Free vs. Paid DNS Servers

Free DNS servers are typically provided by organizations or individuals as a public service, while paid DNS servers are offered by commercial companies and typically include additional features and support. Some benefits of using a paid DNS service include increased reliability, faster performance, and more advanced features such as DDoS protection and real-time analytics. However, free DNS services can still be a viable option for individuals or small businesses that do not require these additional features. Paid DNS services typically offer a variety of advanced features and services, such as:

  • Advanced security features, such as DDoS protection and DNSSEC
  • Increased performance and reliability through Anycast routing and global server networks
  • Increased control over DNS records, including the ability to create custom records and make real-time updates
  • Advanced analytics and reporting, including statistics on DNS queries and the ability to troubleshoot issues
  • Technical support and assistance with configuring and managing DNS settings.

What is DNS Cache Poisoning?

In a cyberattack known as DNS spoofing or DNS cache poisoning, incorrect DNS records are injected to corrupt the DNS resolver’s cache. Due to this, users are redirected to a malicious website when the resolver returns an incorrect IP address for a domain name. DNS cache poisoning has the potential to spread malware, steal login credentials, and perform other harmful actions. Strong security measures must be in place to guard against DNS cache poisoning.

What is flush DNS and how does it operate?

Flushing DNS is a method of clearing the local DNS cache, which is stored on a computer or device. The DNS cache contains a record of all recent DNS lookups so that the device can quickly resolve a domain name to an IP address without having to query the DNS server again. When a user flushes their DNS cache, they are essentially clearing out the stored information and forcing their device to retrieve new information from the DNS server. There are a few different ways to flush the DNS cache, depending on the operating system you are using.

On Windows:

  • Press Windows+ R
  • In the window that appears, type cmd, and then click OK.
  • type “ipconfig /flushdns” to flush the DNS cache.

On macOS:

  • Open the Terminal and type “sudo dscacheutil flushcache” to flush the DNS cache.

On Linux:

  • Open the terminal and type “sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart” to flush the DNS cache.

It’s important to keep in mind that flushing the DNS cache will clear all stored information, so your device may take longer to resolve domain names until the cache is repopulated.

Access Issues

Although we stated that the DNS system matches the IP address and domain name, IP address changes can occasionally take place. In most cases, when we transfer the domain name to another organization, the name server is changed. This results in access issues because the IP address and the domain name record stored in your DNS cache memory are different. Your access issue will be resolved by your operating system issuing a new DNS query after clearing this record with the Flush DNS operation and receiving the most recent IP address information from the DNS system.

Security

If your privacy is essential to you, clearing the visit history in your browser might not be enough. You can increase privacy by flushing your DNS records using the Flush DNS operation. Flushing DNS records can help protect your privacy by eliminating traceable visits stored in your computer cache.

Cyber security

Cyber attacks can potentially affect DNS records in several ways, including:

  1. DNS cache poisoning: This type of attack involves injecting false DNS information into a DNS cache, redirecting users to a malicious website rather than the legitimate one. This type of attack can be used to steal personal information or spread malware.
  1. DNS hijacking: This type of attack involves taking control of a domain name’s DNS records, redirecting traffic intended for the legitimate website to a malicious site. It operates by compromising the registrar account or exploiting vulnerabilities in DNS servers.
  1. DDoS attacks on DNS servers: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can overload and take down DNS servers, preventing users from accessing the websites and services associated with the targeted domain names.

DNS flush can help mitigate the effects of these types of cyber attacks. This process involves clearing the DNS cache on a local computer or network and removing any potentially malicious DNS information. It’s important to note that DNS flush is a local solution, and it does not fix the problem at the root cause of the issue, which is the DNS server. If a DNS server is compromised, it’s critical to contact the service provider to take the necessary actions.

What exactly is the DNS Speed test and how does it work?

