The EU is promoting a European public DNS that emphasizes the security of Union citizens and businesses. Compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), they have been created by dns0.eu, a French non-profit organization founded by the managers of NextDNS.
These European public DNS they are free and they work on multiple hosting providers in each member state of the European Union. In a 100% European infrastructure, they currently use 62 servers and 55 data centers in 27 cities of the old continent.
The emphasis on security and privacy is clear, with end-to-end encryption, modern DNS protocols that are not vulnerable to eavesdropping and manipulation by middlemen, and built-in protection against millions of malicious domains, from phishing websites to C&C servers. The system behind these DBS are designed to shorten the detection window to just a few seconds and by working closely with threat intelligence providers, CERTs and other European cybersecurity actors, the goal is to deliver the highest level of Protection against Internet threats.
The importance of DNS
DNS is a very important protocol for use by computers, services, or any resources connected to the Internet. Translated into Spanish as Domain Name System It has several uses, but the most important is that of resolve the IP of the web page or service that we use.
For the uninitiated, explain that computers work with numerical addresses, for example 18.104.22.168 from Google.com. Imagine the difficulty in using and remembering the numerical addresses of all the web pages we visit. This is where these DNS and the servers that move them come in, dedicated equipment that acts as a means of intercommunication between the user and the web pages that we are visiting.
They have huge databases in which the relationships between domains and their respective IP addresses are registered. When we try to connect to a web page like the one in the example, google.com, the request is forwarded to the DNS servers so that “translate” or “resolve” that URL. Internet service providers automatically serve their own DNS to their customers. But there are other alternatives that can be used and that often work better. And not only do they offer advantages in performance and reliability, but they provide added geolocation, security, anti-censorship or parental control functions, as well as updating their IP address database faster than most service providers.
How to use European public DNS
The DNS that concern us are the 22.214.171.124 (main) and 126.96.36.199 (secondary). They can be applied in the usual way on virtually all operating systems. dns0.eu has on its website some small guides for mobile and desktop systems. Taking Windows 10 as an example, the changes can be made from the Control Panel, simply by changing the IP associated with each of them.
one step by step for a particular team would be the following:
- Go to “Control Panel-Network and Sharing Center”. Click on “Connections-Ethernet”.
- Click on “Properties-Internet Protocol version 4-Properties”:
- Modify the DNS addresses for the alternatives, in this case for these European public DNS in question:
- Accept and restart the computer.
If you like use DNS on all devices you have to act on the router that handles the connection:
The easiest access to the router is through a web interface through your access IP address, entering addresses such as 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, 192.168.2.1 (or similar) in any web browser, depending on your router. Almost all routers of the same make or model have a certain username/password programmed in for easy access.
This type of access is public knowledge and is usually as simple as the familiar “admin/admin”. A search on the Web is enough to know them and there are even specialized tools such as RouterPasswords that provide the data of any known make and model.
Once the IP and password are known, we enter its web interface and modify the section corresponding to the DNS that, depending on the model, we will find in the “Internet Configuration” section or directly in “DNS” to change them:
Simply reboot the router for the changes to take effect on any device you connect to the local network.
What are the best DNS?
There is no concrete answer to that question. It depends on many factors, the operator, geographical location, type of Internet service, equipment and even the specific moment because it usually varies over time. In addition to those that your own Internet service provider will offer you, there are alternatives of interest, highlighting among the most used, reliable, free and updated to the latest technologies, some such as:
- Google Public DNS: 188.8.131.52 (primary) – 184.108.40.206 (secondary)
- OpenDNS: 220.127.116.11 (primary) – 18.104.22.168 (secondary)
- Cloudflare: 22.214.171.124 (primary) – 126.96.36.199 (secondary)
- Other more specialized ones can also be used to access geoblocked content such as UnoDNS, CleanBrowsing, Quad9 or Unblock-US.
It is best to test in each situation and here are applications that do the job for us. We like some like DNS Benchmark. It is free and does not need installation, dAvailable for Windows and can also be used on macOS or Linux using Wine.
- Download the small application ‘DNSBench.exe’ (only 166 KB) and run it.
- Click on the “Nameservers” tab to select the main reference screen and data pages.
- Click the “Run Benchmark” button to run the test benchmarks and test the DNS on your computer.
- If you are interested, click on the “Conclusions” tab to find out all the details of the test
- The most interesting and graphic you will find in «Nameservers > Response Time. If you keep the “Sort Fastest First” option checked, you will see the best DNS in the test by their response time, status, the provider and their location.
It should be noted that this and other tests only offer information on performance in response time in resolving domains. It may be that others, even if they are slightly slower, could offer other advantages among those mentioned above as the greater security and privacy promised by the European public DNS that has given rise to this tutorial.
Finally, insist that the DNS change is not a panacea and its effects will always be limited by the speed and quality of the broadband service you have contracted. Also of the management of characteristics that you must carry out every time you install a new router. But you don’t lose anything by testing because these changes are fully reversible and are made in a few minutes. And sometimes they make a difference in the loading of web pages.