Cloudflare is primarily known as a CDN provider that provides users with different security measures as well as optimizations for performance. One thing most people do not know about Cloudflare is that this company started as a simple application to find the source of email spam in 2004. Over the years Cloudflare realized that there was interest in creating a service that not just detects the threat/spam but prevents them as well. The way the name Cloudflare came into existing is because of the idea the firewall is in the cloud, so the team decided to call it Cloudflare. Over the years Cloudflare has grown to a one-stop shop for CDN, Security, optimization, and as of April 2018 a DNS provider.
Cloudflare’s DNS is considered one of the fastest and most private DNS resolver, however, unlike most DNS, Cloudflare does not sell user data to advertisers. A DNS also is known as Domain Name System, as mentioned in another post is like a phonebook for the internet. For example, think of the concept of the DNS like this, the name of a domain or URL is equal to a person’s name and the address is equal to an IP address. If I were to search John Doe and I was able to get an address I can go to it or see things at that location. In that same respect if we typed in a domain name and it returned an IP address the browser can load the content from the IP address’ server and display it to the user.
Most people ask why not to use the regular ISP DNS and one of the biggest reasons is for security and performance. Since ISPs do not always use strong encryption there is a higher chance DNS queries can be vulnerable to data breaches and can expose users to threats like man-in-the-middle-attacks. When using the ISP, it can be slower at times over dedicated DNS servers because the ISP can get overloaded by heavy usage.
Quadruple 1 is Cloudflare’s new DNS IP address. The reason most people use this as mentioned above is due to the higher security and enhanced speed. To explain, other DNS services claim that their services are secure because they support DNSSEC, however, though this is good security practice users of these services ironically are not produced from their own DNS companies. Most of these companies collect data from their DNS customers and sell them to commercial vendors. When quadruple 1 does not mine any user data and logs are only kept for 24 hours for debugging purposes and are purged after. Another thing Cloudflare’s DNS offer is a security measure that minimizes query names meaning privacy leakage by sending minimal query names to authoritative DNS servers which can diminish privacy leakage. When it comes to speed Cloudflare is one of the fastest and this is mainly because there are 1000+ servers worldwide. This means any user that uses Cloudflare’s DNS will get a quick response because the query will be sent to the closest server to the user rather than a central point. In addition to this Cloudflare’s servers has access to over 7 million domains making queries for those domains even faster. There are other DNS providers out there, however, we believe that Cloudflare has proven itself to be considered one of the top we would recommend.
Since each device and operating system is different we will do our best to generalize the instructions on how to set up Cloudflare for each device.
Since Android doesn’t play well with custom DNS settings the best way to set it up on android is download Cloudflare’s DNS application (click here).