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Setup Tutorials

How to set up Smart DNS on TP-Link Routers

In this tutorial we will show you how to set up Smart DNS on TP-Link Routers but first let’s see what are our requirements and recommendations.

Requirements

In order to set up the Smart DNS you will need:

  1. A CactusVPN account. If you don’t have one you can try our services for free.
  2. Your Smart DNS login credentials and DNS servers addresses. You can find them in your account on our website, by going to your service details.
  1. Part I. Validate Your IP Address

    If you have already validated your IP address go straight to the “Part II. Change your router DNS addresses” of this tutorial.

    1. Sign in to your account on our website.
    2. Go to “Services”.
    3. Select a plan with Smart DNS service included.
    4. If your plan includes both VPN and Smart DNS services, click on the “Smart DNS” tab.
    5. Scroll down to “Set up Smart DNS manually” and click “Validate IP” button (1).

      If you see the “Validated! No actions are required.” message, go straight to the “Part II. Change your router DNS addresses” of this tutorial.

      Windows XP Smart DNS Setup: Step 1

      Validate a specific IP address

      You can also validate a specific IP address. To do this, click on the “Validate a specific IP address” link (2). Use this option when you need to validate an IP address different to your current IP address. For example, enter your real IP when you are accessing this page while being connected to VPN or enter your home IP while you are at work.

      Validate IP using a web address

      Another alternative method is to validate your IP using a web address. To do this, click on the “Validate your IP using a web address” link (2). Using this method you do not have to sign in to your account each time you need to validate the IP. Add this link to your browser favorites/bookmarks and your IP address will be validated every time you load this URL into your browser.

      Important! Do not share this link! It is unique for every CactusVPN client. If you share it, other people will have access to your Smart DNS service and you will not be able to use it.

      Remember! You have to validate your IP address each time it changes. If your Smart DNS service is not working, just try to validate your IP address again.

  2. Part II. Change your router DNS addresses

    This has to be done only once.

    It is important to save your original DNS settings before making any changes. You might need them in case you will want to switch back to your original settings.

    Depending on the router model and firmare you are using, there are a few different interfaces. Find your interface from the menu below and follow its steps.

    1. Log in to your router. Go to “Advanced” (3), then to “Network” (4) and click on “DHCP Server” (5).

      How to set up Smart DNS on TP-Link router (interface 1): Step 1/

    2. Tick the “Enable DHCP Server” checkbox (6) for “DHCP Server” if it is not enabled already.
    3. Enter the CactusVPN DNS addresses in the “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS” fields (7). You can find them in your account on our website, by going to your service details.
    4. Click on “Save” (8).
    5. Reboot your router.
    1. Log in to your router. Go to “Working Mode” (3), tick the “Standard Wireless Router” checkbox (4) and click on “Save” button (5).

      How to set up Smart DNS on TP-Link router (interface 2): Step 1/

    2. Go to “DHCP”, then to “DHCP Settings” (6).

      How to set up Smart DNS on TP-Link router (interface 2): Step 2/

    3. Tick the “Enable” checkbox (7) for “DHCP Server” if it is not enabled already.
    4. Enter the CactusVPN DNS addresses in the “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS” fields (8). You can find them in your account on our website, by going to your service details.
    5. Click on “Save” (9).
    6. Reboot your router.
    1. Log in to your router. Click on “DHCP” (3) and select “DHCP Settings” (4).

      TP-Link Smart DNS Setup: Step 2

    2. Tick the “Enable” checkbox (5) for “DHCP Server” if it is not enabled already.
    3. Enter the CactusVPN DNS addresses in the “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS” fields (6). You can find them in your account on our website, by going to your service details.
    4. Click on “Save” (7).
    5. Reboot your router.
    1. Log in to your router, go to “Interface Setup” (8) and select the “LAN” tab (9).

      TP-Link Smart DNS Setup: Step 3

    2. From the “DNS Relay” drop-down menu (10), select “Use User Discovered DNS Server Only”.
    3. Enter the CactusVPN DNS addresses in the “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS” fields (6). You can find them in your account on our website, by going to your service details.
    4. Click on “Save” (12).
    5. Reboot your router to be sure the changes will take effect.

That’s all!

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