It wasn’t too many years ago that geeks would use a custom DNS besides their default ISP provided DNS to speed up the web browsing. Now Cloudflare has one too, but should you use it?

 

Some popular DNS options besides your ISP’s DNS?

Google Public DNS:
Primary: 8.8.8.8
Secondary: 8.8.4.4

OpenDNS
Primary: 208.67.222.222
Secondary: 208.67.220.220

Cloudflare
Primary: 1.1.1.1
Secondary: 1.0.0.1

 

Most DNS aren’t privacy respecting!

Before we continue, for the uninitiated: DNS is like a phone book for your web browser to look up the IP address of websites you try to connect to. Often using a third party DNS server like Google DNS or OpenDNS will speed up your browsing or give you extra features like parental controls.

Nowadays most ISP’s DNS servers are fairly fast thus using a third party DNS for speed reasons isn’t quite as important – but there’s a bigger problem: these DNS aren’t privacy respecting.

What many Internet users don’t realize is that even if you’re visiting a website that is encrypted — has the little green lock in your browser — that doesn’t keep your DNS resolver from knowing the identity of all the sites you visit. That means, by default, your ISP, every wifi network you’ve connected to, and your mobile network provider have a list of every site you’ve visited while using them. CloudFlare’s 1.1.1.1 announcement post

 

CloudFlare’s promise

Cloudflare’s solution is a completely free, promising blazing-fast DNS resolver for your PC or your smartphone. And they promise not to sell your data or even keep debug logs more than 24 hours.

The norm is when something is free, the company will try to sell your data, or use it for advertising, or they will eventually go out of business. So what’s CloudFlare’s game here? In a nutshell, CloudFlare offers DNS service for businesses, and that service is more attractive to sell to those companies if a lot of consumers are already using them for lookups. Basically like how the Yellow Pages were given out to consumers for free because businesses had to pay to get a better listing. Before the internet killed the Yellow Pages, at least.

At Arane Technologies we use CloudFlare for all our projects. That means you get better performance and security. But most importantly, you get convenience. Your domain registrar like nic.lk may not allow you to change your nameserver. But with CloudFlare you can change it with ease by just tweaking a few settings.

It’s definitely worth testing out the CloudFlare’s new DNS server.

 

Guide changing to CloudFlare DNS

Windows

Open the Control Panel.
Click on Network and Internet, and then Network and Sharing Center.
Choose “Change Adapter Settings” from the list on the left.
Next, right click on the Wi-Fi network you’re currently on, and choose Properties.
Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and then click Properties.
Click “Use The Following DNS Server Addresses,” and replace that with your new DNS.
Enter 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. Click OK, and then Close.

 

macOS

Open System Preferences.
Click Network
Next, click on the Wi-Fi network you’re currently on, and chooseAdvanced which is on the right hand side bottom.
On the tabs click DNS
Remove what’s there and by using the + – buttons and enter 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. Click OK, and then Close.