The Internet, our digital window to the world, sometimes has blinds drawn on it by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, or organizations. The system can block access to certain websites due to various reasons ranging from geo-restrictions to legal issues. One solution often overlooked is changing the Domain Name System (DNS) settings. This article will elucidate the concept of using DNS to unblock everything and show you how to unblock DNS blocked websites on different systems, such as Windows 10, Windows 11, and more.
Before we dive into unblocking websites, let’s take a brief look at what DNS is. In simple terms, DNS acts like a phonebook for the Internet. When you type a website’s address into your browser, the DNS translates this human-friendly URL into an IP address, which your computer understands and uses to connect to the website’s server.
Sometimes, an ISP or government might choose to restrict access to certain websites by manipulating the DNS entries. This means that your computer can’t find the “phone number” it needs to call. One way around this is to use a different “phonebook,” or in technical terms, change your DNS server settings.
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Unblocking Websites through DNS
Private DNS servers can help you bypass these restrictions. These servers might have different entries or more updated entries, which can allow you to access the websites blocked by your default DNS.
Let’s look at how to change your DNS settings on various platforms.
Changing DNS on Windows
Here are steps for changing your DNS settings on Windows 11 or Windows 10:
- Click on the Start menu, then go to Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- In the panel on the left, choose Advanced network settings.
- Click on More network adapter options.
- Right-click your connection and choose Properties.
- In the list, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and click on Properties.
- Click the Use the following DNS server addresses radio button.
- Now, you can enter the IP addresses of your new DNS servers.
Changing DNS on Chrome
Google Chrome doesn’t have a built-in option to change DNS settings. But you can use a Chrome extension like SwitchyOmega to manage your Proxy and DNS settings. After installing one of these extensions, you can add your desired Proxy or DNS server to its settings.
Changing DNS on Routers
Changing DNS settings on your router can be slightly more complicated, and the exact steps can vary based on your router model. However, here’s a general guide:
- Open your router’s configuration page. You can do this by typing your router’s IP address into your browser. Common addresses are 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.
- Once logged in, find the DNS settings. These could be under Internet settings, Basic settings, or a similar category.
- Change the DNS servers to your preferred ones.
Note: When you change the DNS settings on your router, all devices connected to that router will use the new DNS servers.
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Best DNS Servers for Unblocking Everything
While there are many DNS servers available, some are better for unblocking content than others. Here are some private DNS servers that are popular for their unblocking capabilities:
- Google DNS: A free, high-speed DNS service that provides reliable unblocking. The DNS addresses are 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 for IPv4, and 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844 for IPv6.
- OpenDNS: A DNS service that provides additional features like phishing protection and content filtering. The DNS addresses are 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
- Cloudflare DNS: Known for its privacy-focused approach and fast speeds. The DNS addresses are 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 for IPv4, and 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001 for IPv6.
Using a DNS server to unblock blocked websites can be an effective technique. However, it’s essential to comprehend that changing your DNS settings merely adjusts the “phonebook” your device uses to locate websites. This change doesn’t render you anonymous or safeguard your online activities. Consequently, your online activities are still traceable, and your data remains vulnerable to interception.
In light of this, it might be advisable to consider the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) alongside DNS changes. VPNs offer a level of online privacy and security by encrypting your online traffic and concealing your IP address. Although free VPN services are available, they frequently have restrictions and can’t always be deemed reliable. Premium VPN services, on the other hand, generally provide superior performance and more robust security.
Another important point of consideration is the trustworthiness of your DNS provider. Changing your DNS settings implies that you choose a different entity to trust with your browsing data. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to do your due diligence in researching and selecting a reputable DNS provider.
Moreover, it’s vital to stay informed and aware of any potential legal implications. Although the usage of different DNS servers is typically legal, bypassing geo-restrictions is often viewed as a gray area, and accessing certain types of blocked content could entail legal consequences. It is advisable always to respect local laws and regulations when employing these techniques.