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Can I just pick and use any DNS server on the Internet?

Can I just pick and use any DNS server on the Internet. If no, do I have to pay for using a DNS server?

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Dear Jospeh,
The Internet is full of DNS servers and most of them can be freely used. In no case have I every heard of a paid DNS service for simple queries a user would generate. If you do happen to find someone asking you to pay for such a service, then quickly turn the other way and leave!

In most cases, your ISP will provide you with a primary and secondary DNS server IP Address which you need to then configure your PC to use these servers.

You should also know that a DNS server can be set up to accept DNS queries only from specific hosts or networks. This means that your ISP might have setup its DNS server to make sure only its clients can use them, avoiding the abuse of the service from the rest of the Internet.

If you would like to learn more on the DNS protocol, how it works and what exactly it does, simple visit and select the DNS protocol.

This was first published in July 2003

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