Top 10 Best Public DNS Servers for 2024

Published on
best dns servers

With the extensive library of domains and webpages across the world wide web, you might think the internet is running on words. But the reality is that the sentences you write and read online have nothing to do with how your computer navigates the endless web pages of the internet. 

When you enter a website address in your browser, you're not actually telling your computer the physical location of the website. Computers only understand numbers, so the URL you type is only useful to the humans who are using the computer. 

To make sense of words, computers rely on Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate the URL into the actual IP address of the website's server. 

These servers come in all shapes and sizes and are central to how the internet works and how you navigate from page to page. 

What is a DNS server? 

A Domain Name System (DNS) server is a framework of internet infrastructure that translates domain names into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand. 

It’s basically the phone book of the internet, turning domain names like or into IP addresses that devices need to load internet resources and identify each other on a network. 

DNS servers help people navigate the internet by converting easily memorable domain names into the numerical language that computers and network devices can read ( like to send people to the correct web page.

There are many different DNS servers, and you can choose which one to use. Some popular options include Google Public DNS and Cloudflare DNS, but there are many different options out there to suit your needs. 

How do DNS Servers Work?

When you enter a website address in your browser, your computer doesn’t understand the domain name, so it sends a query to a DNS server. This server could be one provided by your internet service provider (ISP), or one you've chosen yourself.

The DNS server has a massive database that maps domain names to IP addresses. It searches its database for the IP address associated with the domain name you entered.

how do dns servers work
Role of a DNS server in connecting you to the internet.

Once the DNS server finds the IP address, it sends it back to your computer. Now that your computer knows the website's IP address, it can use that to establish a connection and send and receive data, allowing you to view the website.

Types of DNS servers

There are several types of DNS servers, each serving specific functions within the Domain Name System. Here are some of the main types:

  1. Recursive DNS Servers: These servers respond to DNS queries from devices by recursively resolving the requested domain names. They query multiple DNS servers in the hierarchy to find their information and return the final IP address to the device.
  2. Authoritative DNS Servers: Authoritative DNS servers hold the official and up-to-date information about a specific domain, including IP addresses associated with that domain. When queried, they provide the authoritative response for the requested domain.
  3. Caching DNS Servers: Caching DNS servers store previously resolved DNS queries for a certain period. When a client requests a domain name, the caching DNS server can provide the IP address directly from its cache, reducing the need to query other DNS servers.
  4. Forwarding DNS Servers: Forwarding DNS servers are configured to pass DNS queries to other DNS servers, usually those of an ISP or another trusted source. They forward queries on behalf of the client, aiming to improve DNS resolution efficiency and possibly provide additional services like content filtering or logging.

These four types of DNS servers work collaboratively to ensure the translation of human-readable domain names into numerical IP addresses.

Choosing a DNS Server

There are many different DNS servers available to use and you can choose which one to use. Some popular options include Google Public DNS and Cloudflare DNS, but there are all kinds of DNS servers out there to suit your needs. 

Choosing the best DNS server for your needs can significantly impact your internet experience, affecting website loading times, security, and privacy.

Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Speed. This is the most important factor for many users. You can Run DNS benchmark tests using tools like DNSLeakTest or Namebench to compare the response times of different servers. Consider your location and choose a server with nearby nodes for optimal performance.
  2. Reliability.  It’s best to opt for a server with a proven track record of uptime and minimal outages. Check online reviews and user feedback to gauge their reliability.
  3. SecuritySecurity-focused servers offer features like malware filtering and DNSSEC to protect you from malicious attacks and domain name spoofing. 
  4. Privacy. Some DNS servers log your browsing activity or sell your data to third parties. Choose privacy-oriented servers if you want to keep your data secure. 
  5. Features. Some servers offer additional features like parental controls, ad blocking, or content filtering. Choose a server that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Best DNS Servers 2024

There is a range of both public and private DNS servers available today, each with its own set of features, speeds and methods for helping you navigate the web as efficiently as possible.

In this top 10, we’re counting the best DNS servers for 2024. We’ll compare their speed, reliability and security so you can choose the best DNS for your needs.

Next DNS (

NextDNS takes DNS customization and security to the next level. Its DNS servers blocks a wide range of malicious domains, including those involved in malware, phishing, adware, and botnets. It uses real-time analysis to cut off access to malicious websites, blocks ads and web trackers and lets you implement a custom blocklist to protect kids who use your devices. It also provides DNSSEC validation, which helps prevent domain name spoofing attacks and ensures you're connecting to a legitimate website.

NextDNS has servers located around the world, ensuring fast and reliable performance regardless of your location While some of these premium servers are limited to paid users, it offers a free public option limited to 300,000 DNS queries a month. Once you hit the limit, NextDNS will still process your DNS requests, but you’ll lose access to its extra features.

OpenDNS (

Thanks to its global data centres and peering partnerships, Cisco’s OpenDNS is among the best-managed DNS solutions on the market today. The free service offers benefits such as 100% uptime, high speeds, blocking for phishing sites, and more. You can even access web-filtering strategies to block websites according to the kind of content they show.

Commercial plans for Open DNS give companies access to a history of their internet activity for up to a month at a time. OpenDNS also comes bundled with content filtering and malware/phishing protection. The Cisco Umbrella also provides protection against common threats like malware and ransomware for your peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry about your security when online. 

