Google Public DNS

Best Free Alternatives to Google Public DNS

Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

In this series, we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything.

SearchingA DNS, short for domain name system, is used to resolve a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. Domain names (e.g. are easily remembered but all domain names are associated with a specific IP address. These IP address lookups are performed by DNS servers.

Choosing a reliable DNS hosting provider is important for a few reasons particularly redundancy, speed, and security. They can improve web browsing experience, offer accurate results without redirects, and more.

Your ISP automatically assigns name servers when your router connects to the internet but you don’t have to use those. Google Public DNS offers a simple and effective alternative to your own internet provider’s nameservers. Google’s service logs IP address information for a day or two. There are permanent logs kept but personally identifiable information is removed. Google doesn’t offer any tangible support. Instead there’s only basic guidance aimed at experienced users.

DNSIn the EU, in most cases your own internet provider’s name servers are recommended to use instead of Google Public DNS, or any other DNS service. But in some parts of the world you may prefer to delegate the lookups to a different service.

There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.

OpenDNS offers a free service with good speed, 100% uptime, phishing sites are blocked, and there’s over 50 customizable filtering categories. OpenDNS has adopted and supports the DNSCurve secure protocol.

Another good free service is offered by NextDNS. They provide a fast service together with EDNS0 Client Subnet (ECS). We admire their NextDNS CLI Client which is a DNS53 to DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) proxy with advanced capabilities.

Quad9 is a fairly new DNS company that offers malware blocking, DNSSEC validation, and ECS. However, it’s disappointing that setup guidance is very basic with no tutorials available for Linux. But most experienced Linux users won’t need guidance to use the service.

All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Google's Products and Services
GmailEmail is an essential activity and starts the ball rolling in this series
MapsWeb mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, +
PhotosStore your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere
TranslateMultilingual neural machine translation service
CalendarManage your busy life with a digital calendar
ChromeApplication software for accessing the World Wide Web
SearchPrivacy-focused alternatives to Google Search
DriveFile storage and synchronization service
Earth ProMaps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS
DNSResolve a particular domain name to its IP equivalent
YouTubeOnline video sharing and social media platform l
Google DocsWeb-based productivity office suite

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Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
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Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
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  1. You can use the dig command to gather DNS information. I had a lot of DNS issues which dig helped to diagnose. All my problems disappeared when I moved away from my ISP’s nameservers.

    It might have been a temporary issue as I’ve never moved used their nameservers again. But even if it’s only a temporary issue, it’s worth understanding the dig command.

    That’s my 2c.

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