Every time we type a URL or click on a link, our request goes to a server that transforms the alphabetic address (www.teknologya.com) into the numerical IP address of the destination site (104.18.57.55). That server belongs to the Domain Name System (DNS), a sort of big phone directory of the Web. The “resolution of the address”, as it says in the jargon, takes place within a few milliseconds, without realizing it.

The fundamental problem of this system is that the DNS server manager – usually the connection service provider – can collect (and maybe use for commercial purposes) information on the sites we visit. By checking the DNS servers of a specific geographic area, it is then possible to prevent access to certain sites.

DNS for privacy

To try to solve the long-standing issue, Cloudflare – a well-known connectivity services company – has launched a completely free DNS service, focused on security and respect for privacy. The reference address, 1.1.1.1, has been made available by APNIC, the entity that manages the allocation of IP addresses for the regions of Asia-Pacific and Oceania. To ensure that no data is collected, Cloudflare has entrusted KPMG with the task of carrying out an external audit on an annual basis.

Privacy of browsing data is not the only advantage of the new service. Cloudflare promises performance superior to Google DNS (8.8.8.8 – 8.8.4.4) and those of OpenDNS, managed by the Cisco multinational, which advanced users have been using for some time as an alternative to DNS managed by Internet providers.

How do I set up 1.1.1.1? 

To change the DNS used by our devices, the procedure is relatively simple and you do not need to be an expert. Below we explain how to do it on Windows, Mac and iPhone.

(Android requires an advanced procedure on the router). With the following procedures, you can of course also set Google DNS or Cisco OpenDNS.

Change DNS on Windows

Procedure to follow On Windows PC

  • Right-click on the Wi-Fi icon, at the bottom right, and then click Open Connection and Sharing Center.
  • From here select the Ethernet option from the left menu. In the window that appears, right-click on the wireless connection icon (or on the Ethernet connection, if you are connected by cable) and click on Properties.
  • In the pop-up that will appear there is a list, under the heading “The connection uses the following elements”.
  • Locate “Internet Protocol version 4”, which should have a check in the respective box. Select the item and then click on the Properties button, immediately below.
  • In the window that appears you can finally enter the DNS of Cloudflare in the box Use the following DNS servers, by clicking on the button next to the wording.
  • In the first field enter the address 1.1.1.1, in the second insert 1.0.0.1, that is the alternative address.

Change DNS on Mac

On Mac, the procedure is less convoluted. Procedure to follow On Windows PC:

  • Click on the Wi-Fi icon at the top right and then on Open Network Preferences.
  • In the WiFi panel click on Advanced and from here open the DNS tab.
  • In the left field you can enter the two DNS servers by clicking on the “+” button at the bottom.
  • You have to enter the address 1.1.1.1 separately and then 1.0.0.1. At the end of the procedure click on OK and then on Apply in the main network settings panel.

Change DNS on iPhone

Procedure to follows on iPhone:

  • Open the Settings and then the Wi-Fi entry.
  • Tap the “i” next to the name of the network you are connected to.
  •  From the next screen select DNS Configuration. Put a check in Manual, then under DNS Server add the two addresses (1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1) by clicking on the green “+”.
  • Finally click on Save, at the top right, to complete the operation.

Change DNS on the router

If you are familiar with your router settings, the quickest option is to set up DNS directly from the device options. The procedure may vary depending on the model, but in general all routers – except for some models limited by providers – have the ability to change the DNS through a dedicated option. Before entering Cloudflare addresses, note down the already existing IPs, in case you need to reset them in the future.