How to Find Your Primary & Secondary DNS

By Daniel Hatter

Domain Name System, or DNS as it is more commonly referred to, is the protocol that converts user-friendly domain names, such as, into IP addresses. IP addresses are how networking equipment -- such as computers, modems, and servers -- communicate with one another. Every computer is set up with a primary, or preferred DNS server address, usually the default DNS address given by your Internet service provider, and some are also set up with an alternate, or secondary DNS address that can be used if the preferred DNS fails. To find your computer's preferred and alternate DNS address, use the Windows command prompt.

Press "Windows key-R" to open the Run tool on your computer. Type "cmd" into the box and click "OK." A command prompt window will open up.

Type "ipconfig /all" into the command prompt window (omit the quotes) and press "Enter." All your computer's current network settings will now be retrieved and displayed in the window.

Scroll up the information in the window to the "DNS Servers" item on the left side. To the right you will see your computer's primary DNS server address as well as its secondary one (if your computer has a secondary). For example:

DNS Servers:

The top address is the primary DNS and the bottom is the secondary.