DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a system that translates human-readable domain names into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand. For example, when you type “google.com” into your web browser, the DNS server translates that domain name into the IP address of the Google server, allowing your computer to connect to the correct website.
DNS servers operate like a phone book for the internet, mapping domain names to IP addresses so that you can access websites using easy-to-remember names rather than long strings of numbers. DNS servers are an essential part of the internet, as they allow users to access websites using domain names rather than having to remember the numerical IP addresses of the servers hosting those websites.
DNS servers do not typically save data about a user’s preferences or browsing history. When a user accesses a website, the DNS server translates the domain name into the corresponding IP address, but it does not save any information about what pages the user visits or what they do on the website.
DNS servers are used primarily to translate domain names into IP addresses, not to track user activity or store data about user behaviour. Although some DNS servers may keep logs of DNS queries for maintenance or troubleshooting purposes, these logs typically do not contain information about the user’s activities on the internet.
There are other types of servers and technologies that may be used to track a user’s online activity and store data about their browsing history, such as web servers, cookies, and browser extensions. However, these are separate from DNS servers and are not related to the domain name resolution process.
Internet service providers (ISPs) typically operate their own DNS servers, which are used to resolve domain names for their customers. This means that the ISP has access to the DNS files and records on its own servers.
However, ISPs do not generally have access to the DNS records or files on other DNS servers around the internet. When a user accesses a website, their computer sends a request to the DNS server to resolve the domain name to an IP address. If the DNS server is operated by the user’s ISP, then the ISP would have access to the DNS records and files for that domain name. However, if the DNS server is operated by a different company or organization, the ISP would not have access to those DNS records and files.
In general, ISPs do not have access to the specific pages that a user visits or the content they access on the internet. They can see the domain names that a user accesses and the amount of data transferred, but they do not have access to the content of the websites that the user visits.
There are a few ways that a person can protect their DNS information:
- Use a DNS proxy: A DNS proxy, also known as a smart DNS or DNS VPN, is a service that encrypts and redirects your DNS queries through a secure server, protecting your DNS information from being logged or tracked by your ISP or other third parties.
- Use a DNS over HTTPS (DoH) service: DoH is a protocol that encrypts DNS queries and sends them over an HTTPS connection, making it more difficult for ISPs and other third parties to track or intercept your DNS information.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic, including your DNS queries, and routes it through a secure server. This makes it more difficult for ISPs and other third parties to track your online activity and access your DNS information.
- Use a private DNS server: Some operating systems, such as Android and iOS, allow you to specify a private DNS server that will handle your DNS queries. This can be a good option if you want to use a DNS server that is not operated by your ISP.
It’s important to note that while these options can help protect your DNS information, they may not provide complete protection. For example, a VPN may protect your DNS information from your ISP, but it may not protect it from being logged or tracked by the VPN provider. Therefore, it’s important to carefully research and choose a trusted service provider if you are concerned about protecting your DNS information.
To change the DNS to a private DNS, follow these steps:
- Open the network settings on your device. This will typically be found in the “Settings” or “Network & Internet” menu.
- Find the section for “DNS” or “Domain Name System.” This may be labelled differently depending on your device and operating system.
- Enter the IP address of the private DNS server that you want to use. This may be provided to you by the DNS service provider or obtained through other means.
- Save the changes to your network settings.
Keep in mind that changing the DNS server on your device will only affect the DNS resolution for that device. If you want to change the DNS server for your entire network, you will need to change the DNS settings on your router or network gateway. Consult the documentation for your router or network gateway for instructions on how to do this.
It’s also important to note that using a private DNS server may not provide complete protection for your DNS information. If you are concerned about protecting your DNS information, you may want to consider using a DNS proxy or a VPN in addition to a private DNS server.