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Cloudflare DNS Server is fast, free, and “privacy-focused”

  • The new Cloudflare DNS server, 1.1.1.1, is a free, fast, and “privacy-focused” way to connect URLs to IP addresses.
  • Cloudflare is an internet security service that helps to secure and speed up millions of sites on the internet.
  • The Cloudflare DNS server will be audited annually by a third-party service and will wipe all data every 24 hours.

Cloudflare protects millions of websites from security threats like DDoS attacks, as well as speed up those sites for faster delivery to consumers. Companies pay a hefty fee for Cloudflare’s services, but now there’s a service the company offers that is just for you — a free, fast, “privacy-focused” DNS server.

A Domain Name System (DNS) server is what translates a URL (like AndroidAuthority.com) into its IP address. The internet is made up of IP addresses, and custom URLs are merely a signpost that points browsers to a website’s actual location. To translate the text to the corresponding IP address, a DNS server is utilized.

Most people use the default DNS server that’s pre-loaded onto their device, and some others use 8.8.8.8, which is Google’s free DNS. Now, Cloudflare is offering 1.1.1.1 as a free DNS server, which the company claims will be faster and more secure than even Google’s.

To be clear, plugging 1.1.1.1 into your DNS field will not magically make everything you do on the internet private and encrypted. This new DNS is merely another free tool people can use to help make their internet browsing a little more secure.

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince says that the company decided to give consumers this new tool for altruistic purposes. “It’s been depressing to us to watch all too frequently how DNS can be used as a tool of censorship against many of the groups we protect. While we’re good at stopping cyber attacks, if a consumer’s DNS gets blocked there’s been nothing we could do to help,” Prince said in a Cloudflare blog post.

Cloudflare wants to help consumers stay safe and secure when they browse the internet, and this DNS is part of that pledge.

This is not the first time Cloudflare has used its power as a major security organization as a platform for doing what it considers to be the right thing. Last year, after the deadly Charlottesville massacre, Cloudflare dropped support for White Supremacist site The Daily Stormer­. Without Cloudflare protection, the site went down in a DDoS attack quickly, forcing the publication to shut down temporarily.

If there are any concerns that this new DNS service will be used for nefarious purposes, Prince has that covered as well. Cloudflare will pay for an annual audit of the 1.1.1.1 server by an independent company to ensure that everything is on the level. In the meantime, no IP addresses from any users of the service will ever be logged, and all traffic through the DNS will be purged every 24 hours.

To learn more about Cloudflare’s new DNS service, you can read the blog post by Prince here, or just visit 1.1.1.1 using your web browser. And, if you need help changing your DNS settings, there’s a helpful guide on that page.

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