Protecting Your Internet: Why You Should Use Cloudflare’s New DNS Service

by Dylan - first posted April 8, 2018

[box]Cloudflare has recently announced their new service; a super fast and privacy based DNS Resolver. This article will go over what a DNS Resolver actually is, and why you should change your default DNS to Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1

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What Is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. Basically, whenever you go to a website, you are using that website’s domain name to access it. For example, going to designbypixl.com will take you to this fine site, and going to google.com will take you to Google. But how does your browser know to do that? How does it know where designbypixl.com is actually located?

It’s kind of like address’ in the real world. Your home address might be at 123 MadeUp St. Ontario, Canada. If someone wants to know how to get to your house, you only need to give them your address. They can now type your address into Google Maps, which will then return the longitude and latitude of the address, showing you where it is.

Domains work in a very similar way. Each domain has an IP address, which is the equivalent of the longitude and latitude coordinates of a physical house. The problem is that like longitude and latitude coordinates, IP address’ are not the easiest to remember or the most user-friendly to use. This is why we use domain names. For example, you can go to google.com, or 172.217.10.46. Both of those will link to the same page – Google’s homepage. But one of them is much easier to use and remember than the other.

So what is a DNS? DNS is the system that looks up what the IP address is for each and every domain you connect to.

The Problem With DNS

Most people use their default DNS service on all of their devices, and these default DNS services are usually provided by their ISP^  Internet Service Provider: The people you are paying for your internet . There are really three problems with using the DNS provided by your ISP.

Speed

Most ISP DNS Resolvers are slow. This is why most techies recommend switching to Google’s DNS. I myself have been using Google’s DNS for years and it truly makes a difference in lookup speeds.

Privacy

Since a DNS resolver is a system that has to look up and then return the IP address of each visited domain, these resolvers now know each and every website you’ve ever been to. They may not know what you are doing on these sites^ If the site is encrypted (SSL, https), then your ISP won’t know the content of the transferred data , but they’ll know that you were on the site in the first place. In the United States, just a year ago the Senate voted to eliminate rules that restricted ISPs from selling their users’ browsing data.

Censorship

Once again, the DNS Resolver is what returns the IP address of the look-upped domain. If your DNS is controlled by your ISP, then this gives them the power to block and censor any website they want. In Turkey, a scathing video of governmental corruption was released on Twitter, so their response was to get the ISPs to block Twitter nationwide. Do you want your government or internet provider to dictate what websites and services you are allowed to use?

Why Change To Cloudflare?

So I hope by now that I’ve convinced you to consider changing your DNS away from your default ISP. Even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t care about privacy or censorship, it’s still worth it just for reduced page load times on their service. Here are some of the highlights on what makes Cloudflare’s new 1.1.1.1 the best choice to date.

  1. Speed. They are almost twice as fast as the next best option.
  2. Not only will they never sell your data, they won’t even technically possess it. Data is never stored on hard drives and logs are only ever kept for 24 hours.
  3. Third party annual audits from KPMG to ensure they are not violating their own terms.
  4. Stupid simple to set up. Just go to 1.1.1.1 and follow the instructions.

So what are you waiting for?


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