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DNS Explained, And How To Change DNS Address Manually on iPhone, iPad in iOS 8

Last updated: October 3, 2014 at 9:42 am

In this tutorial you will learn how to find the location of the DNS server settings on your iOS device and then how to input the DNS server addresses (those numbers with decimal points) on iPhone and iPad. We will also explain to you the basics, the whys, and the hows of DNS just to refresh your memory.

Introduction: DNS Explained in Simple Language

So what does DNS server actually do? It maps a name to an IP address.

Too complicated? Let’s make it simple. For example, imagine you are setting up a brand new Apple iPhone for the first time, and you are adding your friend’s phone numbers into the iPhone’s address book. You can probably remember a few phone numbers but not all. So what can you do?

You need to add a name to that phone number. Obvious, right? So the next time when you tap on your friend’s name, your iPhone will make the call automatically. Note that remembering names is easier than phone numbers.

DNS servers, too, work in the same way. You type in a website address and the DNS server will find the IP address and connect you to the website. You don’t have to note down the IP address of a website – the DNS server will take care of it, just like the iPhone takes cares of your contacts.

Fun Fact: Before DNS came into existence, we had to enter the IP address and a name in a local file called hosts file. Want to learn more? See Wikipedia’s article on Domain Name System.

So What Does This DNS Has to Do With Apple iPhones and iPads?

Your ISP (Internet Service Providers) operates a DNS server. So whenever you are connecting iPhones and iPads to the Internet, you are essentially requesting your ISP’s DNS server.

However, some DNS servers can perform poorly, resulting in a number of problems. You will not be able to connect your iPhone or iPad to the Internet, or the website you have been trying to access loads very slowly.

Now, with iOS 8, we have yet another problem of WiFi connectivity — users have been frustrated with the sluggish Internet and frequent connection drops. Of course, Apple has to solve this problem, but a temporary fix is to use a different DNS server.

To do this, you need the address of the DNS server.

Finding The DNS Settings To Change DNS Address In iOS Devices

Overview: By default, your ISP automatically assigns a DNS address to the device you use to connect to the Internet. You don’t have to configure or make any changes, but you can remove this address and replace it with another one to reduce network problems.

What You Need: Any Apple device running iOS software (it can be iOS 6, 7, 8). Next, you need to connect your device to a WiFi network. As a side note, remember that you cannot change the DNS server addresses of any 4G/3G/2G/EDGE/GPRS cellular data network.

Steps To Follow:

Step 1: From your iOS device, go to Settings -> Wi-Fi
Step 2: Make sure you are connect to your router’s WiFi network
Step 3: Tap on the “i” button next to the connectivity symbol (screenshot below)
Step 4: Under IP ADDRESS, you will notice three tabs: DHCP, BootIP, Static
Step 5: Under DHCP, you will notice DNS
Step 6: Tap to the right of the DNS row to change or manually add the DNS addresses

DNS-Settings-iOS8

Example:

Many companies provide DNS server addresses, and we can use these third-party addresses for our own benefits. For example, Google offers a public DNS address that is 100% free to use, solves many network-related problems, and forces the site’s to load quickly on your device.

The address of the Google’s DNS servers are:

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

Note that we have two DNS addresses that must be entered under the DHCP settings. You will also realize that the iOS device has only one row for input. So how can we add two DNS addresses then? You have to separate each with a comma as shown below:

DNS-Addresses-iPhone

More Third-Party DNS Addresses

Following are some of the popular free DNS addresses you can test and use on your iPhone and iPad.

Tip 1: We recommend you take a screenshot of the current DNS server addresses before changing to a new one. You can read this short tutorial: Take a screenshot on your iPhone.

Tip 2: If you want to flush DNS cache, or if the DNS changes are not reflected on your device, then we recommend you to reset the network. You can read this tutorial: How To Use Reset Network Settings in iOS 8

Common Questions

Is it safe to remove the DNS address?
Answer: Yes, absolutely.

What if my Internet slows down?
Answer: You can always change back to the old DNS addresses.

Can I leave the DNS address blank?
Answer: Yes, your ISP will automatically obtain a DNS address.

Note: Articles written at iOS8release.com are valid for every Apple device running iOS 8.0, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 8.4 / 8.4.1 firmware