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Using alternate DNS servers to bypass censorship

Submitted by Karthik on 26 December, 2006 - 01:16

DNS constitutes one of the primary underpinnings of the Internet. Its fundamental use is to translate (or resolve) easily identifiable domains names to their inscrutable IP address counterparts.

Usually, when you click on a link or type in a URL, your computer contacts your ISP's DNS servers and asks it to get the IP address of the link, so that you can make contact with it. When your ISP decides to block a certain website, it might prefer to block/poison DNS requests for the site, rather than blocking the entire IP address. In such circumstances, using alternate, uncensored or "open" DNS servers can turn out to be an easy workaround.

Open or public DNS servers are something of a rarity due to reasons of security and frequent abuse. But, nevertheless there are still a few of them around.

The most popular and reliable of the lot are the ones provided by They are a free (albeit commercial) DNS service that will allow you to bypass querying your ISP's DNS servers, and thereby avoid any censors placed therein.

To use this service, change the DNS servers for your Internet connection to:


OpenDNS has a page detailing the steps to be followed on your operating system to point your connection to their DNS servers.

OpenDNS is one of the companies providing an alternative and free DNS service. However, as comments on this page have suggested and now, in my own personal experience, OpenDNS has started to censor a number of sites presumably to pander to their corporate clients.

Google, on the other hand, does not appear to be doing so. To use their servers, change the DNS settings for your Internet connection to:


Depending on the state of your ISP, you will very likely also notice quicker load times when you are browsing.


OpenDNS used to be uncencered and free, but now they are trying to make a buck selling themselves as a "filtering service" to coorporations.

Bloody sellouts!

If you don't provide some proof to back your claims that their standard DNS servers are being censored, then this has no validity.

from around 25 of Nov. 2010.
The US and some other governments seems to have disabled some torrent search engines and alleged illegal movie distribution sites, by substituting their IP addresses to their own website which displays a "take down" banner.

This clearly indicates the weaknesses and flaws of the current NIC systems. An authority can just walk in with a warrant and redirect traffic from anywhere from a central registry within their jurisdiction.