Changing your router’s DNS settings to increase speed and security

“At times, you may experience slow hiccups while trying to use the internet from your home,” Anthony Bouchard writes for iDownloadBlog. “Sometimes, these problems can be attributed to your router’s DNS settings because your ISP may not always have the best DNS server speeds.”

Bouchard writes, “Your DNS server settings can also affect your security as you use the internet because some DNS servers come with built-in firewalls and security measures to prevent you from opening malicious or phishing websites, while others don’t do anything at all to protect you.”

Bouchard writes, “In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can edit the DNS settings on your wireless router if you’re experiencing slower internet speeds than you should be.”

Full how to here.


  1. It’s gotten so I change DNS settings so often depending on what I’m doing. I have DNS settings that work best for iTunes downloads, others that work best for NetFlix and so on.

    I also recommend getting Little Snitch. The Network Monitor will allow you to visually gauge DNS performance, how often you’re hitting DNS servers and so on. You will sometimes see weird things. I noticed a couple times downloading movies from iTunes that iTunes was getting the data from HULU servers. I still don’t know what that was about.

  2. I’m glad Anthony Bouchard tackled this subject. But it’s not quite this simple. Allow me to toss in a few more (of many) points on the subject:

    1) NOT all routers have their HTML control page at Examples:
    AirPort base station: or or
    D-Link and Netgear:
    Belkin and SMC:
    — And decent routers let you change their IP address. I never use the default.

    This article may be useful:
    Apple OS X: How To Find Your Router’s IP Address

    2) Not all routers allow you to change the DNS servers they use. In the case of a cable modem / router, the DNS address is pushed to the router by the ISP. So you’re stuck, at that level anyway, with whatever they dole out.

    3) OS X lets you BY-PASS whatever DNS your router is using entirely. Here is one how-to article:
    How to Change DNS Server Settings in Mac OS X

    4) Finding the fastest and most reliable DNS servers to use from your location can seem impossible. You can rely on the good-old-reliables like OpenDNS (I use their free DNSCrypt software, which is extremely useful when out on the road). I’d avoid Google simply because you KNOW they’re tracking your DNS requests.

    But good old reliable Steve Gibson of GRC has created the single most thorough way to find your best DNS servers to use. His process is NOT for the feint of heart. It’s for geeks only. It involves installing WINE, downloading his .EXE application, running it for the initial test, then running it again for the deep test. It takes time and patience to read through the instructions, run the tests, then interpret the test results. If you’re up to it, here is where to go. (Note that I’ve used up my two URLs for this comments thread, so I’m going to provide less direct verbal instructions instead):

    a) Go to Steve Gibson’s website, which is GRC-dot-com.
    b) Using his menus on the page, go to:
    Freeware: Utilities: DNS Benchmark

    Read through the instructions first. His .EXE application runs perfectly well on OS X using WINE. If you don’t know how to get and install and run WINE, I’d turn back now if I were you. 😉

  3. Google DNS has its hiccups too. Last week I changed mine because no matter which browser or machine I used, I was getting a 5 second delay before things would load. Have other options. Read what Derek wrote above.

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