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How to Setup Your Verizon FIOS Router with OpenDNS or Google DNS

Are you still using your service provider’s DNS servers? You might have heard about Comcast’s DNS servers dying and taking down the internet for anybody not using the more reliable OpenDNS or Google DNS. Here’s how to set it up on your Verizon FIOS router for every device on your network.

There’s lots of other reasons to use OpenDNS or Google DNS other than just their rock-solid reliability—they are often much faster than your ISP’s DNS server, and in the case of OpenDNS, there’s loads of extra features like content filtering, typo correction, anti-phishing, and child protection controls.

If you’re using Windows, be sure and check out some of our other articles on the subject:

Otherwise, keep reading for how to set it up on your router.

Setting Up OpenDNS or Google DNS for Your Verizon FIOS Router

Once you’ve logged into your router—if you don’t know the password, see our article on how to reset it to the default—go to the My Network icon, and then click Network Connections on the left menu.

Once you’re there, you’ll see a list of connections—this is where it’s important to choose the right one, which should say Broadband Connection or something similar, and there should be green text next to it saying “Connected”. Click the edit icon, or just click on the name to get to the edit screen.

Once you’re there, head to the Settings button at the bottom of the page.

Now you’ll find the DNS Server drop-down menu about halfway down the page, which you’ll want to change to “Use the Following DNS Server Addresses”.

After changing the drop-down menu, you’ll be able to enter in the DNS addresses in the next step. Make sure to click Apply after you’re done on each screen.

Switching to Google DNS

If you want to use Google’s DNS servers, you can add the following two items to the list:

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

Switching to OpenDNS

If you’d rather use OpenDNS instead, which has lots of extra features, you can use the following two entries:

  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220

Once you’ve entered the new DNS server addresses, you’ll need to disconnect any devices from the network and reconnect them for the change to take effect. You’ll might also notice that some devices will continue to show 192.168.1.1 as one of the DNS server addresses—but it should redirect properly to the other DNS server.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/20/10

Comments (15)

  1. bkj216

    Heh heh heh. Just like I asked. +1 to you all

  2. saudffs

    Thank you for this quick guide. I have used OpenDNS for a while but I switched to Google’s DNS to compare the two and I noticed that Google’s DNS made my connection feel faster but I’m not sure if it’s actually faster or I’m just imagining it, and the funny thing is that Googel’s DNS works better with the OpenDNS service which reports your ip address to your account at OpenDNS.com.

  3. Chronno S. Trigger

    @saudffs
    Google worked hard to make sure their DNS responses were the fastest possible. A fast DNS server can make your browsing faster especially if the site your going to references other sites. It’s common these days to require many DNS requests just to load one page.

    I also know that our slow DNS at work kills our browsing, I switched to Google’s DNS and that greatly helped. Even though our DC is my primary, I have a secondary to fall back on now when the primary times out.

  4. Frank

    Hi guys, a noob here…just curious, can this be done using any router? Why would I want to change my DNS settings? What are pros and cons of doing this? I absolutely love this site, thanks for your help in advance, looking forward to leaving my noob status 1 day.

  5. Eric

    My Verizon FIOS router only has a COAX connection active, The Ethernet connection is disabled. I don’t see an option to make this DNS change for the COAX connection. Any suggestions?

  6. Tom

    Does anyone use OpenDNS for primary and Google for Secondary? That would seem to be the best in terms of avoiding an outage.

  7. JackAsh

    DNS speed, like everything else on the Internet[work] is dependent, at least in part, by your geographic location. In other words, just because a DNS server is fast for one person, it doesn’t necessarily translate that it will be as fast for you. To find what may be your best DNS solution (reliability and speed), I strongly recommend that you visit this page: https://www.grc.com/dns/alternatives.htm.

    GRC is well known for high quality information on these subjects (and others), and can clear this issue up for many of you as well. In addition to the information on the page provided, GRC also offers a free tool called “DNS Benchmark,” which can automatically locate and recommend the best DNS solution for your area.

