. For more information, please refer to your router's documentation.

Important: Some ISPs rigidly encrypt their DNS servers on the computer they supply; if you use such a device, you cannot configure it for use with a custom DNS. Instead, you can configure each of the computers connected to the router, as described above.

This way you can change the DNS settings on a router: 

1. In your browser, enter the IP address of the router, to display the management console. Most routers are made to use a default address such as: 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1; 192.168.2.1 or 192.168.1.100. If none of these work, or have changed, try to find the default gateway address, in the Network configuration panel of the system.

2. When prompted, enter the password to edit the Network settings.

3. Find the screen where the DNS server settings are specified.

4. If there are IP addresses specified in the primary and secondary DNS server fields, write them down for future reference.

5. Replace those addresses with Google's IP addresses:

- For IPv4:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4.

- For IPv6:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844

6. Click save, and exit.

7. Restart your browser.

Some routers use separate fields for the eight parts of IPv6 addresses, and cannot accept the syntax of the abbreviation :: IPv6. For such fields, enter:

    - 2001:4860:4860:0:0:0:0:8888

    - 2001:4860:4860:0:0:0:0:8844

Expands the entries 0 to 0000, if four hex digits are required.

DNS modification in mobile operating systems

For iOS

You can change the DNS settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by following these steps:

1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.

2. Tap the ⓘ icon next to the Wi-Fi network you want to change the DNS servers for. Scroll down to find the DNS section, and select Set Up DNS.

3. Click Manual, and add the Google IP addresses. Optionally, you can also remove all the default DNS servers from the list.

- For IPv4:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4

- For IPv6:

2001:4860:4860::8888

2001:4860:4860::8844

Returning to Automatic will restore the DNS server specified by the Wi-Fi network.

Note: This change only applies to a specific Wi-Fi network, but not to other networks in the Wi-Fi list, or in the DNS settings for cellular data. If you want all your Wi-Fi networks to use the same DNS settings, the best option is to update the DNS settings of your routers.

Android DNS Settings

We give you the example for Android version 9 (Foot), or higher:

Android 9 supports "Private DNS", which uses DNS over TLS, to provide security and privacy for your DNS queries. You can set it up with the following steps:

1. Go to Settings > Network and Internet > Advanced > Private DNS.

2. Select Host name of the private DNS provider

3. Enter: dns.google, as the hostname of your DNS provider.

4. Click Save.

Earlier versions of Android

Devices running earlier than Android 9 do not support DNS-over-TLS, and cannot set up private DNS for all networks. You can set up DNS for each individual Wi-Fi network you use. This requires manual configuration of all network information, and is only recommended for advanced users, because they can misconfigure their mobile device.

We hope that this guide on how to change DNS in operating systems, browsers and routers will be of great help in circumventing network blockages in your country. 

M
Mila is the author of this solution article.

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