HomeDNSHow Do I Find the DNS Server Used by My PC?

How Do I Find the DNS Server Used by My PC?

One of the most fundamental instruments of the internet is DNS. For some, DNS is a Domain Name System, while for many others, it is a Domain Name Server. DNS is basically a set of protocols that defines how computers exchange data on the internet and also on private networks.

The need for DNS is vital as it helps in converting the IP addresses of the websites into domain names that are easier to understand and remember. In short, DNS is a system that matches out the IP address of a website to its domain name. You might have read somewhere that DNS works as an internet phonebook. But this is not a relevant reference for such a high-performance and highly sophisticated naming system.

Today, we will be uncovering different methods that one can use to find out the DNS server used by their computer. There are multiple ways to find out the DNS, but in the end, all of these methods will point out the same DNS that your system is using to connect to the internet.

What is a DNS Server?

DNS server comes into play when you type a domain name in a browser’s address bar. When you are done typing the domain name and press the enter button, the DNS server will start its work and find the correct IP address connected with the domain name that you have just entered. The browser on your system will connect to that IP address of the website via the origin server and CDN edge server to access the information that is present on the website.

DNS is constantly evolving, and it is not a static concept in any possible way. Even the latest change in DNS came in 2018 when the ICANN rolled out a new security feature that affects cryptographic keys that are used in Domain Name System Security Extensions protocol. The DNS used to be known as a root zone key signing key (KSK) in its earlier days. Even right now, data scientists are working to enhance the functioning of the DNS servers to make them better and more efficient.

Why Does Your Computer Use a DNS Server?

It is easier to remember the domain names like facebook.com, nytimes.com, etc. rather than remembering the IP addresses of these websites, which are like this: 151.101.2.111. So, when you are a website from your browser, all you have to do is enter its URL, which is basically the domain name, and the browser will take you to the website’s homepage.

IP addresses are the language of computers. However, for us, it is difficult to remember multiple IP addresses. In the same way, it is hard for computers and servers to understand the domain names that we type on our browsers. For servers and computers, it is far more precise to use IP addresses. So that’s why your computer needs a DNS server to convert your input (domain name) into the code language of the computer and send it over to the network to find the corresponding IP address of the domain name.

How Does a DNS Server Resolve a DNS Query?

There are different servers that start to perform the research on the different parts of the domain name which you have entered. Given below, we have discussed different servers that help in resolving a DNS query:

  • DNS Resolver

It receives the request of the domain name which you have entered. This server doesn’t perform any grunt work to find out the website that you want to access. It simply receives the request, breaks it into smaller parts, and sends the chunks of information to other servers.

  • A Root Server

The root receives the first of the requests from the DNS resolver. If the website is a top-level domain like facebook.com or gmail.com. Then it returns the results to the DNS server, and the website opens up on your browser. A top-level domain is the equivalent of .com or .net. If the domain doesn’t have these two portions. The request is sent further to other servers.

  • TLD Server

The DNS server asks the TLD server to find out the IP address related to the domain name, and the TLD will find the Authoritative name server to DNS.

  • Authoritative Name Server 

This is the end of the line, and if the website is live on the internet, the DNS will find its name here; otherwise, you will see some DNS errors. If the website is live, this server will locate the IP address of the website and send it to the DNS server. Once the DNS server receives the IP address, it will connect your browser to the IP address, and the flow of information from the server to your computer will start.

So, all the aforementioned servers are an important part of the DNS server, and each one of them is required to resolve a DNS query.

How to Locate the DNS Server Used By My PC

There are a total of 6 different methods with which you can find the DNS server that your computer is using to access the internet. We are going to define all six of them. Also, all these methods will provide you with the same DNS information. Now, let’s discuss each method separately:

1. Command Prompt Method

This is one of the easiest methods if you are familiar with the usage of the Windows Command Prompt. In Windows 10, you need to right-click on the start menu and then click on the Command Prompt, or you can also choose Windows PowerShell. Either of these will do. In most versions of Windows, you can click on the Start, then you find the All programs, after that, accessories, and finally, you will see Command Prompt.

Once you open the Command Prompt, you need to type in “ipconfig/ all” and then press enter. You will get all the necessary network information that you require.

