How to Defeat US DNS Censorship (Changing Your DNS Server)

We’ve been running a series for guides for some time on how to defeat DNS censorship as suggested by the PROTECT-IP Act. Today, we’ll show you another method that requires no installation or downloading anything. All it requires is what comes with your computer. We’ll show you how to do this with Windows 7 and show you a helpful tip if you are using Windows XP instead.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

If the United States is planning on simply modifying the DNS system so that alleged copyright infringing websites will no longer appear, then defeating such censorship has proven very trivial. Here’s a list of guides detailing methods of defeating such censorship:

1. Using command prompt
2. Using DNS Web Tools
3. Using your HOSTs file
4. Using MAFIAAFire
5. Using TOR
6. Using Foxy Proxy

Many of these methods are actually not that difficult to use. In fact, half of these methods require no installation of software of any kind – just using what you already have on your computer. Today, we will show you another method of defeating DNS censorship that also requires absolutely no installation of any software or downloading content of any kind (minus obtaining a DNS server IP address of course)

Since we are talking about trying to use websites that could be blocked through DNS censorship, why not simply use a different DNS server? After all, if ISPs are compelled to modify their DNS servers, why not simply avoid US DNS servers altogether and use a non-censored DNS server? This is not all that hard with Windows 7 and we’ll show you how it’s done.

Step 1: Obtain a DNS Server IP Addresstrustworthy DNS server IP address.

Step 2: Locate the DNS Server Option

This likely varies from Operating System to Operating System. In Windows 7, you can find this option by doing the following:

Right click on the network icon (this is located near your clock) and click on “Open Network and Sharing Center”:

In the new window, click on the Manage networks option. It depends on what kind of connection you have that determines specifically what this says. If you’re like me and use a wireless network, it’ll say “Manage wireless networks”:

In the next screen, select whatever router you are using, then click on “Adapter Properties”

Click on the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4) and click on the “Properties” button:

You should find your DNS server option at the bottom of the next window.

Step 3: Change the DNS Server

If you have a DNS server IP address, then you can do this step. Next to the “Preferred DNS Server”, you can type in the IP address of the DNS server you want to use. The “Alternate DNS Server”, you can type in an additional DNS server in the even the primary DNS server goes down:

After that, just click on OK, then OK in the previous window and test our your new DNS server (just remember what your original DNS Server IP address is in the event something goes wrong (i.e. writing it down or put it in a temporary unsaved notepad file – and not saving it after you are done)

Under Windows 7, that is it!

Windows XP Users

ZeroPaid forum member Aaron_Walkhouse was able to show us the windows for Windows XP users:

For full context, you can view his comments on the forums.

Changing DNS servers – the power is yours!

Final Thoughts

It is imperative that you use a DNS server you can trust. The reason for this is that a malicious DNS server could easily cause performance and security problems. If you do find a trustworthy DNS server (typically, a server used by an ISP) outside of the country attempting DNS censorship, this can easily bi-pass any local DNS censorship. Potentially, this is a very effective method of defeating possible DNS censorship in the United States.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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