DD-WRT routers – How to change DNS settings

You want to change the DNS settings of your internet router. And we want to help you with that.
You want to change the DNS settings of your internet router. And we want to help you with that.

You know you bought a brand new DD-WRT router for a reason.

And that reason is its ability to go beyond what normal routers offer to users.

The box for your DD-WRT router may or may not mention all of its hidden features, but that does not mean it does not have any.

When we say hidden DD-WRT router features, what we mean to say is the ability of a given DD-WRT router to have a VPN on it.


If you have a DD-WRT router, you can indeed install a VPN on it.

There are several other things that you can do with your DD-WRT router but we will not go into them in this guide.

For now, all you really need to know is that if you do not have any idea on how to change the DNS settings of your router then you have no chance of using that DD-WRT router to its full potential.

We have written this guide just for those people who do not know how to do that and want to learn how to change DNS settings on their DD-WRT router.

So let’s get to it.

DNS and DD-WRT routers

The first thing you should know about a DD-WRT router is that it is just a regular router that comes with an added feature of a special firmware that goes by the name of DD-WRT.

The DD-WRT firmware comes pre-installed on the router.

Now, what is DD-WRT?

Well, you should think of DD-WRT as an alternative to the OpenSource firmware, based on the Linux platform.

Our research shows that this firmware is great for a large number of WLAN internet routers.

It helps them to enhance their standard features and performance metrics.

Moreover, what you should also know is that the DD-WRT firmware is a lot different than the WLAN router that your internet service provider supplies you when you buy its broadband internet package in whole.

Apart from that, you should also know that if you successfully manage to get DD-WRT firmware on your WLAN router, then you stand the chance of enhancing your router’s wireless capabilities and its signal stability along with privacy.

Perhaps the most important benefit of using a DD-WRT router is that it increases the overall network security by a measure margin.

Once you have bought a router that has the label DD-WRT on it, you have the option of installing a VPN or Virtual Private Network on it as well.

Our research shows that the vast majority of online users find it very difficult if not near impossible to flash a router that comes with DD-WRT firmware.

And to be fair to them, it is a daunting task if one is doing it for the first time.

That is the reason why the majority of the people who want to make use of a DD-WRT router and do not want to spend time gaining the technical knowledge required to get DD-WRT on the outer themselves, go for routers that are pre-flashed.

Now, moving to the part where we talk about DNS settings and how they relate to your DD-WRT router.

Actually, to get started on that, you should first know that the term DNS stands for Domain Name System.

A DNS is nothing but a phonebook.

A phonebook that contains all the working numbers of the internet.

Whenever an online user enters a certain website address in his/her web browser, the actual words that the user has to type before beginning to press the button that says Enter, get to go straight to a remote DNS server.

Once the piece of text reaches a given DNS server, all of the text goes through a translation process and gets converted to an IP address.

Then the DNS server sends that back to the user’s web browser in order to enable the user’s web browser to load the page that the user requested for.


Perhaps you already understand that computers currently do not have the ability to understand language the way humans do.

Even the ones that do give off the impression that they understand the human language do so by operating on digits.

These digits are what the community calls IPs.

So every time a user tries to access his/her favorite webpage or service, the process that we have described above is exactly what is happening behind the scenes.

Apart from that, you should also know that if you change your DNS or Domain Name System settings on any of your internet-enabled devices then you stand a chance to extract a great amount of benefit if you do most of your stuff in the online world.

Now, before moving on to the actual steps that you have to take to change your DNS settings you should take some time out to read about the best and most reliable DNS servers that the majority of the people who change their DNS settings make use of.

First, there is Google that provides its DNS server services via addresses and

Then there is OpenDNS which provides its services via addresses such as and

How to change your DNS settings.

Step 1: Find the IP address of your router

At this point, we will assume that you have a pre-flashed DD-WRT router or have managed to learn how to flash your WiFi router with the DD-WRT firmware.

If you have done all of that, we can understand if you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed by now.

But there is no need to worry because once you have managed to get past the stage of installing DD-WRT on your router or have purchased a pre-flashed router, the remaining process is not going to feel that difficult to you.

The actual task of changing one’s DNS settings related to the WiFi router is a simple one.

