By default, the DNS server we use is the mostly the one provided by our ISP. But say you have recently changed to a custom DNS server and want to know without a doubt that it is working as it should, is there any way for you to find out what DNS server you are using?
Just like your computer’s MAC address, the DNS servers don’t go beyond the router. So there is no way for you to check it using an online website like you do with your IP address. But thankfully, you can find your current DNS with just a few clicks. All you have to do is run a simple command or use a free app.
Priority of DNS
Before we get started, I just want to clear this one thing that I’ve seen many people find confusing.
Assume a typical home network where a router is used to connect to the internet. You can connect all the devices like your computer, smartphones, and media streaming devices like ps4 to it and access the internet.
Now, as I said earlier, by default, you would be using the DNS server provided by your ISP. But some people do change their DNS servers to something like Google Public DNS if they want better speed, OpenDNS if they want to block adult content on the network, or Smart DNS Proxy if they want to unblock geo-restrictions.
Now here is the thing, if you change your DNS on your router (say to Smart DNS Proxy), then every device that is connected to your router will automatically start using DNS that is added to your router.
However, on top of that, if you change the DNS server on one of your computer (to say Google DNS), then only that computer will override the DNS on your router and use the one that you’ve just entered.
So, if we rank the priority of DNS, it is going to be something like this,
- If you’ve entered a custom DNS address on your system, that DNS will be used.
- If you have not entered any custom DNS on your device, then the device will use the DNS address available on the router.
- If you have not entered any custom DNS on your router, then every device will use the DNS provided by your ISP, which is like 90% of the time.
You can read this complete guide or scroll down to the end of the post and watch a quick video on how to find out what DNS server you are using.
What DNS Server You Are Using – Windows 10/8/7
There are multiple ways to check what DNS you are using on Windows. Here is a couple of them.
To check what DNS Server you are using on Windows computer, simply open up the command prompt and execute the below command.
ipconfig /all | findstr /R "DNS\ Servers"
In case you are wondering, what we are doing with the above command is that we are executing the regular “ipconfig” command and filtering the DNS address using “findstr” command and the regular expression switch (/R).
The second method is much simpler and has a user-friendly command. That is, simply do a nslookup of any web address and Windows will show what DNS server you are using as part of the lookup. To do a nslookup, simply use the below command. You can replace “google.com” with any web address you want. In fact, you can even replace it with your own IP address.
What DNS Server You Are Using – Mac and Linux
To check what DNS Server you are using on any Mac or Linux based computer, simply open up the terminal and do nslookup on any website. For example, type in the following command. Again, just like with Windows, you can replace “google.com” with your own IP address.
3. What DNS Server You Are Using – Android
There are a handful of Android network scanner apps on the market that let you see what DNS you are using. I suggest Network Info II. At the time of writing this post, the app is free, has no ads and works like a charm. Simply download it from play store, open it and go to the WiFi tab. There you’ll see DNS 1 and DNS 2 entries. These are the DNS addresses you are using.
Alternatively, you can also try the free PingTools app. It has some of the best and useful tools that can scan and do a bunch of other things like UPnP scanning, LAN wakeup, port scanning, etc. To know the DNS address, install the app from Play Store and open it.
Now, tap on the “Router” or “Internet” icon and it will display all the network details. Here, you can find what DNS you are using by looking at DNS 1 and DNS 2 entries.
4. What DNS Server You Are Using – iOS
Network Analyser is a free iOS app that shows useful information about your network. There are two versions of this app, the full version cost $3 but for our simple need, the lite version (ad supported) is sufficient. Just install and open the app, you can see what DNS you are using next to “DNS Server IP.”
5. What DNS Server is my Router Using
By default, your router uses the DNS provided by your ISP, but if you suspect someone has changed the DNS on your router, here is how to find it. Simply open up the web browser, and type in router’s IP address (usually 192.168.1.1) and login with username and password. Once you see the router’s web interface, depending on the router model look for DNS 1 and DNS 2 entries. Usually, it’s under the Wireless or Status option.
If you are not happy with the DNS on your router, for example, if the roommate is using third-party DNS services to track your browsing, then simply change the DNS on your Windows, Mac or whatever system you are using. Changing DNS on local machine will override your ISP or Router’s DNS.
That’s all for now and hope that helps. Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to know what DNS you are using.