Cloudflare has launched what may be the biggest news in DNS in a long, long time. While many understandably thought it was a joke initially, thanks to the timing in particular, this is a real thing.

As of now, Cloudflare is offering a free, privacy-focused DNS service that can be reached at https://1.1.1.1.

While there are similar free alternatives from the likes of Google, this offering is claimed to be the Internet’s fastest (Google DNS speed: 20ms, OpenDNS: 34ms, Cloudflare: 14ms), privacy-first consumer DNS service. Cloudflare says that it will delete all DNS logs within 24 hours, something the likes of Google do not offer.

While not everyone will be familiar with DNS, without it nothing you type into a web browser’s address bar would work. With DNS, something like redmondpie.com is translated into an IP address, the real address that computers use in order to communicate. This translation from name to IP address can take time, and this is often where received slow internet browsing speeds come from.

A fast DNS resolver is important, and those offered by ISPs are notoriously slow. That’s where services like Cloudflare’s come in. Services like this are also used to get around blocks on certain websites and services, such as countries in which things like Twitter and Facebook are routinely banned.

DNSPerf now ranks 1.1.1.1 as the fastest DNS resolver when querying non-Cloudflare customers (averaging around 14ms globally)

One of the reasons 1.1.1.1 was initially thought to be a joke is the fact that address is often used as a dummy address, however. Cloudflare says that it worked with APNIC to offer both 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. While APNIC have previously tried to analyze the data sent to 1.1.1.1 and failed due to the volume, Cloudflare offered its assistance. Cloudflare CEO, Matthew Prince explains, that:

We talked to the APNIC team about how we wanted to create a privacy-first, extremely fast DNS system. We offered Cloudflare’s network to receive and study the garbage traffic in exchange for being able to offer a DNS resolver on the memorable IPs. And, with that, 1.1.1.1 was born.

If you want a fast DNS service but don’t trust Google with your browsing history, then this may be one worth trying out. You will be using 1.1.1 as your Primary DNS, followed by 1.0.0.1 as the Secondary DNS.

For information on changing your DNS on an iOS 11 iPhone or iPad, check out our guide here: DNS Server On iPhone, iPad In iOS 11: Change It For Fast Network Performance, Here’s How. Mac and Windows users can head over to their respective Internet Settings and add the aforementioned DNS address. Alternatively, you can also set this as your DNS in router’s settings section.

(Source: Cloudflare)

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