All that the reader really has to do is to follow, in order, the steps that we have mentioned below.

Depending on which approach you take, you might have to make some changes. We’ll mention those points as they arise.

The first thing we want you to do is to somehow find the IP of your router.

If you do not know the IP of your router then you cannot access the router’s DNS settings..

Let’s take a brief look at how you should go about finding that on a Mac or a PC.

The steps that you need to follow go something like,

First, find the IP of your router on MacOS (if you have a Mac machine)

As far as users of the Macintosh go, the entire process should never take more than a couple of minutes.

Moreover, you do not need any kind of technical skills in order to complete this process.

So here is what you do.

  1. After turning on your Mac machine, you need to perform a click/tap on the official Apple symbol that appears in the top left portion of the machine’s display screen.
  2. Then you need to choose the option that says System Preferences
  3. After that, you should move to the section that says Network.
  4. Now, you need to perform a click on the option that says Advanced.
  5. Choose TCP/IP. Now, you should be able to see the IP address of the router that you are accessing the internet with.
    When you see it, note it down somewhere where you can get back to it at a later time.

Find the IP address of your router on a PC running Windows

When compared to the Mac, the process of finding one’s router’s IP address on a machine running Windows is at least slightly harder.

What you need to do is to enter a couple of things in different input fields.


After doing that, you should have no problems in finding the IP address of your fields.

Again, there is no reason to even come close to panicking here since we have the entire walkthrough right here an right now.

These are the steps that you need to take to find the IP address of your router.

  1. First, turn on your machine which is running on the Windows operating system, then you need to launch the Command Prompt application.
  2. After that, you need to type the command that goes like ‘ipconfig’.
    Type it exactly as we have described above but make sure you do not include the quotation marks.
  3. When you are finished with the previous step, you should have no problems in seeing the current network information.
    The current screen should have it all in neatly arranged rows and columns.
  4. From there, take note of the IP address of your router.
    On most Windows machines, it is the same address as the address that appears right next to Default Gateway.

Step 2: Change the DNS (or Domain Name System) on the given DD-WRT router

At this point, if you have followed the guide closely so far, you should have the IP address of your router available with you.

If you do, then we have no problems in letting you know that you will have an easy time changing the DNS settings of your router.

Now, the steps that we will describe below are fairly easy to follow if you pay attention.

You should not have to work hard to understand the stuff that you are about to read.

Moreover, we would like to inform you now that you do not need to have a degree in networking or computer science to pull through this process.

So let’s get going.

  1. First, we want you to open up your favorite web browser. Use the one that you feel the most comfortable with since that will further simplify the whole process for you.
  2. Then you need to go to the official settings page of your router.
    In order to do that, all that you really need to do is to type the IP address of your router that appears in the web browser’s URL address bar.
  3. The address bar will ask you to use your login credentials and then sign in with them.
    When that is done, we need you to type in the password and username that you use with your router.
    We hope that you changed these credentials from their default values, but if you did not then most of the time the login and password both have the value ‘admin’.
    That means, by default, your username is admin and your password is also admin.
  4. Once you complete the previous step, your web browser should take you to the homepage of your DD-WRT internet router.
  5. From there, you need to click on the button that allows you to go to the Setup menu.
    Once there, you should click on Basic Setup.
  6. After that, we want you to do a bit of scrolling and go down till you see the section for Network Address Server Settings.
  7. Now, on the current screen, you should see three fields which are labeled as Static DNS 2 and Static DNS 2.
  8. What you need to do is to input the DNS servers that you want to use with your router.
  9. Now you should scroll down a little bit more and finally hit the button that says Apply Settings.

And that is it.

Believe it or not but now you have managed to successfully change the DNS settings of your pre-flashed or otherwise, DD-WRT router.

List of best DD-WRT routers

It is entirely possible that you do not know much about the best DD-WRT routers that the market has to offer.

We have done a bit of research and have come up with a list we think you should keep in mind the next time you are out there trying to buy a DD-WRT router.

Here is the list.

  • Netgear R9000
  • Linksys WRT1200AC
  • Asus RT-AC56U
  • Asus RT-AC5300
  • Linksys WRT3200ACM
  • Netgear R6400V2
  • Netgear R7000

Why should you change the DNS servers on your DD-WRT router

There are many reasons why you would want to change the DNS settings of your DD-WRT router.

