I’ve been using Cloudflare’s 126.96.36.199 DNS service on my Mac since reading a post by Kirk McElhearn on the Intego Mac Security Blog about the service. The service was introduced April 1st of this year and is designed to be faster than traditional DNS services and more private which is what got my attention.
There are a number of things to explain here. First, DNS, or domain name system, is the system that acts like a sort of phone book on the Internet. Instead of having to remember a numerical IP address, such as 188.8.131.52, you can type intego.com to go to the Intego website. There is a huge directory that records the correspondence between these numerical addresses and domain names to facilitate Internet usage, and to make it easy to move a domain from one server to another.
Most people rely on the DNS server provided by their ISP or phone company. By default, your Macs and iOS devices look for this DNS server, which is either specified in your router, or in the server your iPhone connects to, in order to perform this address translation. But you don’t need to use this DNS server; you can use any one you want. In many cases, ISP’s DNS servers may not be the fastest ones, and this can have a big effect on your Internet usage. For example, if a web page is made up of multiple elements, that are not all hosted on the same server, your browser has to request these elements at a number of servers, and each different domain name requires a new request.
In addition, some ISPs may record the metadata of your Internet activity, or the requests you make: the websites you visit, the servers you connect to, and more.
Now, months after announcing its privacy-focused DNS service, Cloudflare is introducing an iOS app. Having had a good experience using 184.108.40.206 on my Macs I didn’t hesitate to install the iOS app on my iPhone and iPad. I’ve been running the app now for several days and it has been working great and definitely seems to be faster.
For instructions on setting up 220.127.116.11 on your Mac visit this page using your Mac and scroll down to Setup on Mac. For iOS, you can download the app from the App Store, or to set it up manually visit this page using your iOS device and scroll down to Setup on iOS.