9 Public DNS services to browse Internet faster, safer

Many of you may have heard about different DNS services which claim to offer a faster and safer experience over the web by protecting you from Malware, phishing, bad content etc. right at the DNS server level. Today we will be trying to put together the free DNS  services available for FREE.

Just a small Introduction on how DNS works (Quoted from Clearcloud Forum)

It’s really a big phone book of all the IP addresses and website names, known as URLs (Universal Resource Locator), the address “name” of the website. It’s much easier to remember “www.sunbeltsoftware.com” than to remember “”

Every website URL has an IP address. Computers talk to each other using the numeric IP address, while us humans remember the address based on the URL.

(Imagine simply writing on an envelope, “John Doakes, my brother,” and the Post Office knows exactly what John Doakes it is. You can do it on the Internet as long as every website has its own URL, and they do.)

Keep in mind, the list below is not in any order. It is random and top one doesn’t mean its best. The services provided are almost same in general terms until you go for details. Hence I am not covering those general details.

1. OpenDns

I have already written about OpenDNS in much detail here and here. It is one of the best available DNS service which can be configured to a large extent to suit your needs like content filtering and phishing protection e.g protection from malware, phishing, Porn and much more. Read my previous post for more details.

One bad thing  or drawback about it is that, it is ad supported even though not in large extent. It will redirect you to OpenDNS search page if you make a typo mistake in the URL or the Website you want to browse is down.

Preferred DNS server :

Alternate DNS server:

2. Norton DNS

It is a free DNS service provided by Well know Symantec which are behind the whole range of Norton Products. They use the technology behind their security products to safeguard you online from threats like Malware, phishing etc.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

3. ClearCloud

I have talked about ClearCloud DNS service already few days back. If you want a robust security from Malicious stuff right at the DNS level, then this is for you. It blocks phishing sites, malware, trojans etc even before they can reach you.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

4.Google Public DNS

It is free DNS service provided by Google. If you want a faster browsing experience compared to your ISP DNS, you can use this.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

5. Comodo Secure DNS

It is a DNS service provided by COMODO. Comodo Secure DNS gives you a safer, smarter and faster Internet

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

6. DNS Advantage

It uses  UltraDNS Directory Services Platform of a mesh of fifteen (15) globally synchronized DNS network nodes located on five (5) continents. It does provide you protection from malware and phishing.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

7. Scrubit

Scrubit by default block out any pornographic, phishing, and many other potentially harmful sites. Users who wish to customize which sites are blocked and allowed may sign up for BETA and customize their ScrubIT.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

8. FoolDNS

If you are concerned over privacy, then this is for you. FoolDNS can destroy 90% of advertising, delete tracking cookies, avoid profiling with just one click, for FREE. It also provides you protection from Phishing and Malware.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:

9.DNS resolver

If you don’t like any DNS resolver that “alters” the traffic in any way, including typos and non-existent domains then DNSResolvers is for you. It does the job of  Pure DNS resolutions with no traffic shaping and no monetization.

Preferred DNS server:

Alternate DNS server:


The speed of browsing is dependent on the location of these servers and how far or near they are from you. So I cant make a general statement on how good or bad they are compared to others or even your own ISP.

You can use a simple tool called Namebench to find the fastest DNS server for you.

To use any of the above, You just need to change your DNS servers in TCP/IP configuration (LAN Properties normally). You can read the instructions on how to change DNS servers here.

Apart from speed, My recommendation :

For Content Filtering : use OpenDNS

For Protection against Malware, Phising etc : Clearcloud

For Privacy Concerns : FoolDNS

These are strictly my opinion and it can vary from person to person. So dont come gunnign at me if I forgot your Favorite.

Also, Keep in mind that some of the above like Open DNS, Fooldns also provide paid services bt free ones are good enough for personaluse.

I would like to hear from you guys if you are using any one of these services and how it works. Feel free to comment here.

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  1. Hi!

    Really good post Avinash, I think a lot of readers will find it useful.
    Myself started to get used to this a year ago when I began to use 3G Mobile Internet for my computer.
    It helps in make a benchmark of DNS in find the most fastest server to get highest speed.
    From been doing it frequently 2-3 times a week it seems also that it has changed over a year in which servers that is best when talking of speed. Also between month to month there might be smaller differences.

    When it comes to ClearCloud which is provided by Sunbelt (GFI), it makes me wondering..
    Why hasn’t this happen earlier from any of all these Antivirus vendors that suppose to know everything about security?

    In two years I’ve been using a software called HostsMan which uses similar blocklists of malicious websites from MVPS hosts and hpHosts among a couple more. It’s not without it made me think…
    “Doesn’t it look like that they made a copy of something that already exist and now tells that the idea is theirs”
    Ok the new ClearCloud DNS server might be theirs but from where did they get the blocked content?
    Is not that to steal others signatures or isn’t it?
    Should black blocked content be possible to barrow between vendors and other organisations online?
    Why is that ok but not to barrow others signatures?
    I mean both of it will protect the user in the long run so what.
    I’m just asking:) lol

    Wish everyone good sunshine!

    • @Emil,

      They claim to be part of DNS network and hence the technology to block stuff. Here is a small description quoted from their website.

      “ClearCloud knows the websites accessed by over a million safe programs and provides free passage to these sites.

      How does ClearCloud know which websites are malicious? We test them, every day. Each day we process from 100,000 to 1 million samples a day, and monitor what every sample does. Some of these samples are not malicious, but many are. Many of these samples try to “phone home,” and when they do, we capture that web address. ”

      Regarding sharing of signatures, I cant say much but the technology seem to be different than a normal anti-virus product. Correct me if i am wrong.

  2. Bad news..

    ClearCloud is going offline on September 1st 2011.
    So now what?
    With OpenDNS now retrospectively limiting all the free basic accounts to ONE network and wanting $$ for Enterprise/MSP account..

    They have proven the need, but not established a market, hence anything more costly than FREE is unacceptable to most small businesses.

    What do we do now?

    • We will wait till a similar robust services becomes available or try some of the other alternatives which may not be as good as the previous one.

Comments are closed.