How to use Google Public DNS on Windows 7 and Windows XP

Google recently announced that it’s offering a new public DNS server. It caught me by surprise. However, I’m not new to using public DNS services, and I gave Google’s new service a try. If you are using Windows 7 or Windows XP, I’ll show you how to set it up.

First, let’s get a couple of questions out of the way.

What is a DNS server?

DNS stuff can get pretty complicated, and I don’t want to go into details, so I’ll just give you a general idea. A DNS server is like a phone book. If you want to call someone using your phone, you may need to look up their phone number. Every website on the net has a 12 digit number (IP Address) that your PC needs to know in order to contact it. When you type a website name into a browser, your PC queries it’s assigned DNS server (the phone book), the DNS server reports the IP address (the phone number) back to your PC, and the PC initiates a connection with the site you requested. This all happens automatically and you really don’t need to know about DNS to use it. Most people are using a private DNS server that’s assigned by their Internet Service Provider, however, there are many open (public) DNS servers out there that anyone can use. Google’s new DNS server is only one among thousands.

Why would you want to use Google’s Public DNS?

I’m not sure that I completely agree with the reasons given at the Google Public DNS home page, but they state that their DNS service is faster, more secure and fairly private. Personally, I prefer OpenDNS, but that’s a topic for another time.

And now – on to the How toportion.

Set up Google Public DNS on Windows XP

37 thoughts on “How to use Google Public DNS on Windows 7 and Windows XP”

  1. look for "vivilproject dns" on a search engine and list a lot of public DNS other than google dns and opendns… i do not love my private surf can be tracked for ads reasons :-(

    1. Hi Willem

      I think I can sympathize with your reluctance to trust Google with all of the information that a DNS can provide. However, I did read their privacy statement concerning what they plan to do with the data. At this point, it does not appear that they will keep any personally identifiable data past 48 hours. They also plainly stated that they do not plan to sell or share the data.

      I am not defending Google, I'm simply stating what they have said. I prefer OpenDNS, however, I have not looked at other services. What is this "vivalproject"? I could find nothing on it.

  2. Yes, thank for this up-date, every time i have a problem on my internet connection, since i set u-p this process, really it’s work…
    My connection now is great!

      1. hey clif i couldnt find the dns jumper from the link it might have been removed or so …can u pls suggest other dns jumper ??? thnx

  3. Good day Sir. Can i use this even if i use router? If i can, what computer will we put the DNS? those computers that are connected to the router?

    1. Hi Benji – yes, you can use Google DNS even if you use a router. These settings will work on almost any computer, even if you use it away from home, on wireless networks.

  4. Hi. I tried following these steps (XP User) and it did not work. I restarted my computer to no avail. Is there anything else I can try?

    1. Oh, I forgot to say that my computer is a desktop connected to a modem that is connected to a router, if that helps.

  5. will be trying this out.several sites have been blocked in my country and yeh, i think its kindda unfair because most of us aren’t making any profit out of downloading (everything’s for personal entertainment,which as i have learned is no wrong)

    love the simple instructions.

    so, for windows xp if both the original buttons were set on ‘obtain automatically’.to change to dns, i just need to change the bottom half without remembering anything right?and to reverse it back just by selecting ‘obtain automatically’ again

    muchos gracios

  6. Hi. Good article. I need your help… I’m so at a loss for words… I’ve been using Google Sites to build my first website and things are going terribly. It’s been a nightmare trying to solve a redirection issue my visitors are facing_ every time someone refreshes a page from within my website they are redirected back to my Landing Page. I’m using Dottk’s free Domain Name service just to shorten my Google Sites URL but it seems as though I’ve opened up a can of killer worms by doing this. Every forum I go to and every where I turn I’m hearing that I need to Map my URL or use a DNS server or something but I don’t know how to do this and I cant seem to make this clear enough to any one. But I’m so confused at this point I’m just ready to give up and rid myself of this terrible headache. Please help me out if you can. Thanks! Jeff

  7. I know this may sound a little ridiculous, but when i try to enter the DNS with Windows 7, the little dots separating the 8.8.8.8 aren’t visibile, and i can’t enter anything but the first 8….any suggestions as to the problem? thanks.

  8. Sir I am no techie. tried your procedure on windows7 32bit but no success. con u help? its frustrating in india that they have blocked all torrent site.

  9. Sir I am no techie. tried your procedure on windows7 32bit but no success. con u help? its frustrating in india that they have blocked all torrent site.

  10. Hi,

    I have been running with the google DNS server specified for about 7 months with no problem until – I was visiting another city and went to the library for internet access and the local wireless connect requires an approval via a web browser when launched (it uses a re-direct of whatever web page you are looking for and redirects you to the local page that has the approval link on it). With the google DNS server address (8.8.8.8) the redirect would not work. Once I figured out what was wrong – I needed to go back to the DNS selection for my wireless connection (see above instructions) and select “Obtain DNS serve address automatically”. Then reconnect to the wireless and relaunch the browser and approve the connection. (by the way using Chrome as my browser didn’t work – I had to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to get the approval page to come up)

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