The time it takes for a device to look up a domain name’s IP address using a DNS server is measured by a technique called the “DNS speed test.” A typical test involves timing the transmission of a request to a DNS server and the subsequent receipt of a response. There are two methods for performing the test: by going to a website that provides the service and by utilizing a command-line tool. You can test the speed of your DNS server and other well-known servers using a convenient program. The DNS Benchmark program is ready for the speed test once you have installed it. Then, follow the steps below:

  • Launch the DNS Benchmark program.
  • Activate the Name Servers tab.
  • Make sure Show Uncached and Sort Fastest First are both selected. Then, click the Run Benchmark button.
  • IP addresses of the servers will appear on the screen.
  • The red line indicates the Ping Time; the shorter the Ping time, the quicker the DNS server.
  • You can pick the server that responds to a ping quickly.

dns benchmark

What is DNS leak?

A DNS leak occurs when a device or application uses a DNS server other than the one specified by the user or administrator. It might happen when a VPN connection is improperly set up or when malware modifies the device’s DNS settings. A DNS leak can reveal a user’s browsing history, location, and other sensitive information, potentially compromising their privacy and security.

How can I perform a DNS leak test?

To perform a DNS leak test, open your web browser and navigate to ipleak.net or dnsleaktest.com. These websites will display the DNS server(s) that your device is currently using, and if they match the ones provided by your VPN, no leak occurred. If any other DNS server(s) is displayed, it indicates that your device is leaking DNS requests and that your IP address and location may be exposed.

DNS vs. TLS

DNS (Domain Name System) is a system used to translate domain names (such as www.example.com) into IP addresses (such as 192.0.2.1) that computers can understand. DNS allows users to access websites and other resources using human-friendly domain names instead of having to remember IP addresses. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a protocol to secure communications over the internet. It is the successor to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and is used to encrypt the data sent between a web server and a web browser. TLS helps protect sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers, from being intercepted and read by attackers. In summary, DNS is used for resolving domain names to IP addresses, while TLS is used for encrypting the communication between the client and server.

DNS vs.HTTPS?

HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is a protocol to secure communications over the internet. It is based on HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and uses secure SSL/TLS encryption to encrypt the data sent between a web server and a web browser. HTTPS provides authentication of the website and the server and protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. In summary, DNS is used to resolve domain names to IP addresses, whereas HTTPS is used to encrypt client-server communication and authenticate the website. HTTPS also provides an added layer of security by verifying the identity of the website and server.

What is DNSSEC?

DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions) is a set of security extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS) that help to protect against certain types of cyber attacks, such as DNS cache poisoning. It provides a mechanism for authenticating DNS data and ensuring that the information returned by a DNS query matches the information provided by the authoritative source. DNSSEC uses digital signatures and public key encryption to ensure the authenticity and integrity of DNS data. It introduces two new resource record types to the DNS: DNSKEY and RRSIG records, which store the public key and digital signature, respectively. This mechanism helps to prevent attackers from redirecting users to fake websites or intercepting sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers. Although DNSSEC is an optional protocol and not all domain names are signed, it is still advised that businesses secure their domain with DNSSEC.

DNS vs. IP address

DNS and IP addresses are related but serve different purposes. DNS is a system used to translate human-friendly domain names (such as www.fastpanda.co.uk) into IP addresses (such as 192.168.0.1) that computers use to identify each other on a network. It acts as a sort of “phone book” for the internet. On the other hand, IP addresses are numerical labels given to every component attached to a computer network that employs the Internet Protocol. They are the unique address that identifies a device on a network. In summary, DNS is used to convert domain names to IP addresses to locate websites, while IP addresses identify devices on a network.

DNS Issues and Their Causes

There are several issues that can arise with DNS and several causes for these issues. Some common DNS issues and their causes include:

DNS resolution errors

When a DNS server can’t resolve a domain name to an IP address, DNS resolution errors happen. Several factors, such as incorrect DNS server configurations, issues with the DNS server itself, or problems with the network connection, can contribute to these errors.

DNS propagation delay

DNS propagation delay happens when modifications to DNS records propagate slowly to all DNS servers worldwide. It might take up to 48 hours for this routine process to complete.

