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Solved: Change DNS Servers?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by DKTaber, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    PC World's January 2012 issue contained an article by Marco Chiappetta about improving Internet speed by changing DNS servers. I downloaded and ran the suggested "Namebench" software that tests several thousand servers for response times, and it came up with the following:

    Fastest: 192.168.0.1 (my router, which is how BOTH my Win 7 laptop AND my XP desktop wirelessly connect to the Internet)
    Secondary: 71.252.0.12 Verizon NSRest US
    Tertiary: 216.146.35.35 DynGuide

    The article provides instructions for changing the router to use the fastest server (Verizon). But like most PC World articles, the instructions don't fit what I see for my router settings. It says to log into the router, go to Network Settings and look for 'Network address server' or 'DHCP' settings, "or the like", and enter the IP address for the fastest DNS servers. What I find under DHCP Server Settings is as follows:

    DHCP IP Address Range: 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199

    That's not a server address range; it's the range for my router address. The only other IP address anywhere in that tab is under "Router Settings" where it shows "Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0" -- whatever that is.

    So what is it that I need to change to use the fastest server?. Do I only need to enter it into the router settings to force both computers to access that server or do I ALSO have to change something in the network settings on the computers themselves? Or is this something that has the potential to permanently/irrevocably screw up my Internet connection and I'd be better off to forget doing anything?
     
  2. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I would read you router manual. You probably need to set it on the WAN interface but I could be wrong.

    You can also set the DNS server addresses on your PC in the TCP/IP settings of your Network connection.
     
  3. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    The manual is probably fine for someone who has in-depth know-how for internet connectivity, but not for me. The only hint from the manual that I have to manually change the DHCP server in both computers and NOT in the router is this statement:

    Enter the starting and ending IP addresses for the DHCP server’s IP assignment.
    Note: If you statically (manually) assign IP addresses to your computers or devices, make sure the IP addresses are outside of this range or you may have an IP conflict.


    This conflicts with the PC World article, which says, "To make all your networked systems (regardless of OS) use the same servers, you must change router settings."
     
  4. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    Well nobody here knows what the make and model router you use so it is going to be really hard for anyone to assist you with your Router settings.

    If you only have two computers on your network it would just as easy to set the DNS server addresses on your PC. This is what I do for my kids computers because their computers use the DNS server addresses from OpenDNS. This is to help protect them from going to websites they shouldn't be going to.
     
  5. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    The router is a D-Link DIR-601 150N. I just changed the settings for my Win 7 laptop's network connections to the two fastest server IP addresses (primary and alternate). I've only had a few minutes to see if the Internet connections are faster, but they appear to be. Matter of fact, pages seem to be opening in half the time (!) they used to take. Have to use it for a few days to see if it's real or just due to the time of day or something like that.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Most routers seem to default to assigning themselves as the DNS server to client devices. Some (e.g., Linksys) default to passing on the DNS server in their WAN section. A few allow you to change this default. My D-Link DIR-615 defaults to assigning itself, and there is no way to change that.

    My DIR-615 does permit assigning DNS server(s) to the WAN section even when using dynamic addressing (see attachment). Yours probably does also, but I'm just guessing. (I haven't assigned any, so it means my computers are using the ISP assigned servers by going through the router.)
     

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  7. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    The picture attached to your message was very helpful, so I now know exactly where to make the changes -- if I make them at all. I'm finding that Namebench doesn't come up with the same servers as the fastest and 2nd fastest every time. The PC World article didn't say anything about running it several times to see what comes up the most. . . but it makes sense that it would change from moment to moment depending on how busy the servers are, traffic to and from, etc. The differences, however, are minor. E.g., first run said the fastest server was 71.252.0.12 and the 2nd was 216.146.35.35. Next run says the fastest is 216.146.36.36 and the 2nd fastest was 71.252.0.12. Among these, I suspect it's a case of tweedle-dee vs. tweedle-dum, i.e., it makes no discernible difference which of the three you use, or which of the three you make primary.
     
  8. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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  9. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Thanks to both of you for the fine advice. I think I'm going to put this thread to bed. I just ran Namebench two more times, and it comes up with a different server for the primary, and sometimes different for both primary and secondary, each time. So it's obvious to me that the fastest and 2nd fastest server depends on when you run the program. But over several runs, many of the same servers are on the list -- sometimes 1st, sometimes 6th -- so if you pick any in the top half of the list, you're going to get reasonably good speed.

    Will mark thread as 'solved'.
     
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