Verisign DNS (

Verisign is best known for offering domain services, including selling website domain names and delivering state-of-the-art security services, but it also offers managed DNS servers. The Verisign public DNS solution is a free-to-use service that enhances the stability and security of your online environment. 

Unlike other DNS services on the market, Verisign also promises to keep your browsing data private. Designed for those with a focus on stability and security, the Verisign public DNS service delivers a highly reliable platform with excellent protection against security flaws. What’s more, the service comes from a business that managed more than 354 million domain registrations in the first quarter of 2023. 

G-Core (

Currently ranked among the fastest-managed DNS servers in the world, G-Core is the go-to choice if you’re looking for speed and performance. The company has dedicated DNS servers in 60 cities across the globe to ensure people can access fantastic Edge-level browsing power and speeds no matter their location. 

With G-Core, companies also gain access to unique bonus features, like GeoDNS which allows different IP addresses to be delivered based on a user’s location. This means websites with a geographically wide set of visitors can segment traffic however they choose. G-Core's managed DNS service is very affordable, starting at just $0.50 per month. This makes it a great option for businesses of all sizes.

Oracle DNS (

A leading tool from a well-known name in the computer network space, Oracle’s DNS service allows users to create and manage their own custom DNS zones. Users can create bespoke zones, add records to certain zones, and use Oracle’s Infrastructure edge to handle a host of different DNS queries. There are multiple ways to access the DNS environment too. 

Users can access the DNS service using the Oracle Console DNS REST API from a supported browser. They can also set up administrators, and groups, which is ideal for businesses who want to give their employees access to different DNS settings based on security policies. There are also built-in monitoring capabilities for tracking the performance of the DNS environment.

NordVPN (

While it may be known for providing VPNs, NordVPN also operates a number of public DNS servers that are a great choice for protecting your privacy and keeping your data secure. Just like the top DNS servers on this list, NordVPN’s DNS servers are fast and t, encrypt all DNS requests to prevent potential leaks and ensure your browsing activity remains hidden from your ISP and other third parties. NordVPN apps also offer smart DNS as part of NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature, which automatically redirects your DNS queries to other DNS servers if the page you requested is not available in your region. 

NordVPN’s DNS servers do not filter your DNS queries by default, but you can implement DNS filtering against malicious domains with NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature if you wish. NordVPN's apps encrypt all DNS requests, preventing potential leaks and ensuring your browsing activity remains hidden from your ISP and other third parties.

Quad9 (

Quad9 is a free DNS service that replaces your default ISP or enterprise DNS configuration. When your computer performs any Internet transaction that uses the DNS, Quad9 blocks lookups of malicious host names from a range of d different threats. It blocks millions of malware and phishing domains per day, protecting you from harmful websites and online threats This n protects your computer, mobile device, or IoT systems against a wide range of threats such as malware, phishing, spyware, and botnets, and it can improve performance in addition to guaranteeing privacy.

The Quad9 DNS service is operated by the Swiss-based Quad9 Foundation, whose mission is to provide a safer and more robust Internet for everyone. The company has servers located around the world, providing fast and reliable performance regardless of your location.

Google Public DNS (

Google plays a massive role in most web-related products and services today, and DNS is no exception. Google’s Cloud DNS is a fantastic replacement for the typical ISP environment, offering lightning-fast browsing and enterprise-grade reliability It’s incredibly secure too, reserving user information only for troubleshooting and diagnostic purposes.

Driving Google’s DNS performance is the global network that the business has access to today, allowing for quick performance and excellent redundancy. If you already rely on Google for many of your web-based activities and services, then it makes sense to use the same environment for your DNS too. 

Comodo Secure DNS (

Comodo Secure DNS is an incredible managed DNS solution for internet gateway access that resolves your DNS requests through our worldwide network of redundant DNS servers. It provides some of the best DNS servers for online safety, blocking various phishing sites and warning users when they try to access sites with detected spyware and malware. There are also warnings for sites which have a large amount of advertising to keep browsing fast and efficient at all times. 

Comodo Secure DNS can also be integrated with the Comodo Dome Shield Service, which comes with extra security benefits and settings. The technology comes with on and off-network enforcement features, threat intelligence, and easy access for enterprise deployment in minutes. There’s also an intelligent system that automatically forwards users to the right location when they try to visit a domain that isn’t in use.

Cloudflare (

When Cloudflare built its DNS sercer in 2018, it promised to provide the “internet’s fastest directory” on the market and beat Google at both speed and privacy. Whether it did that is debatable. But there’s no doubt that Cloudflare is one of if not the fastest DNS providers on the market, offering DNS lockup speeds of 11ms on average and worldwide DNS propagation in no more than five seconds.

It takes privacy seriously, promising not to hold onto users’ browser data to serve users specific ads for more than 24 hours, something which other DNS providers haven’t been able to promise. The Cloudflare DNS also offers built-in DDoS protection and one-click DNSSEC to ensure your applications are always safeguarded from DNS attacks. With its user-friendly interface and easy-access API, users can get themselves set up quickly and manage all of their domains no matter where their internet properties are hosted.