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How to stop your internet provider from harvesting your internet browsing information.

Updated: Jul 8, 2021


Did you know that your internet provider can see and use all your browsing data?

Service providers use their own DNS services to map your internet usage and website visits.


So all your website and app usage can be recorded by your provider and then used to either be sold on or to advertise directly to you.





What is DNS?

It's easier to remember a domain or hostname like bbc.co.uk than it is to remember the site's IP address numbers 151.101.0.81. So when you access a website, like the BBC, all you have to type is https://www.bbc.co.uk.


However, computers and network devices don't work well with domain names when trying to locate each other on the internet. It's far more efficient and precise to use an IP address, which is the numerical representation of what server the website resides on.


So a DNS server takes the URL you type and translates that into the numerical IP address for the site. Changing your DNS provider can have many benefits including blocking known advertising IP's so you don't see adverts or speeding up your web browsing by finding and loading website quicker.



Which DNS service providers are safer and do not track your data?

Cloudflare (Best for gaming & security/ privacy)

Primary DNS = 1.1.1.1

Secondary DNS = 1.0.0.1


CyberGhost (Quick Connection With No-Log Privacy Policy)

Primary DNS = 38.132.106.139

Secondary DNS = 194.187.251.67


OpenNIC DNS (Zero Internet Censorship on Global Servers)

Primary DNS = 192.71.245.208

Secondary DNS = 94.247.43.254


DNS.WATCH (Uncensored Internet for European Users)

Primary DNS = 84.200.69.80

Secondary DNS = 84.200.70.40


Comodo Secure DNS (A Reputable Company With Strong Security)

Primary DNS = 8.26.56.26

Secondary DNS = 2 8.20.247.20


DNSWatch

Primary DNS = 84.200.69.80

Secondary DNS = 84.200.70.40


Quad9 DNS (Easily Blocks Malicious Sites and Phishing Scams)

Primary DNS = 9.9.9.9

Secondary DNS = 149.112.112.112

How can you stop your internet provider from tracking you?

A quick and easy fix to stop them from harvesting your data is to switch your DNS provider settings on your home router or device. Unfortunately most internet providers lock you into their DNS server so buying a new router and using the old one as a modem is the best option. This is a simple and quick change you can make today to help control your personal data.


How to change your DNS server provider on your router:


BT

The home routers BT provide, do not allow you to change your DNS server from their own service so you'll need to change this on your devices instead. (Alternatively you can set the router to modem mode and buy a router which allows you to control all your privacy settings)

Mac OS

Windows

Android

IOS


Virgin Media

The home routers Virgin Media provide, do not allow you to change your DNS server from their own service so you'll need to change this on your devices instead. (Alternatively you can set the router to modem mode and buy a router which allows you to control all your privacy settings)

Mac OS

Windows

Android

IOS


Sky

The home routers Sky provide, do not allow you to change your DNS server from their own service so you'll need to change this on your devices instead. (Alternatively you can set the router to modem mode and buy a router which allows you to control all your privacy settings)

Mac OS

Windows

Android

IOS


TalkTalk

Follow the instructions here for your device.


Vodafone

Follow the instructions here for your device


Plusnet

The home routers Plusnet provide, do not allow you to change your DNS server from their own service so you'll need to change this on your devices instead. (Alternatively you can set the router to modem mode and buy a router which allows you to control all your privacy settings)

Mac OS

Windows

Android

IOS


EE

  1. Find your router admin password (usually found on your router)

  2. Access your router by typing in either 192.168.1.254 or http://eehub

  3. Login to your router using the admin credentials you found on your router

  4. Go to Home > Advanced Settings > Broadband > Internet

  5. Under the TCP/IP Settings change the Primary & Secondary DNS to your chosen DNS server

  6. Save

  7. That's it, now your whole home network will use this provider instead of EE's service


NOW Broadband

The home routers Now Broadband provide, do not allow you to change your DNS server from their own service so you'll need to change this on your devices instead. (Alternatively you can set the router to modem mode and buy a router which allows you to control all your privacy settings)

Mac OS

Windows

Android

IOS


Changing DNS server provider on your devices


Mac OS

  1. Go to System Preferences.

  2. Click on Network.

  3. Select the first connection in your list and click Advanced.

  4. Select the DNS tab and add Primary DNS and Secondary DNS to the list of DNS servers.

  5. Click OK

Windows 10

  1. Go to the control panel by pressing and holding the windows key and then pressing Q

  2. In the search bar type in control panel

  3. Navigate to Network and internet

  4. In Network & Sharing Centre click on the connections on your active network

  5. Click on properties

  6. Scroll down to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and double click on it

  7. In the general tab check the "Use the following DNS server addresses"

  8. Change the preferred and alternative to the DNS server you wish to use

  9. Click on ok

  10. Restart your computer



Windows 8

  1. Right-click the bottom-left most corner of your screen to bring up menu.

  2. Click on Network Connections.

  3. From the Network Connections screen, locate the network connection that you want to change the DNS servers for. Tip: In Windows 8, wired connections are usually labelled as Ethernet, while wireless ones are usually labelled as Wi-Fi.

  4. Open the network connection you want to change the DNS servers for by double-clicking or double-tapping on its icon.

  5. On the connection's Status window that's now open, tap or click on the Properties button.

  6. On the connection's Properties window that appeared, scroll down in the This connection uses the following items: list and click or tap Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) to select it.

  7. Tap or click the Properties button.

  8. Choose the Use the following DNS server addresses: radio button at the bottom of the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window.

  9. Enter the Primary DNS IP and the Secondary IP to the list of DNS servers.

  10. Click OK

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start Orb, then select Control Panel.

  2. Click on Network and Sharing Centre.

  3. Click on your primary connection or Local Area Connection under Active Networks.

  4. Click the Properties button. Windows 7 may prompt you for permission to make network setting changes.

  5. Highlight 'Internet Protocol Version 4' and click Properties.

  6. Click the radio button 'Use the following DNS server addresses:' and type your Primary DNS and Secondary DNS in the Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server fields.

  7. Click OK button, then the Close button, then Close again. Finally, close the Network and Sharing Centre window.

Android


IOS

  1. Open the settings App

  2. Navigate to WiFi

  3. On the Wi-Fi screen, tap the information button (that’s the “i” in a circle) to the right of the network you want to configure. (To change the current Wi-Fi network’s settings, tap the “i” button next to the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to at the top of the screen.)

  4. Scroll down on the information screen and tap the “Configure DNS” option in the “DNS” section.

  5. Next, tap the “Manual” option at the top of the screen, and then tap the red minus sign icons to the left of the automatically configured DNS servers to remove them from the list.

  6. Tap the “Add Server” button, and then type the IP address of each DNS server you want to use on its own line. For example, add the primary DNS server on the first line and the secondary on the second line.

  7. Tap “Save” when you’re done. Remember, you’ll need to repeat this process for every Wi-Fi network on which you want to use a custom DNS server.

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