Today is April Fool’s Day so when a tech company announces a new product or service there is a tremendous amount of trepidation about believing the item is a real thing and not just a joke because of the day it happens to be announced.
Well that is how my April Fool’s Day began – seeing a tweet about a new service that was launching for a totally private Domain Name Service (DNS) and wondering if it was for real or should it be ignored., everyday folks like you and me, a fast, secure, and private means of performing
A new partnership between Cloudflare and APNIC intends to provide consumers a DNS service that fits those key items I just mentioned and it is called 22.214.171.124.
Why do we need DNS anyway and why is this announcement a big deal?
Well let’s do a quick review about DNS.
DNS is a network of servers across the Internet that have a massive database which provides the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to various websites across the web. When you type an address in your browser for a website, like www.windowsobserver.com for example, your system reaches out to the default DNS server that is connected with your system. It then gets that numerical IP address and presents the site in your browser. This all happens quietly behind the scenes without us having to worry about the connectivity, etc. Most DNS servers are provided by your Internet service company and that means they can and many times do collect data about the websites you visit in order to either use the data to target advertising or to potentially sell it to others for similar purposes. Most of the time they get this permission as part of the contract to provide your Internet connectivity.
So why is today’s announcement a big deal?
First – the most obvious – privacy of the sites you browse to using your Internet service. According to Cloudflare/APNIC they have zero interest in your browsing habits and history.
They make this a big point in fact on the announcement page about the service:
We will never log your IP address (the way other companies identify you). And we’re not just saying that. We’ve retained KPMG to audit our systems annually to ensure that we’re doing what we say.
Frankly, we don’t want to know what you do on the Internet—it’s none of our business—and we’ve taken the technical steps to ensure we can’t.
Second is the speed of the DNS service being offered by Cloudflare and APNIC. Most current DNS implementations are slow and that results in a slower browsing experience because every element being displayed on a webpage needs to lookup its IP address through DNS.
DNSPerf, an independent DNS monitoring service ranks 126.96.36.199 as 28% faster than DNS provided by an average Internet Service Provider.
So privacy and speed are the key elements of the new service and based on my perception after setting this up on all of the systems in my home network – it certainly seems to deliver on the speed side.
So how hard is it to use this new service? It actually takes just a couple of minutes to set it up on any Windows computer and the process for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 are all the same.
Here are the 11 steps to do that from 188.8.131.52:
- Click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel.
- Click on Network and Internet.
- Click on Change Adapter Settings.
- Right click on the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, then click Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or Version 6 if desired).
- Click Properties.
- Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.
- Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.
- Replace those addresses with the 184.108.40.206 DNS addresses:
- For IPv4: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
- For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
- Click OK, then Close.
- Restart your browser.
So go ahead and give this a shot and see how it works for you. Let us know how it goes in the comments below.
By the way – why the release on April Fool’s Day? Well the new service is called 22.214.171.124 right so that is four 1’s. Turn that into numbers and you get 4/1 – April Fool’s Day.
Makes sense now doesn’t it?