Cards on the table – we thought this product was a joke and paid it no attention when it was released.

The reason for that is because Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver was released on April Fools’ Day. But now roughly a month since its release 1.1.1.1 is showing signs of not only being a good DNS but a great one.

Firstly let’s explain very briefly what a DNS is. A DNS or dynamic name server is the way the internet knows which webpage to serve you. When you click on your Twitter feed to open a link your PC, mobile phone, tablet or potato with 802.11ac WiFi it first asks the DNS where it can find the page. The key thing to understand here is that DNS deals with IP addresses such as 172.217.10.46 rather than Google.com.

As you might imagine with over 3.5 billion people online and countless web pages this process can become quite slow as servers look for and deal out information.

This is a very basic explanation. For something more comprehensive, check out Cloudflare’s explainer here.

So what does 1.1.1.1 do?

For starters, it is faster. According to data from DNSPerf, 1.1.1.1 outperforms its closest competitor by nearly nine milliseconds. It even outperforms Google’s DNS (8.8.8.8) by nearly 23 milliseconds.

DNS performance comparison. Data from DNSPerf.

The other benefit Cloudflare is touting is that 1.1.1.1 is private.

Aside from supporting forthcoming protocols such as DNS over HTTPS Cloudflare says that it will never retain user data. The firm has gone so far as to put KPMG on retainer to audit its systems annually to assure users 1.1.1.1 is doing what it says it does.

Anybody can use 1.1.1.1 as their DNS and I have been using it for a day or two. While I haven’t done any extensive testing I have seen pages loading faster, especially when browsing through YouTube videos.

It is anecdotal evidence but I do use the internet all day, every day so take from that what you will.

Just note that your actual bandwidth won’t be increased so don’t expect to suddenly be able to stream 4K video on your 1Mbps line. That said you might experience better efficiency when it comes to loading pages.

To set up 1.1.1.1 on your iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, or Linux device (oh and your router if you’d prefer to just automatically have all devices browse through 1.1.1.1) head to the website.

[Original Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.