Yes, we know the information is a lot, and you might not need all of it. But in the same list, you can find “DNS servers” listed. Don’t be shocked to see multiple DNS servers being listed here. The purpose of having multiple DNS servers is that if one of the DNS servers fails, the other ones will respond and keep the internet connection working.

2. From Settings Menu

Windows 10 has made it easier for newbies to find out their DNS without opening the Command prompt or their main network settings. This is a pretty straightforward way to find out what’s your DNS server. Click on the Settings from the Start Menu. Now you have to open the Network & Internet category.  Now you will be able to see the Network Connections. In case you are using a wired connection, you need to select the Ethernet. Otherwise, if you are using a wireless network connection, you can look for the DNS by clicking on Wi-Fi.

Once you click on the above two mentioned network connections, you need to tap on the network connection, and it will show you the details of your network. Here you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. Now, look for the Properties tab and search through the information which is being displayed here. You will find out the DNS servers of both your IPv6 DNS and IPv4 DNS.

3. From Network Connection Window

There is one more way which one can use to find out their system’s DNS from Windows Settings. After opening the setting, you need to reach the Network option. On the status page, which is selected by default, you will see the button Change Adapter Settings. Click on this button.

This will open up the Network Connection window. Double-click on the network adapters and a new small window will open up, which will show the status of the selected network adapter. Click on the Details button from the Connection setting.

In the Network Connection Details, you can find the DNS servers that your Windows system is using. The DNS addresses are listed alongside the IPv4 DNS server and IPv6 DNS server.

4. From Network and Sharing Center 

This one is a little tricky, but if you have been using your computer for a while now, you can probably navigate through its steps easily. First, you need to open the Network and Sharing Center. After that, click on the Network Adapter that you use to connect with the internet. It could be a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.

This will lead you to the same Status window, which was opened in the third method. From here, everything is the same, and you need to click on the Details button to find the information about the IPv4 DNS server and IPv6 DNS server.

5. From PowerShell

This method requires you to open the PowerShell application on your system. It is also said to be the fastest way to find out the DNS of your system. All you have to do is open the Powershell on your desktop and type in the command Get-DnsClientServerAddress and press enter. This command will instantly show you all the DNS servers that are connected to your system and used by different network adapters of your PC.

6. Finding DNS Server for Mac Users

Here’s a method for Mac users to find out the DNS server used by their machine to access the internet. To find the DNS server, you first need to go to the Apple Menu and open system preferences, and then click on Network.

Now select the option you use to get connected to the internet. It could be Wi-Fi or your ethernet cable connection. Click on the Configure button, and you will see the DNS information of both IPv4 and IPv6 DNS servers.

Is There a Need to Change DNS Settings Manually?

First, the thing you need to know is that DNS settings are configured automatically so you don’t have to change them to ensure they work properly. However, in some cases, you might want to change the DNS settings of your system. When you are changing your DNS settings, it will mask your location. You might think that this will provide the same type of anonymity as the Virtual Private Network (VPN), but that’s not true.

Still, the end result of both VPN and DNS settings will hide your real location. In truth, DNS settings will tell the server that you are in a different location. On the other hand, a VPN connection routes your connection through different regions. Given below are some cases that may require you to change your DNS settings manually:

  • The content you want to access on the internet is restricted in your region, and in order to watch it, you need to change your location provided by the IP address.
  • Sometimes changing your DNS setting can help to boost your internet speed. In certain cases, it is found that third-party DNS servers offer better speed and performance than the default DNS server.
  • DNS settings can be changed to ensure a safe web browsing experience for children so they don’t get access to adult or other types of content that are not intended for them.
  • Changing your DNS can potentially act as a security feature. By altering your DNS server configuration, you will be hiding your true physical location. This will keep you protected from phishing attacks and other types of location-based online hacks.
  • Lastly, you might want to change the DNS because your internet is not working and you suspect that there is some problem with the DNS. In that case, you can use a third-party DNS server to find out if the problem is really caused by the DNS server or there’s some other issue that needs to be taken care of.

Conclusion

So there you go, these are the six main different methods by which you can easily find out which type of DNS server your computer is using. Both for the server end and the user DNS server are essential as it helps translate the IP addresses into the names. You can find DNS settings from any operating system, even an Android phone can tell you which DNS server your WIFI is using, so it is pretty basic information that everyone must find out. Tell us which one is the best method, according to you, and is there any other more direct way to find out the DNS server? Let us know in the comment section below.

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