  8. che

    I want FIOS really bad, but it’s not available around my area.

  9. DJGray

    Frank, don’t ever feel bad about not knowing what you don’t know. The technology changes SO quickly that no one knows it all. Yes, you should be able to enter the DNS values in your router. Chances are it is set to automatically configure itself with values that are transmitted from your internet service provider, but there will be a screen in your router’s configuration which will allow you to override those values.

    The DNS numbers being discussed here are critical to your ability to browse the web. We use “friendly” addresses (domain names) in our web browsers because they are so much easier to remember. Which is easier? “howtogeek.com” or “208.43.115.82? You can type either of those in your browser, but the domain name is so much easier to remember.

    Every friendly name we remember and use actually corresponds to a dot delimited numerical value; an actual IP address. Every web server has a unique address just like your home has a unique address. That’s how information gets to your home, just as it does that web server. So, what’s necessary to make this work is a “translator” service. That’s what a DNS does. These are Domain Name Servers which keep track of the friendly names and their corresponding numerical values. There are thousands of these servers, and they talk to one another as we browse the web.

    When I type in “howtogeek.com” I am asking my DNS to change that to a numerical value. My DNS may not know, so it will ask other DNS’s “do you know who this is?” Someone out there will know, and eventually my request is routed to the correct web server. The beauty of good DNS software is that it can learn as it works, and become faster over time. Apparently, the OpenDNS and Google DNS services are faster than others. If this is correct, you will see reduced wait times as you browse the web.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Andrew

    If my device is showing 192.168.1.1 as my DNS server address, how can I be sure that my all my traffic is redirected to the OpenDNS server I chose to reconfigure my router for? If my computer is still report 192.168.1.1, is there a website I can go to to check which DNS server I’m really using?

  11. SHADOWTRAX

    Thanks DJGRAY. that explanation was complete to say the least. now how would I be able to remotely access a given computer in my network if it is nowhere near my lan without using a third party app. i have a mac, fios and an android phone. so if say someone stole my phone I could track it down from my mac.

  12. FIXED PROBLEM

    @ ERIC

    ive been tryng to figure this out

    You should be able to set the dns servers in the Home/network part not ethernet

  13. Chuck Kollars

    This does not actually work for me. It _appears_ to, but close examination shows nothing has actually changed. I’m outside Boston MA. Verizon FiOS in this area (and who knows how many others:-) intercepts _all_ port 53 traffic and redirects it to their own servers. The response packet is then munged in such a way that it _appears_ to have come from the DNS server you tried to reach.

    So you can’t tell from examining the exchanged packets that you’re actually talking to a Verizon DNS server despite the address you think you’re using. Since tools like `traceroute` don’t use port 53, their traffic is not redirected. So the net result is your actual DNS request packet goes to a _different_place_ than your `traceroute` indicatedit would …one more way it’s quite hard to determine that you’re actually not using the DNS server you think you are.

    Changing the addresses of the DNS servers in the Actiontec configuration is actually completely ineffective. _All_ DNS requests that go over the Verizon connection (fiber in this case), regardless of either source or destination addresses, are shunted into Verizon’s own DNS system.

    To make things even more confusing, the Verizon FiOS DNS servers currently (12 May 2011) actually make use of OpenDNS. So if you try to reach a non-existent name, you may see the OpenDNS page in your browser! So obviously even seeing that page is _not_ an indication you’re not using Verizon’s DNS servers.

  14. Chuck Kollars

    Please ignore my previous comment (I wish I could just delete it:-).

    My situation is greatly complicated by competing DNS settings in both the computer and the brouter, multiple brouters in series, and undocumented (mis)behavior by some brouter software versions. As a result although my problem is still unclear, what has become clear is it’s inapplicable to the majority of other systems.

  15. Jesus Jimenez

    1st off all I would like to thank you for a wonderful website you have created it really is my only site I come for How To stuff great work!!

    2nd You are a life saver I was trying to figure out how to implement this on my Verizon router and this nail it thank you so much..

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