Are you using the optimal DNS server for your Sony PS4? There are a lot of options when choosing a DNS server. Using the server with the lowest latency can improve your PlayStation 4 performance greatly. Please note we are talking about latency (ping) here and not about bandwidth. Bandwidth is not a function of DNS whatsoever. Changing your DNS server will not increase your download speed. That said, latency is much important than bandwidth for online gaming. Your DNS server choice will greatly affect latency on PS4. The best DNS server will differ for everyone.
Many gamers try to tell everyone to use either 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199. Although those are often a good choice, they are not the best choice for everyone. That is why this test is essential if you want to get the best possible experience.
Why Does DNS Exist
Computers speak in numbers, often very long numbers. Humans on the other hand speak in words. Long numbers are not something easy for humans to remember. Without DNS websites would have to be accessed using their IP address. For example visiting Amazon would require typing in 188.8.131.52. Imagine if every website had to be accessed this way. Fortunately we have DNS to translate for us.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system for devices connected to networks including the internet. DNS associates information with domain names using DNS records. The most important being the “A” record which connects domain names with IP addresses. DNS acts as a friendly translator between domain names and IP addresses. For most people amazon.com is much easier to remember than 184.108.40.206. DNS has been a core element of the Internet since 1985. It remains extremely relevant today and with IPv6 it will be more important than ever.
Why Does Choosing the Fastest DNS Server Matter
Choosing the optimal DNS server will reduce your latency. Latency is the round trip time for a packet of data to reach its destination and return. The shorter this time is the more responsive your online gaming will be. This is especially important on PS4 due to the network architecture of the PlayStation Network.
Despite popular belief your DNS server choice does not in any way affect your bandwidth (download + upload speeds). If you are looking to test your internet speed please check out this post. Latency is extremely important for online gaming on the PS4 console, actually much more important than bandwidth. Bandwidth does not matter that much for online gaming. Anything 5 Mbps or higher is plenty for online gaming. Latency is what counts when you want a lag free online gaming experience on the PS4.
How to Find the Best DNS Server for PS4
Testing DNS latency is a simple process and requires nothing other than the command prompt / terminal tool already built in to your computer. This can also be done on Android or iOS by downloading any ping utility. For this example I will show the process using Windows 10.
In this tutorial we will be using the ping command. This is used by typing in the word ping followed by the IP address and then pressing enter. You will then get replies back from the server with the latency listed beside it. Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms), the lower the better.
Here is an example below.
There are thousands of DNS server options. Listed below are the DNS servers that I would suggest testing. These are all DNS servers from trusted reliable providers. I do not recommend using a DNS service that is unknown because it could be putting your privacy at great risk.
|Provider||Primary DNS||Secondary DNS|
After testing all of the DNS servers, you will end up with data that looks something like this.
From here you will be able to easily identify the DNS server with the lowest latency based on your location. This will differ for everyone. In my case Cloudflare’s 220.127.116.11 was the best choice followed by Level 3’s 18.104.22.168.
You have now identified the best DNS server based on your location. Ideally I would recommend running this test at least yearly because things change over time and you want to periodically check for the optimal choice.
Where to Change Your DNS Server Settings
You can change your DNS server settings on most devices including computers, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, and some IoT devices. However, by far the easiest thing is to change it on your router. When you change it on your router you are applying it to all of your devices that are connected to it.
Manually Setting Your DNS Server on a PS4 Console
Open up your network settings and then select set up internet connection.
Then you will select if you are using a LAN cable or WiFi. If you are using WiFi you will scan and connect to it now. For this example I am using a LAN cable and can skip this step.
From here I will choose custom setup. If you choose easy you will not be able to enter your DNS server settings.
For IP address settings choose automatic and do not specify a DHCP hostname.
For DNS settings choose manual.
For the primary DNS you will want to enter whatever DNS server has the lowest latency for your location. In My case that was 22.214.171.124.
You will then enter the IP address of your secondary DNS server. This can be done in a couple of different ways.
The first way, which is by far the most common, is to use the secondary DNS server associated with the primary DNS server. For example 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52. You can look up the secondary DNS server address on google.
The second method which I prefer is to use a different providers DNS server for your secondary DNS. This is an easy way to build redundancy into your setup. Reliability is very important when it comes to DNS. If your DNS server goes down you will not be able to access the internet. This method will ensure complete DNS reliability. If company “A” has an outage, company “B” is unaffected. I would recommend using the DNS server with the lowest latency as your primary DNS and the DNS server with the second lowest latency as your secondary DNS.
Next you will want choose automatic MTU settings and not to use a proxy server.
From here you will reach a screen to test your settings. When this tests completes you will get a connection success or a connection failure. Please note that the PS4 speed test is useless and not accurate in anyway. We recommend testing using a proper internet speed testing service.
Lastly it will show your network configuration. Check to make sure the DNS server is what you manually entered. It will look something like what is seen below but with your configuration.
From here your setup is now complete. You have now changed your DNS server on your PS4 to the optimal choice based on your location.
Standout DNS Choices For 2022
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Cloudflare DNS is a speed focused DNS service that is operated by one of the biggest brands in the web industry. Cloudflare is primarily known for their content delivery network (CDN) services. They are also mindful of your privacy and keep minimal logs. 18.104.22.168 DNS offers a good balance between speed and privacy with an emphasis on speed.
- Primary DNS: 22.214.171.124
- Secondary DNS: 126.96.36.199
Quad9 is a non-profit which is bolstered by IBM and many different cybersecurity firms for the usage of operating a privacy security-centric public and free DNS server. QUAD9 is also a fast DNS option in most areas, but often not as fast as Cloudflare DNS. QUAD9 is really a privacy first service. They prioritize keeping as little data as possible and keeping what data they do collect safe.