How to Use OpenDNS or Google DNS on Your Mac

Are you still using your internet provider’s DNS servers? You probably shouldn’t be. In most cases, ISP-provided DNS is slow, and occasionally goes down completely. Some even redirect unresolved URLs to a branded search page. Gross!

For these reasons, it’s better to instead use OpenDNS or Google’s DNS service instead of what your ISP offers. They’re more reliable, and in the case of OpenDNS, even offer extra features like content filtering, typo correction, anti-phishing, and child protection controls.

To take advantage of these services, you need to change the DNS servers on your Mac. Here’s how to do that.

First, head into the System Preferences, then click on the Network icon.

Then, select your network card on the left—in most cases, this will be Wi-Fi at the top of the list—and then click the Advanced button near the bottom right corner.

Once you’re there, switch over to the DNS tab, and you can start adding in DNS entries into the list. If you see entries that are grayed out, just ignore them, and click the + symbol at the bottom to add new ones.

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

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

That’s pretty much all there is to it! Click OK and your Mac will be using the new DNS servers.

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.