DNS

The Domain Name System is a naming system for computers. When you try to go to a website like MSN, Google, or Amazon, you’re connecting to another computer. DNS allows you to type in a name and your computer will find their computer so you can find what you’re looking for. Similar to how you would look up a name in a phonebook to find someone’s phone number, your computer has to look up the name you type in and get the other computers address.

There are many DNS servers on the internet and some are better than others. The one your internet service provider (ISP) uses is probably fine, but it likely doesn’t protect you from malicious websites, and they log all the websites your computer tries to connect to so they can sell that data.

Services like Quad9, and OpenDNS curate the websites they will provide addresses to, so if your device tries to connect to a known phishing, malware, or otherwise malicious website, it can’t because they won’t give you the address to connect. If you just want to avoid being tracked across the internet, using CloudFlare’s DNS will help here – they also offer an app to use it on mobile. Lastly, there’s Google DNS if you’re just looking for fast and reliable.

The best defense starts before the internet ever reaches your computer. Your router handles all the information coming to you and you can put it to work to help protect you by changing your DNS.

How to change your DNS provider:
Netgear Router
Linksys Router
TP Link

Here are the DNS addresses for each provider mentioned:
Quad9
9.9.9.9
149.112.112.112


OpenDNS
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220


CloudFlare

1.1.1.1
1.0.0.1


Google DNS

8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4