The procedure for changing the DNS settings used by a windows XP computer is as follows: Click Start->Control Panel Double-click the Network Connections icon Double-click the Local Area Connection icon in the LAN or High-Speed Internet section Note: this is NOT the Internet Connection icon if you have one Click the Properties button (bottom left) Click to highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the larger text box Click the Properties button (on the right) Make a note of the radio button selections which might well be Obtain an IP address automatically, and Obtain DNS server address automatically Click the radio button to change the latter to Use the following DNS server addresses If this was already selected make a note of the numbers in the following two lines
212 . 159 . 13 . 49 against Preferred DNS server
208 . 67 . 220 . 220 against Alternate DNS server
(note the dots are already present, just type the numbers between them) Click OK to store the settings, OK again to close the Local Area Connection Properties window Click Close to close the Local Area Connection Status window Close the other windows Now restart your computer so the changed settings take effect (Start->Turn Off Computer and click green Restart button) The first (preferred) DNS server address suggested is one of the Plusnet DNS servers, the second (alternate) is for OpenDNS. This provides independent backup in case of problems with the Plusnet service. Alternatively you could use OpenDNS servers exclusively by using 126.96.36.199 as the primary setting, or use Plusnet exclusively by changing the secondary to 188.8.131.52. The OpenDNS service is provided free but supported by advertising. This manifests itself with what happens if you type in a URL (Internet address) that does not exist. If an OpenDNS server is handling your request, rather than a 404 – Page Not Found error you will be presented with an OpenDNS advertisement page. There is nothing sinister with this – they have to pay for the service somehow. Clicking on links is not compulsory, but the reason for the page being displayed is not instantly obvious. If you go to their website they offer to set DNS for you, and collect your email address along the way. This could result in a liberal feed of advertising emails, so you might prefer to avoid this risk.