We have several articles on this site covering the question of which DNS servers are best to use for online gaming, but the reality about this is that there is no single pair of DNS servers that everyone around the world could use that would always give the best results.
Unfortunately, networking is not that simple and there are so many factors that come into play with servers such as location, network traffic and usage, and so on. In short, it depends on where you are in the world which DNS servers you should use for gaming.
In this article we want to produce a guide specifically for gamers in the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland) for all the major games consoles (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X), on which DNS servers might be the best to use. Each country ideally needs its own article on the topic, as the “best” DNS servers for gamers in the US or Australia may not be the best for gamers in the Nordic countries, as they are so far apart geographically.
Here is a quick overview of the first DNS servers to try for Scandinavian gamers:
- Google DNS: Primary 126.96.36.199 Secondary 188.8.131.52
- Cloudflare: Primary 184.108.40.206 Secondary 220.127.116.11
- Quad DNS: Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
- Sweden 1: 126.96.36.199; Sweden 2: 188.8.131.52
- Denmark 1: 184.108.40.206; Denmark 2: 220.127.116.11
- Norway 1: 18.104.22.168; Norway 2: 22.214.171.124
The general process would be to test the speed of your current default DNS servers with your gaming console/PC, and then test these other servers one by one to see if there is any consistent (and not just one time) improvement in speed.
Again, even with these Scandinavian-specific servers, there won’t be a single answer that works for everyone, since networking is so complex and variable.
Some users may get a benefit by using one of these manual DNS servers; others may get the best performance from their default DNS servers assigned automatically by their ISP.
Let’s look at the issue in more detail, first going through the more obvious global DNS servers that players from around the world can try, and then moving on to the more localized ones in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in turn.
Testing Global DNS Servers for Gaming
Let’s first cover the most global free DNS servers you can test for gaming. The best bet is Google’s DNS servers (Primary 126.96.36.199, Secondary 188.8.131.52), as they have servers all over the world, so they may also work well for some users in the Nordic countries, as they do for other users around the world. There are also some other global DNS server options to try.
We’ll cover the steps to manually change your DNS servers for the PS4 below, but the general process is the same for all game consoles – find your Connection Settings, switch to Manual/Custom Setup, go through all the settings as they are until you get to DNS Settings, then switch to Manual, enter the DNS server pair you want, and finish the setup.
Here are the steps to do this:
- Go to Settings….Network……Set Up Internet Connection
- Select Wi-Fi or LAN depending on your connection. Plug into your router and use wired if the wifi doesn’t work.
- Select Custom setup
- Run through all the settings as they are, without changing them, until you get to DNS Settings
- For DNS Settings, switch to Manual
- Input these Google DNS servers: Primary: 184.108.40.206 Secondary: 220.127.116.11
- Once configured test your internet connection a few times (Settings…..Network…..Test Internet Connection) to see if it delivers better download and upload speeds than the ones you were using before. Concentrate especially on Upload speeds if you are getting this problem when using SharePlay.
- The general process is exactly the same for other games consoles – configure your Internet Connection manually, select Automatic for other settings, switch to manual for DNS Settings, and input the pair you want.
- You can also use other free DNS servers; here are two common pairs:
- `Cloudflare DNS – Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
- Open DNS – Primary 126.96.36.199 Secondary 188.8.131.52
- Advanced option – use the DNS Benchmark Tool to find your own optimum pair of DNS servers for your location. Needs to be downloaded and run and a PC. See section below for more.
- See just below for a video demo of how to do this.
Using these well known public DNS servers may or may not deliver better speeds for gamers in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway; it will vary greatly in each case. For users wanting more choice, then see also these lesser known but still public and free DNS server pairs you can use:
- Quad 9 DNS – Primary 184.108.40.206 Secondary 220.127.116.11
- DNS.Watch – Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
- Free DNS – Primary 126.96.36.199 Secondary 188.8.131.52
- Comodo Secure DNS – Primary 184.108.40.206 Secondary 220.127.116.11
- Norton DNS – Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
Let’s now move to each major Scandinavian country in turn, looking at some more specific, localized public DNS servers in each of these countries, one by one.
More Public DNS Servers in Sweden
Here are some more public DNS servers in Sweden that gamers can try out. Unfortunately, the selection is not great and reliability is not as good as some other countries, but interested gamers who are close to these locations can maybe try them out to see if they get surprisingly good results with them.
Server with 100% reliability:
- Unknown location – 126.96.36.199
Server with 99% reliability:
Servers with 96% reliability:
- Tyresö- 188.8.131.52
- Motala – 184.108.40.206
- Norrköping – 220.127.116.11
- Unknown location – 18.104.22.168
Unfortunately, the selection and reliability isn’t great here. Swedish gamers are probably best sticking to the global DNS servers mentioned above, or even better using the DNS Benchmark tool covered further below to find a custom pair. Nevertheless, you can try them out if you live near these areas to see what results you get.
