By default, the DNS server we use is the mostly the one provided by our ISP, but say, you have recently changed to custom DNS server and want to reassure if it works? Is there any way for you to check what DNS server you’re using?
Just like your computer’s MAC address, the DNS servers don’t go beyond your router, so there is no way to check it from an online website like you can with your IP address. But thankfully, you can find your current DNS, All you have to do 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 your router is connected to the Internet, which further connects it to different devices like your computer, smartphones, and media streaming devices like ps4.
Now, by default, we’d use the DNS server provided by your ISP, But some people do change their DNS servers to like Google DNS if they want better speed, Open DNS if they want to block adult content on 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’s connected to your router, will automatically start using DNS that’s in 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’s going to be,
- DNS on the system
- If you have not entered any custom DNS on your device, then it’ll use the DNS available on router
- Again, 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.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s see how you can check what dns server you are using.
What DNS am I using?
To check what DNS Server you are using on Windows computer, simply open up the command prompt and do nslookup any website say, Google. However, for some unknown reason, this doesn’t work for me. (I tried this command on two windows computer and go unexpected error message).
So, next thing, you can do is, type the following command on your cmd.
ipconfig /all | findstr /R "DNS\ Servers"
#2 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 of any website. For example, type in the following command.
There are a handful of Android network scanner apps in the market, that lets you see you DNS. I suggest network info II. At the time of writing this post, the app is free, no ads and works like a charm. Simply download it from play store, open it go to WiFi tab, there you’ll see DNS1 and DNS2 entry.
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 need the lite version (ad supported) is sufficient.