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I use ATT Uverse with a 12Mbps down and stinky 1.5Mbps up. My question is as follows: I realized remembered recently that ever since I purchased a new computer and network receiver, I never adjusted DNS server to one more preferable (speed wise) which is something I usually do on all computers. However, this time I ran into a dilemma. To help you understand, here is how my network map currently looks:

  • My ISP (ATT) uses it's standard 2Wire modems. However, I read that I cannot change DNS server at it's source because the modem uses special server look-ups for TV and phone connection, so I went to the next device down the line.
  • I use a 1st gen 802.11n Apple Airport Express solely as a receiver. I have it set up to not broadcast any signal. It currently just functions as a wireless receiver of my 2Wire connection. I can insert an alternate DNS server in it's settings.
  • Finally, I have a LAN network adapter with no wireless functionality (built into motherboard). This is why I am using Airport as receiver.

So my questions is as follows:

Should I be editing the DNS server setting of my Airport express, LAN card interface, or both? I know little of how server look-ups actually work, but I fear that because 2Wire router is origin of connection, adjusting DNS settings farther down the line will have no effect. Is this the case? If yes, are there any workarounds? Otherwise, an answer to the initial question would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Daniel

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The optimal in performance is that all devices have the information configured locally. But this is typically more work to maintain so a compromise is to make use of your Airport express ' ability to act as a DHCP server. A DHCP server is a convenient way to specify things like IP addresses and DNS server IP addresses in a single spot. From here this info will get propagated out to any device that connects to your Airport and asks for a IP address via DHCP.

When computers connect via DHCP the info they're given is kept locally there after for a certain period of time. This info is essentially leased from the DHCP server, so the clients are guaranteed that no other system on the network will be given this same info by the DHCP server.

With respect to which DNS server IPs to use, it really depends on which ones are geographically closest to you both in terms of physical distance from you and also how far they are from you from a network perspective.

This is probably the best tool for determining what DNS server you should use.

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Lol would 1-up you but I've got no rep so I can't. Thanks though. – Daniel Jan 15 '13 at 23:19

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