More Public DNS Servers in Denmark
Here’s a selection of free public DNS servers that Danish gamers can try, with the location if we have it, or the company that runs it.
Servers with 100% reliability:
- Copenhagen – 22.214.171.124
- Maribo – 126.96.36.199
Server with 99% reliability:
- Christian Ebsen – 188.8.131.52
Servers with 97% reliability:
- Thomas Steen – 184.108.40.206
- Tribe Technology – 220.127.116.11
Again not a great selection, but gamers in Denmark are always open to try them out.
More Public DNS Servers in Norway
Let’s move on to Norway, with some public DNS servers based here with good reliability, plus the locations.
Servers with 100% reliability:
- Stavanger 1 – 18.104.22.168
- Stavanger 2 – 22.214.171.124
- Sperrebotn – 126.96.36.199
Servers with 99% reliability:
- Mathopen – 188.8.131.52
- Bergen – 184.108.40.206
- Haugesund – 220.127.116.11
More Public DNS Servers in Finland
Finland is very sparse for other publicly available DNS servers; we could only find one, and it’s only got 68% recorded reliability:
- UpCloud (location unknown) – 18.104.22.168
You’re probably better off trying Google DNS, or one of the other globally known services, or using DNS Benchmark instead (see next section).
Manually Finding Your Own Optimum DNS Servers With DNS Benchmark
Another even more advanced and customized way to find an optimum pair of DNS servers for your location is the download and run the free DNS Benchmark Tool.
This is a special piece of software designed to test hundreds of different DNS servers to find the best ones for you in your current location.
Here are the steps to run this test:
- Download the DNS Benchmark tool, linked above, to a PC/laptop
- Do NOT run the quick test, as it is biased towards users in the USA. Scandinavian users should run the full test, which takes about 30 minutes, but will find more suitable servers.
- Make sure your network is relatively quiet and not under heavy use when you run the test.
- The program will test loads of different servers, finally picking an optimum pair for you for your location.
- Test these on your games console to see if there is any improvement in speeds.
This is the more customized way to find DNS servers, since the DNS Benchmark Tool will find a totally unique pair of servers for you in your current location, rather than a preset, defined pair like with the above suggestions.
For instance, this test may turn up Google’s Primary DNS as your first, and a completely unknown server as your Secondary, or a mixture of any of the above servers based on your location. Or it may even turn up the default servers assigned by your ISP as the best ones, in which case they’re doing a good job for you.
Does Changing DNS Servers Even Make a Difference For Gaming?
Let’s move on to the often debated issue of whether changing DNS servers even makes a difference to gaming. This issue is not well understood, since people who discuss it often conflate the issues of speeds/bandwidth and latency/ping, which are two completely separate things that need to be properly distinguished if DNS settings changes are to be seen in proper context.
Put simply, speeds/bandwidth refers to the download/upload speeds you can get from your games console, which has important implications for downloading files and streaming. To a small extent, it can effect gaming, but only up to a certain acceptable minimum – you can usually game online quite comfortably even with a speed of a couple of Mbps download speed on your internet package.
Upload speeds are also important if you host a lot of online sessions, upload content to YouTube or other streaming platforms, or use SharePlay or other sharing services a lot. A good baseline acceptable minimum is upload speed to game online is something like 300Kb/sec, which most connections have nowadays. Session hosts, streamers and uploaders do benefit from more.
Latency/ping however, is actually the most important metric for gamers, and determines not how much data is sent, but how fast it is sent/received from servers and other players. This determines whether you lag or not – a high ping value in terms of milliseconds means that data is taking to long too be sent to and from your device, which is when you get lag, with players jumping around on screen.
This is the metric players need to pay attention to when making settings changes to try and optimize their experience online. Players can have a very “fast” internet in terms of the speeds of their package, but may still struggle to play properly online if their ping is high.
Therefore, when making DNS settings changes, it is really the ping that gamers should pay attention to more than speeds. Does changing DNS settings really influence ping?
We’ve covered this elsewhere in our detailed post on the topic – the short answer is that it actually doesn’t seem to affect ping when rigorously and repeatedly tested.
Here’s the low down in a quick summary on what DNS settings change can and cannot do for gamers:
- Changing DNS servers can sometimes improve download/upload speeds. Useful for downloaders and streamers, and also if your current tested speeds are way below what you internet package is capable of.
- There is no evidence that DNS settings changes actually improve latency/ping when properly tested.
- See our article which covers the topic in detail, plus videos of this actually being tested.
- See our article for ways that you can improve lag for gaming.
- When you make any settings changes for gaming, it is important to repeatedly test the changes to make sure they produce a permanent and not a one off improvement in speeds.
Therefore gamers who are wanting to test different DNS servers should be realistic about what they can get out of these changes. Faster speeds are totally possible if this is what you need, but latency or ping needs to be addressed separately for online gaming.