Sometimes, when your favorite websites go "down," they're actually still right there. You just can't see them, because your computer doesn't know the route.

What if you could give your PC some better driving directions right now, in just a minute or two tops? What if this trick improved your privacy too?

To do that, you just need to change your DNS server.

What's a DNS server?
"" is just the street address of this website. To figure out the "driving directions," if you will, your computer contacts a special server (called DNS, for Domain Name System) to figure out the route. That server tells your web browser that "" actually means "". The number, known as an IP address, is a far better description of where CNET actually lives.

If your DNS server goes down... it's like your computer no longer has GPS! But you can simply switch to another public DNS server to resolve those issues.

How does a DNS server help with privacy?
By default, your computer probably reaches out to a DNS server controlled by your internet service provider (ISP), say Comcast or AT&T. That means they can easily see the websites you visit -- and because they've got your name and address, too, they could theoretically build a fairly complete profile of you.

If you use a DNS server provided by a different company, they might record that info too...but at least it'll be harder for them to figure out who exactly is browsing those websites, which could make the data less valuable.

And at least one DNS provider has sworn it won't keep a log: CloudFlare ( says it'll open itself up to third-party auditors to guarantee they aren't collecting data from you. ..... ......

Pub: Apr 10 2018 18:48 UTC
Edit: Apr 11 2018 20:53 UTC
Views: 149