If the browser fails to establish an Internet connection, the Windows system may report the error: “The DNS server is not responding” or “The computer is configured correctly, but the device or resource (DNS server) is not responding”. The causes can be many, but everything can be solved in a few steps. Find out about possible sources of errors and common methods of resolution.
DNS – Internet Domain Name Resolution
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchically ordered system responsible for converting alphanumeric domain names into numeric IP addresses. Name resolution takes place decentralized on DNS servers around the world. Each Internet address, which you enter in the browser’s address bar, is forwarded by your router to a DNS server, which resolves the domain name into a series of numbers and returns it as an IP address. If there is no response from the DNS server, the page cannot be opened, and the error message “DNS server is not responding” appears in its place.
Determine the DNS error
The cause for the grueling error message can be a failure in the network and in this case the DNS server is temporarily unreachable. But often the problem can be solved by changing browsers or making changes to the firewall settings. Restarting the router can also unblock the situation.
Change the Browser
To rule out that the connection problem is not caused by your browser, try opening the desired page with alternative applications. The most common browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari. If changing browsers solve the problem, check the configuration of the application you generally use to browse and make sure you are using the latest version. In some circumstances it is useful to uninstall the program and reopen it again.
Disable the Firewall
If changing browsers do not get the desired result, the source of the error could be the Windows firewall. So go to the control panel and temporarily disable the firewall. If you can now open the pages as you wish, without a DNS error appearing, you’ve narrowed the problem down to the firewall. Check the configuration in the next step. If the error persists even after disabling the firewall, the cause may be the DNS server.
Restart the Router
When there are problems establishing a connection, the situation is often solved by simply restarting the router via the switch on and off button. If your modem does not have one, you must force restart by disconnecting the network cable from the socket. Wait 30 seconds, so that all the electronic components are permanently disconnected, and turn on the router again. If even after rebooting, you receive the error message “DNS server is not responding” and the first two suggestions also did not lead to resolution, you should opt for another DNS server.
Choose another DNS Server
If you have excluded problems with the router or conflicts with the Windows firewall from the list of possible causes of error, the problem can be solved by changing the DNS server.
Generally the address of the DNS server in use is automatically detected by the provider. But this server, under some circumstances, can become slow or overloaded. It only takes a few clicks to change the default DNS server from your provider and replace it with any other one: valid alternatives are public DNS servers, which are found in specific DNS server lists, and among these there is also one managed by Google, free and very reliable.
In the following guide we explain how to configure the DNS server through the router settings or directly from the Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 operating system.
Change the DNS Server From the Router
First Step: Log in to the Router
To change the DNS server from your router settings, open your browser and gain access to the router as follows:
- Open the command line on Windows (keyboard shortcut: Windows key + R), type cmd and hit enter
- In the opened window enter the command ipconfig and copy the number in “Default gateway” to the clipboard
- Paste the number in the address bar of your browser, press enter and log in with your access data
Second Step: Configure Another DNS Server
- Select the sub-item “Access data” under the menu item “Internet”
- Now click on the “DNS Server” tab
- Enable the option “Use other DNSv4 servers”
For example, if you want to use Google’s DNS servers, enter 18.104.22.168 on “Favorite DNSv4 server” and 22.214.171.124 on “Alternative DNSv4 server”. Entering an alternate DNS server serves only as a backup, in case the preferred DNS server is unreachable.
Tip: If IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is used instead of IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 6), the IP addresses of the DNS server must be replaced. The IPv6 addresses of Google’s public DNS are:
2001: 4860: 4860 :: 8888
2001: 4860: 4860 :: 8844