To properly understand those benefits, you should know that whenever you purchase a subscription package of a given internet service provider, the internet service provider takes it upon itself to automatically assign you specific internet settings.

Those settings include the specific DNS server that your internet service provider wants you to use when you want to access the world of the internet.

With that said, the problem with ISP-given default DNS servers is that internet service providers do not really invest a lot of time or resources on its DNS servers.

There is a high chance that a user may run into a multiple number of issues.

The most common issue with users who make use of their internet service provider’s DNS settings is speed.

Default DNS servers do not have any.

So here is a list of other benefits that people who manually configure their DNS settings may gain as far as their internet connection is concerned.

Good connection speed


If you have ever gone through the ordeal of a sudden internet outage, you know that you have suffered a server overload instance.

And that is the point we want you to understand here.

Your internet service provider has very little interest in offering you decent DNS servers.

As a result of not putting in much work, the servers that belong to internet service providers can easily get overloaded.

And once they do, your internet connection suffers.

Moreover, if you live in a country that does not have a lot of internet service providers working locally, then the problem can be even more severe.

So the simple act of changing your DNS server means that you have a greater chance of connecting to a DNS server that does not suffer from peak hour overloads.

To take an example, just think of a scenario where you form a connection with a DNS server that has a peak load hour which falls sometime during the night where you live.

What does that mean?

That means, if everyone goes to sleep you have a higher chance of roaming the internet without ever facing latency issues.

But that is all theoretical.

In terms of real-world performance, you would not feel much difference in the speed of your internet connection.

However, depending on where you live, you may see that your web browser is loading up the web pages that you want to visit a lot faster than before.

Access to content that has geo-restrictions on it becomes easier

We’re not going to lie:

You need to do more than just changing your DNS server settings if you want to make sure that you are able to access any and all types of geo-restricted content.

Our research shows that most users would be okay if they just sign up for a good Smart DNS proxy service.

VPN services are good at this job as well.

We probably do not need to explain that almost all the top streaming services in the world make use of geo-restrictions to guard their premium content.

In simpler terms, streaming services have to abide by contractual agreements and various other laws. Because of that, they are only able to stream specific type of content in certain regions.

Now, the most common and perhaps the easiest way for these streaming services to make sure that no one gets to see what he/she is not supposed to see is by taking note of the user’s IP address.

From the IP address, these streaming services are able to ascertain the location of the user.

This is where services like Smart DNS proxies come into play.

These services are able to merge the benefits of strategically placed proxies along with DNS servers.

Moreover, Smart DNS proxy services rechannel certain parts of the user’s internet traffic.

And once they do that, the user is able to trick various streaming services including the ones run by channels themselves into thinking that he/she is accessing the official website of the streaming service or the channel from a country that is considered okay.

As a consequence of that, users get full and complete access to any given streaming service’s or channels’ premium content despite the fact that they are not present in the service’s area of coverage physically.

With that said, you should also know that only the most premium Smart DNS proxy services along with VPN services are able to make sure that you get access to the content you want.

Should I use a DNS proxy service or a VPN service for my DD-WRT router?

We suggest that you go with a VPN service.


Because a VPN service not only unblocks content, it also encrypts your data.

Moreover, it keeps you and your data safe from online phishing attempts.

Though VPN services are slightly more expensive and slower than DNS proxy services, they more than makeup for it by unblocking even the hardest of streaming sites.

With that said, it is also true that there is no question about VPN services being safer than Smart DNS proxy services.

What do we mean by that?

Well, remember that there are people working behind Smart DNS proxy services and VPN services.

And any user needs to have a certain amount of confidence and trust in the people who are running these services.

Our research shows that in this regard VPN services are the better choice for the vast majority of online consumers.

VPN services offer superior protection and privacy.

We have already mentioned why is that.

VPN services can encrypt and hide the user’s IP address.

So it does not really matter which Smart DNS proxy service you sign up for.

There is no way for it to match the protection and reliability that a VPN service offers.

Click here to learn more about the best VPN service providers in the world at the moment.

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

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