How to Find Your Primary & Secondary DNS: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding your primary and secondary Domain Name System (DNS) is like a modern-day treasure hunt. Completing this task allows your device to translate domain names into IP addresses, which helps in connecting you to the right website. It’s a simple process and, once done, can significantly improve your browsing experience.

After finding your DNS, you will have a better understanding of your network configuration and can make informed decisions about your internet connectivity. This could lead to a faster and more secure online experience.


In the vast world of the internet, DNS servers are like the friendly guides that help you reach your online destination. Think of them as the internet’s phone book; they match the website names you type into your browser with their corresponding IP addresses. Without them, you would have to memorize a string of numbers for every website you want to visit—sounds like a headache, right?

Finding your primary and secondary DNS servers is crucial because it can impact your internet speed and security. This information is particularly relevant to network administrators, IT professionals, and anyone who wants to optimize their internet connection or troubleshoot connectivity issues. Plus, understanding your DNS settings can help you protect your privacy and prevent cyber threats. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently navigate your network settings and discover your DNS servers like a pro.

Step by Step Tutorial on Finding Your Primary & Secondary DNS

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve. Identifying your primary and secondary DNS servers will reveal the gatekeepers of your internet traffic, which can offer insights into your network performance and security.

Step 1: Open Network Settings

The first step is to access your network settings on your device.

For most operating systems, this involves going into your device’s system preferences or control panel and locating the network or internet options. Here you will find various settings related to your connection.

Step 2: View Your Network Details

Once you’re in the network settings, look for your active connection and view its details.

This may require clicking on your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection and finding an option like ‘Properties’ or ‘Details’. This is where the treasure lies—your DNS server addresses.

Step 3: Record the DNS Server Addresses

The final step is to write down the DNS server addresses displayed in your network details.

You’ll typically see two sets of numbers: one for the primary DNS server and another for the secondary DNS server. These are what you’ve been looking for—the keys to your internet browsing kingdom.


Improved SpeedKnowing your DNS servers can help you optimize your internet speed. If you find that your current DNS is slow, you have the option to switch to a faster one.
Enhanced SecurityUnderstanding your DNS settings can lead to better security. It allows you to identify any unauthorized DNS servers that could be redirecting you to malicious sites.
Troubleshooting CapabilitiesIf you’re experiencing connectivity issues, knowing your DNS can help you troubleshoot. Sometimes, changing your DNS server can resolve these problems.


Limited ControlFor most people, the DNS server is automatically assigned by their internet service provider (ISP), and they have little control over it.
Potential DowntimeIf a DNS server goes down, it can disrupt your access to the internet until it’s resolved or until you switch to a different server.
Privacy ConcernsSome DNS servers may log your browsing history, which can be a privacy concern for some users.

Additional Information

When you’re on the hunt for your primary and secondary DNS, keep in mind that these servers are not set in stone. You can actually change them if you wish. Some alternate DNS servers, like Google’s and, offer potential speed and security benefits. Additionally, if you’re concerned about privacy, there are DNS options focused on user anonymity.

It’s also worth mentioning that some devices and networks may have different methods to access DNS information—for instance, on a smartphone or tablet, the process may vary slightly. If you’re in a corporate or education network setup, you may not be able to view or change your DNS settings without administrator access. But fear not, understanding the basics of finding your DNS is a universal skill that applies across most devices and networks.


  1. Access your network settings.
  2. View the details of your active connection.
  3. Record the displayed DNS server addresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it’s essentially the internet’s phone book. It translates human-friendly domain names into IP addresses that computers understand.

Why do I have a primary and secondary DNS?

Having a secondary DNS serves as a backup in case the primary DNS fails. This ensures that you can still access the internet without interruption.

Can I use any DNS server address?

Yes, you can, but it’s advisable to use trusted DNS servers to avoid security risks. Popular choices include DNS servers provided by Google or OpenDNS.

Will changing my DNS server speed up my internet?

It can, as some DNS servers respond more quickly than others. However, it’s not a guaranteed speed boost for everyone.

Is it safe to use a public DNS server?

Generally, yes, it’s safe to use a public DNS server from a reputable provider. It’s always a good idea to research and choose a DNS server known for its security and reliability.


Identifying your primary and secondary DNS is a small but powerful step in managing your online experience. Whether you’re a tech-savvy user looking to optimize your connection or someone who’s just curious about how the internet works, understanding DNS servers is a useful bit of knowledge.

Remember, navigating your network settings is not just about uncovering numbers—it’s about taking control of your digital journey. So, go ahead and explore your DNS settings, who knows what online adventures await?

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