DNS cache poisoning

DNs cache poisoning occurs when an attacker inserts false information into a DNS cache, causing the DNS server to return the wrong IP address for a domain name. A number of factors, such as flaws in DNS software or a lack of security precautions to guard against such attacks, can contribute to this error.

DNS server downtime

DNS server downtime occurs when a server becomes unavailable, preventing users from accessing websites or other resources. A variety of factors, including hardware or software failures, network outages, or issues with the DNS server’s power supply, can contribute to this error.

DNS hijacking

DNS hijacking occurs when an attacker is able to take control of a DNS server, redirecting users to a different website or IP address. A number of factors, such as weaknesses in DNS software, a lack of security measures in place to protect against such attacks, and social engineering tactics, can contribute to this error. These are among the more common DNS problems, but there could be others. To avoid any long-term service interruption, it is crucial to regularly monitor the DNS service and troubleshoot issues as soon as they arise.

FAQs

How can I find my DNS?

DNS lookup can help you find your DNS address: On Windows:

  • Press Windows + R
  • In the window that appears, enter cmd, then click OK.
  • Once again, enter the command ipconfig /all|findstr “DNS Servers” in the window that appears.

macos On macOS:

  • Enter Command + Space
  • Enter the word “Terminal” into the newly opened window.
  • Run the terminal program.
  • On the terminal’s screen, type “nslookup google.com” and press Enter.

Should I Use Private DNS?

Whether or not you should use private DNS depends on your specific use case and security needs. Private DNS allows you to host your DNS server, which can provide additional security and privacy features such as DNSSEC, DNS over HTTPS, and access controls. However, it also requires additional management and maintenance. If you are concerned about the security and privacy of your DNS queries, or if you need to implement custom DNS settings, then private DNS may be a good option. The default DNS settings offered by your ISP or DNS provider may be sufficient for you, so you may not need to change them.

Is Changing DNS Safe?

Although it is generally secure to change your DNS settings, it is crucial to use a reliable DNS service. Some DNS services might not be safe, putting you at risk of visiting malicious websites or phishing scams. Additionally, incorrect DNS settings can cause connectivity issues and prevent you from accessing certain websites. It is always a good idea to backup your current DNS settings before making any changes and to test your new settings to ensure they are working properly.

What is the fastest DNS system available?

Several DNS systems are known for their fast performance, but the specific fastest DNS system may vary depending on your location and internet service provider. Some popular DNS services known for their fast performance include Google Public DNS, Cloudflare DNS, OpenDNS, and Quad9. These services have a global network of servers that can quickly resolve DNS queries. These services have a global network of servers that can quickly resolve DNS queries, leading to faster web page load times. However, it is necessary to note that the fastest DNS for you may not be the fastest for others, as it may depend on factors such as location and network conditions.

What is Google DNS?

You can use Google Public DNS, a free, worldwide Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service, as an alternative to your current DNS provider. By offering a quicker and more dependable DNS service, Google provides a free service to increase the Internet’s speed and security. The IP addresses for Google Public DNS are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

What is Cloudflare DNS?

Cloudflare DNS focuses on securing and improving the performance of websites and offers a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service. Using Cloudflare DNS may help you increase your internet connection speed and online security. The IP addresses for Cloudflare DNS are 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1.

What are the most common DNS errors?

DNS (Domain Name System) errors can cause several issues when trying to access websites. Common errors include:

  •  DNS Server Not Responding

This error occurs when your computer can’t communicate with the DNS server.

  • DNS Lookup Failed

This error occurs when the DNS server can’t resolve the domain name you are trying to access.

  • Server not found

This error occurs when the DNS server can’t find the IP address of the website you are trying to access.

  • NXDOMAIN

This error occurs when the domain name you are trying to access does not exist.

  • Timeout

This error occurs when the DNS server takes too long to respond to a query.

  • Incorrect IP address

This error occurs when the DNS server returns the wrong IP address for a domain name.

  • DNS Cache Poisoning

This is a malicious attack where an attacker changes the DNS information stored in a DNS cache, causing users to direct to a different website than the one they intended to visit.