Tip: Easily Change Your iOS DNS Settings

By default, your device automatically uses the DNS settings provided by your ISP. But you don’t have to use those settings, especially if you want something geared towards privacy. You may have known that it’s possible to change your DNS on a Mac, but did you know you can also change your iOS DNS?

Changing Your iOS DNS

First, a quick primer. DNS, or Domain Name System, is a type of system used to name any device or service connected to the internet. Most importantly, it translates numerical IP addresses to more human-friendly names, like macobserver.com.

Browser requests are sent to a DNS server controlled by a third party, usually your ISP. But it’s possible for your ISP to know which websites you visit, but also censor websites it doesn’t like. Thankfully, there are DNS services that are committed to privacy, and defeating censorship.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
  2. Navigate to Wi-Fi and find the network you’re connected to. Tap the blue “i” to the right of it. This is where you see the network settings.
  3. Look for the section called DNS. You can tap on the empty space, and type in the DNS primary and secondary server. Type in the primary address first, followed by a comma (no space), then the secondary server address.

That’s it.

iOS dns settings
Changing iOS DNS settings

DNS Services To Use

There are a variety of DNS services to choose from, and plenty of free ones. Here are several services you can use.

Google Public DNS
Primary Server:
Secondary Server:

Primary Server:
Secondary Server:

DNS Watch
Primary Server:
Secondary Server:

I’ve used all of the above DNS services, and they are all free to use. It doesn’t matter a whole lot which one you choose. Some services market themselves as “fast DNS,” but I’ve never noticed speed differences between services.

For my preference, I’ve been sticking to DNS Watch. They promise to protect your privacy by not logging your DNS queries or hijacking your browsing.

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