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How to Flush DNS Cache to Enable Privacy On the Internet

flushing-dns


Chances are, you have never flushed your DNS. You may not even know what DNS is. DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS turns web sites like www.vikitech.com into a numerical code called IP address. When you type in a web address, your browser and computer translate that into an IP address so it can just about instantly find, load and interact with a physical web site.


Every computer that connects to the Internet utilizes DNS and is assigned an IP address by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). This allows your computer to be recognized by a web site, blog or service when you visit them. This also allows them to track data and information about you to use for everything from marketing to what type of content you will see upon a visit. For those trying to keep anonymity on the Internet, this can be a downfall to visiting your favorite web sites.


By flushing the DNS each time you connect to the Internet, you can stop web sites from tracking your movements when you visit them. Flushing your DNS is easy and our guide will show you how to do it.


How to flush your DNS in Windows


Every time you log onto Windows, you want to flush your DNS.


In order to do that, you want to click your “Start Menu.”


opening-start-menu


Then, click “Run.”


using-run-commands


Type in “cmd” into the Open: box.


using-cmd-prompt


This will open the cmd prompt for Windows where you can take advantage of additional advanced commands over your computer, including flushing your DNS.


Type “ipconfig /flushdns” to flush your DNS.


dns-flush-completing


It will take a few moments, but your computer will flush your DNS cache and you are now browsing more freely.


If you are concerned the DNS flush did not occur properly, you can open a web browser and run a Display DNS.


Type “ipconfig /displaydns” to do this.


displaying-dns


If it worked, the only web sites displayed should be what you are currently browsing. In this case, we went to Google+ and that is all we see in our DNS display. If you see entries that you are not currently at, then the DNS flush did not work properly and you will want to do it again.


How to turn off DNS caching in Windows


If you are worried about your DNS cache in its entirely, there are ways to turn it off per session as well as forever.


Turning off DNS caching does come with some disadvantages. It will make browsing the Internet much slower as your computer has to manually connect to every web site, blog or place it visits instead of using previously cached information to make this process faster. However, your movements online will not be tracked and this is the big benefit of turning off DNS caching.


In order to turn off DNS caching for a session, you want to navigate back to the Windows cmd prompt.


stoping-dns-caching-for-a-session


From there, type in “net stop dnscache” and wait a few seconds.


Windows will turn off DNS caching.


If you want to turn it back on, type “net start dnscache” and once again wait a few moments.


Now, in order to turn off DNS caching in its entirety, you need to open Windows Services.


Head back to the “Run” command and type in “services.msc” to open up where you need to be.


opening-windows-services


This will open the Windows Services panel.


opening-the-services-panel


Now, navigate down to “DNS Client.” Right-click on it.


opening-properties-for-dns-client


Click “Properties.”


changing-properties-for-dns-client


Under the General tab of DNS Client Properties, you want to change Startup type: to “Disabled.”


This will permanently disable DNS caching until you turn it back on.


Why should you bother flushing your DNS?


Flushing your DNS is a way to not only speed up browsing if you have never done it before but prevent web sites from tracking your movements and monitoring what you are doing when visiting them. If you are concerned about your privacy online, this is one step you can take to eliminate those fears. Flushing your DNS is easy and quick to do and it should be done frequently regardless of privacy concerns to help ensure efficient use of your Internet connection.


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