MacMost Now 884: Using Alternative DNS

Every computer uses DNS servers to translate domain names to numerical addresses that can be used to find web pages. You can use the default DNS provided by your ISP, or you can choose your own. Sometimes you will see speed and quality improvements by using a public DNS instead of the default. Learn how to set your DNS in System Preferences and learn a potential pitfall of doing so.

Comments: 13 Responses to “MacMost Now 884: Using Alternative DNS”

    Doug Brace
    6 years ago

    It’s also possible to set the DNS servers on your router/modem. This will make it so you don’t have to go to every device on your home network and manually change the setting.

    John Roberts
    6 years ago

    I tried OpenDNS recently and found that I had trouble using it with iTunes Store and the Mac Apps Store. It wouldn’t connect to iCloud, either. It said there was an invalid site certificate.

    I switched back to the default DNS server and everything worked.

      6 years ago

      I’ve used OpenDNS with those before and have never had a problem.

        John Roberts
        6 years ago

        I’ve done a bit of searching and my guess is that it’s related to Comcast being my ISP.

    Will
    6 years ago

    Thanks Gary! I have used open DNS on my other non Mac computer. I wasn’t sure I could use it on a Mac. :)

    Morne Christou
    6 years ago

    I have an US iTunes account but at present I live in South Africa and want to use my Apple TV to view HULU % other services but can’t access the services. Can I use an open DNS server to allow my Apple TV to view HULU & other services in South Africa? If not do you have other suggestions. I know about “Hide My Ass” but this service requires a VPN router. I don’t want to replace my current router which is not a VPN router & therefore any other suggestions would be appreciated.

      6 years ago

      DNS doesn’t do that. It is like an address book for the Internet — it tells you computer where web sites are located, but it doesn’t change where you are located or where the site is located.
      You’ll need to use a VPN or VPN-like service for that. I don’t need those, so I don’t have any suggestions.

        Morne Christou
        6 years ago

        Perfect thank you Gary. Thanx for a great platform to learn about Apple products and features.

    Linda Lyn
    6 years ago

    Hi Gary
    Thank you for your teaching.
    If people would ask me where to find a good teacher to teach them how to use computer I will tell look up your website.
    Thank you so much.

    Yours sincerely Linda Lyn

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    6 years ago

    What you seem to suggest is the pitfalls of them both which is nice to know.
    Well thats another thing I will have a go with.
    I have never looked into the advanced section before incase I do something wrong and I would have a problem how to put it right Gary.

    Franco
    6 years ago

    I switched the DNS on my iMac a couple of years ago to Google’s 8.8.8.8. That greatly sped up my web browser(Safari). I’m trying to do the same on my wife’s MBP(OSX 10.5.8), without success. The self assigned DNS is greyed out and will not let me erase it. Any suggestions?

      6 years ago

      Hard to say without being there — and it has been years since I have used Leopard (10.5.X). Did you try just adding a new entry? Usually the default is there and grayed out until you add a new one.

        Franco
        6 years ago

        Thanks for the reply Gary. Yes I did try and was successful in adding a new entry, but the self assigned DNS remained greyed out. After adding the new DNS, I tried dragging it to the top of the list, thinking that his would tell her MBP to prioritize 8.8.8.8. I discovered the dragging feature is disabled.

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