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I just got an AirPort Express. Want to use it as the primary wireless network here. I've connected it directly to my cable modem.

I'm setting up the AirPort stuff from my MacBook. My ISP uses DHCP I think. Now the setup app wants me to provide 'DNS server addresses'. Where do I get these from, do I even need them? Can't the Express just ask the cable modem for a helpful answer?

I usually just plug my MacBook directly to my cable modem with an Ethernet cable and I'm online, not sure why I need to provide DNS addresses here. What should I enter, do I have to ask my ISP for this info?

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You can probably leave the DNS addresses blank and the AirPort Express will get them automatically via DHCP. – Bavi_H Jun 22 '10 at 1:44
Namebench is an awesome tool to help you find the fastest DNS servers. – Darth Android Jun 22 '10 at 2:16

Can't the express just ask the cable modem for a helpful answer?

Yes it can and I think it will if you leave the DNS address unspecified.

(Though technically the conversation is not between your router (Airport Express) and the cable modem. The modem just is a way to move IP packets across the cable back to the computers at your ISP. The DHCP server at your ISP supplies the data.)

While you can go with whatever DNS your ISP uses, as the other answer points out you can also use one of the free public DNS services. Google is one choice. Another is OpenDNS. They provide some extra bells and whistle's over just a vanilla DNS server.

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You can use google public dns. The IP addresses are and This is probably not what your ISP is using, but it is fast, safe, and reliable.

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