Best DNS Servers for Online Gaming
In the fast-paced world of online gaming, every millisecond counts. Gamers understand the significance of low latency, high-speed connections, and secure networks, which ensure a seamless gaming experience. One often overlooked but critical element in this equation is Domain Name System (DNS) servers.
As a whole, DNS is the Internet’s phonebook, linking domain names to IP addresses. In this article, we’ll delve into the realm of DNS servers for gaming, explore how they work, guide you in choosing the best one, and provide you with a review of top contenders. So, gear up as we unlock the secrets to enhancing the performance of the gaming network you’re using through optimal DNS server selection.
What Are DNS Servers in Gaming?
DNS servers link domain names to IP addresses. For instance, if you type a domain name in your browser, let’s say blueVPS.com, a DNS looks for the appropriate IP address for that website and uses the IP to connect to the origin server and access the website. Without DNS servers, we’d have to memorize the IP addresses of websites in order to access them.
In the context of online gaming, DNS servers play a crucial role in connecting your gaming device to the game servers. When you start a connection to a game server, your device needs to resolve the server’s domain name to an IP address. The efficiency of this process can impact the speed and stability of your gaming experience.
So, choosing the right DNS server for gaming ensures that this translation happens quickly, reducing the time it takes for your device to communicate with the game servers. Also, customizing DNS can help you improve download and upload speeds, which results in high-speed servers, reduced ping in games, and better gameplay.
However, there are a few more reasons why gamers need a DNS for gaming, including the following:
- Faster page loads because of low query times;
- Enhanced security that protects users from phishing;
- Better Internet connection speed and quality if the server location is close to you;
- Decreases ping, jitter, and packet loss.
How Do DNS Servers in Gaming Work?
DNS servers are what connect your gaming device(s) to your desired website or gaming server. They read the domain name you enter to reach the server or website from your device, translate it into the corresponding IP address, and connect you to it.
DNS can also be used for load balancing across multiple servers. Game developers and service providers often use it to distribute incoming game server connections evenly, ensuring that no single server becomes overloaded with traffic. DNS servers can also help route your connection to the nearest game server based on your geographic location. This gives you low latency and improves your overall gaming experience by giving you access to a server with lower ping.
DNS servers can filter out malicious content and protect gamers from potential threats. Some gaming platforms use DNS-based security measures to block access to known malicious domains and prevent phishing attacks.
How to Choose the Best DNS Servers for Gaming
Now that you understand the role of DNS servers in gaming let’s explore the criteria for selecting the best ones:
Choose DNS servers with a global presence located closer to you so that the distance between your gaming device and server is reduced. Proximity minimizes latency, ensuring quicker data transfers and faster response times in-game. So, by choosing a DNS server closer to you, you’ll get low latency and reduced ping in games.
Speed is crucial when choosing a DNS server. The faster the DNS server can process requests and provide responses, the better the overall gaming experience you’ll have. You can use speed-testing tools to see how fast a DNS server is.
Secure DNS for gamers is crucial. A good DNS server must be able to protect you from malware, phishing, viruses, and DDoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Look for security features like DNS over HTTPS (DoH) or DNS over TLS (DoT). These encryption protocols add an extra layer of security to your gaming sessions and protect your device(s).
Look for a DNS server that offers high reliability and uptime. An uptime of 99.9% is the industry standard, while an uptime of 99.99% or more is considered ideal. Reliable DNS servers ensure uninterrupted gameplay, as they minimize delays and downtimes.
Opt for DNS servers optimized for gaming to get low latency connections and faster gameplay. Gaming-optimized DNS servers achieve low latency by minimizing the delay between your actions and the server’s response. This is especially important for fast-paced, competitive games.
Top DNS Servers for Online Gaming
Some of the best DNS server options for online gaming include the following:
Google Public DNS
Google Public DNS was launched in 2009 by Google. It is one of the best DNS servers for gaming, offering superb Internet connection speeds and reliability. Many users praise its speed, which is crucial for online gaming. Also, Google Public DNS supports IPv6 connectivity, so if you need it, it’s a great solution for you. This DNS server is also great for security, as it prevents cache poisoning and DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
- Provides lightning-fast DNS resolution;
- Improves website loading times;
- Minimal downtime;
- It supports DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT);
- Setting it up is easy;
- You’ll get access to DNS servers all over the world.
- It doesn’t provide many customization options.
Cloudflare has servers in 250 cities, which means that it’ll give you excellent speeds and low ping as you’ll find a server closer to your location. Also, its DNS is super reliable and secure, as Cloudflare DNS is a private server and includes many built-in security features, such as DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT). Many VPS providers also use Cloudflare to improve the speed of their web hosting services and provide a better experience for users.
- Fast speed and great uptime;
- Enhanced security and privacy;
- It will protect you from various online threats;
- It gives you access to unfiltered content.
- You must be careful when opening websites since you’ll get unfiltered content access.
Quad9 DNS offers fast speeds and great reliability, ensuring a lag-free gaming experience. This is possible thanks to the amount of servers it has, which are located in 150 locations in 90 different countries. It also has a built-in filter and monitor that catches malicious activities and prevents them from infecting your gaming device(s). Also, it’s free to use.
- You can use it for free;
- It prioritizes security and blocks access to known malicious websites;
- It doesn’t log any of your personal information;
- It is easy to use, even for those with no prior DNS experience;
- Quad9 has servers in 150 locations in 90 countries.
- Sometimes, it flags legitimate websites as false positives and blocks you from accessing them.
DNS.WATCH is a free DNS server that offers a lag-free gaming experience and is available on multiple devices, including PC, Mac, and Linux devices, as well as PS4 and PS5 consoles. It also comes with super fast speeds and has a zero data retention policy, which ensures that none of your personally identifiable information is logged.
- Free of charge;
- It works great on multiple devices;
- It offers stable and smooth Internet connections;
- You’ll get unrestricted Internet access.
- It doesn’t have as many servers worldwide as some of the other DNS server providers.
Cisco Umbrella, formerly known as OpenDNS, is ideal for users who want multiple controls. It allows you to control various DNS servers and customize all of them as you want. Also, Cisco Umbrella is one of the best options when it comes to customizability, and it supports various deployment options, including on-network appliances, roaming clients, and more.
There are two available versions – Personal and Business, with the Personal option being the better option for gaming. You can use Cisco Umbrella for free, except for some features that you need to pay for if you need them.
- Excellent for customizability;
- It offers excellent security features, such as advanced threat protection;
- It suits organizations with diverse network architectures.
- It is harder to use compared to other DNS providers.
In this article, we showed you what DNS servers in gaming are and how they work. They are crucial for gamers as they provide faster loading speeds, optimal server locations for lag-free gameplay, and enhanced security that protects gamers from online threats.
In addition, you learned how to choose the best DNS server and found out which are the best options on the market at the moment. So, if you want to improve your gaming experience and make it more secure, you should definitely give DNS servers a try.