By default, your Macs and iOS devices look for this DNS server, which is either specified in your router, or in the server your iPhone connects to, in order to perform this address translation.
DNS Server Configuration (Mac OS X) | ExpressVPN
But you don't need to use this DNS server; you can use any one you want. For example, if a web page is made up of multiple elements, that are not all hosted on the same server, your browser has to request these elements at a number of servers, and each different domain name requires a new request.
In addition, some ISPs may record the metadata of your Internet activity, or the requests you make: the websites you visit, the servers you connect to, and more. Some big businesses may use dedicated DNS services to ensure the fastest possible access for their clients, but, in general, individuals are stuck with the few public services that are available. One of the best known is, of course, Google 8. It's easy to set up the 1. On a Mac, go to System Preferences, then Network. Click the padlock and enter an administrator's user name and password. You'll see a number of network interfaces in the left-hand column.
One has a green dot next to it; this is the one your Mac is using. Click it to select it, then click Advanced. Click the DNS tab. Just like a friend could find your house if she had your address, your computer can load a website if you type its IP address in to a web browser.
The problem is that IP addresses can be difficult to find and remember. DNS was created to map memorable domain names, like cnn. DNS is essentially a directory of all the websites in the world. Imagine a giant phonebook with the IP addresses for all of the websites on the Internet. That's DNS.
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Every Internet service provider operates their own DNS servers. That's not a problem unless the service provider's DNS servers become unavailable. At that point, your Mac won't be able to load any websites. Fortunately, there are other companies out there that offer free DNS servers that you can use with your Mac. Many of these services are faster, and some companies have never experienced a service interruption.
Plus, some DNS providers offer additional services for free, like malware protection and parental controls. There are dozens of free DNS servers out there. How do you know which ones to use? This is especially true when you load a page that draws content from many different domains, such as advertisers and affiliates. Switching to DNS servers optimized for efficiency can speed up your surfing , whether in a home or business setting.
Speaking of a business setting, some companies offer DNS services with business-friendly add-ons.
Test your DNS server using Network Utility on Mac
For example, they can filter out malicious websites at the DNS level, so the pages never reach an employee's browser. They may also filter out porn and other work-inappropriate sites. In a similar fashion, DNS-based parental control systems help parents control children's access to age-inappropriate content, on every device.
I mentioned that your DNS server caches popular requests, so it can respond quickly, without having to query other components of the Domain Name System. Your PC or Mac also has a local DNS cache, and if the cache gets screwed up, you can have trouble visiting certain sites. You really can't get away from that—if you want something from the internet, you can't avoid telling someone just what you want. Your ISP knows where you go on the web, and probably doesn't care.
When you hit an erroneous domain, one that has no actual IP address, they divert your browser to a search and advertising page preloaded with a search phrase derived from the domain name. For example, the image below shows the results of trying to visit the non-existent funnycatpiktures. This may seem like a nonissue.
What does it matter if the ISP displays ads? But privacy-wise it's significant. You started off with a private back-and-forth between your browser and the DNS server. The ISP broke that bubble of privacy by sending a version of your request to a search engine, where it winds up in your search history. Some people worry abut the privacy of search, which is why no-history search sites like DuckDuckGo and StartPage exist.
You're probably familiar with the concept of phishing. Nefarious webmasters set up a fraudulent website that looks exactly like PayPal, or your bank, or even a gaming or dating site.
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They disperse links to the fake site using spam, malicious adverts, or other techniques. Any hapless netizen who logs in without noticing the fakery has given valuable login credentials to the bad guys.
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And the fraudsters typically use those credentials to log you in to the real site, so you don't realize anything has happened. The one thing that gives these frauds away is the address bar. Keeping a sharp eye on the address bar is one way to avoid phishing scams. Some are egregious, like a page that purports to be, say, LinkedIn, but has a totally unrelated domain such as bestastroukusa.
If You’re Looking for a Fast DNS Server
Others work harder to fool you, with slightly-off names like microsfot. But no matter how they try, they can't fool an eagle-eyed web surfer. That's where cache poisoning comes in. In this kind of attack, malefactors infiltrate incorrect information into the Domain Name System, typically by manipulating the cache. The user types a valid domain name, the poisoned DNS system returns the IP address for a fraudulent site, and the Address Bar shows the valid name.
Unless the miscreants did a poor job imitating the target site, there's no visible clue to their chicanery.