How To use Cloudflare’s new 1.1.1.1 DNS and make your browsing safer and private

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Want to make your Internet surfing and browser private? Use Cloudflare’s new 1.1.1.1 DNS!

With service providers like Facebook stealing your data and using it for malicious purpose, making your browsing anonymous and private is the need of the hour. Yesterday we had learned that the Free VPN Apps available on Google PlayStore are not as safe as they contend to be. So what should you do to make your browser and Internet surfing private?

One of the best methods is, of course, to buy a paid VPN service which doesn’t log your browsing habits. However, not everyone can afford paying for VPN services. For such Internet users, we have a method to change your computer’s default DNS to OpenDNS or Google’s DNS. This will not only make your browsing private but also safe from cybercriminals.

For the uninitiated, the DNS or Domain Name System is typically an IP address just like your postal address. When you input a URL in your web browser, the DNS resolver returns the relevant IP address against a website name sent by the client device.

While many don’t know about it, nerds and tech-conscious Internet users prefer using OpenDNS or Google DNS over the default DNS address provided by the ISPs. The reason is simple: custom DNS servers are mostly faster, safer, private and much more reliable than the ISPs default DNS servers.

If you want similar reliability like OpenDNS or Google DNS, you can now opt for similar new service by the CDN provider Cloudflare. Cloudflare has quietly unveiled its own private DNS  1.1.1.1 which you can use for fast and safe browsing.

Just because Cloudflare released the DNS yesterday, everybody following Cloudflare thought it to be an April Fool prank but rest assured the 1.1.1.1 service by Cloudflare is for real. 1.1.1.1 is Cloudflare’s second solution after the DNS service 172.217.10.46.

On the specifics, Cloudflare claims its 1.1.1.1 DNS service is the fastest across the Internet with a 14ms response time. That is fast considering the response time of 20.64ms for OpenDNS and 34.51ms for Google’s 8.8.8.8 DNS.

Remember the reduced ping time makes the DNS resolve the URL/website that much faster. But the use of DNS doesn’t have any impact on your actual internet bandwidth.

Cloudflare has also claimed that using 1.1.1.1 DNS server makes your browsing private because the service supports features like DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS. Thus, it makes harder for the internet providers to track your internet activity. Cloudflare has said that its system is designed in such a way that it wipes out all DNS query logs after 24 hours.

One the con side, Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 doesn’t support IPv6 yet like Google but you could give the service a try.

How to configure Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS, OpenDNS or Google’s 8.8.8.8 DNS

If are ready to take a plunge into changing your ISP given default DNS follow the below mentioned steps. You can set CloudFlare’s 1.1.1.1 or OpenDNS 208.67.222.222 or Google’s 8.8.8.8 as the preferred DNS server on your Microsoft Windows 7/8.1 or Windows 10 run PC or laptop.

Steps to change your default DNS to the custom one.

  1. To use OpenDNS, open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Here, click the name of the network connection, be it WiFi or Ethernet.
  4. On the next window that pops, click Properties.
  5. Click the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties.
  6. Now click Use the following DNS server addresses radio button and enter the addresses given below to get a faster internet speed:
    Preferred DNS server: 208.67.222.222
    Alternate DNS server: 208.67.220.220
    If you want, you can interchange these addresses. Click OK to save and continue.

Now, you are using OpenDNS’s servers now which helps you to get a faster internet speed.

How to configure IPv6 custom DNS:

OpenDNS offers IPv6 support so you should configure iPv6 DNS servers as well. Just choose the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and click Properties.

Choose the following DNS server addresses:

Preferred DNS server: 2620:0:ccc::2
Alternate DNS server: 2620:0:ccd::2

How to configure Google’s 8.8.8.8 DNS service

Follow the same steps as above but replace all the IP addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers in step 6.

For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.

For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844

How to configure Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service

Follow the same steps as above but replace all the IP addresses with the IP addresses of the Cloudflare DNS servers in step 6.

For IPv4 use the addresses 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1.

As said above, Cloudflare has not yet added IPv6 support for its private DNS service.

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS, OpenDNS, and Google’s DNS are designed to reduce the time taken to resolve the domain name on the web and your web surfing that much faster. While it wont increase the bandwidth provided by your ISP, using custom DNS can be more reliable and private than using the default ISP one.

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