Cloudflare's new consumer DNS service promises a faster, more secure internet

You'd be forgiven if DNS news wasn't on your radar for April Fool's day, but that's just what Cloudflare served up this weekend. In what is very much not a joke, the company announced a new consumer DNS service called 1.1.1.1, with a focus on speed and privacy.

The problem that Cloudflare is trying to solve is what it sees as a system that is often slow and insecure. From Cloudflare:

Nearly everything on the Internet starts with a DNS request. DNS is the Internet's directory. Click on a link, open an app, send an email and the first thing your device does is ask the directory: Where can I find this?Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads.

The company's alternative, 1.1.1.1, places a large emphasis on privacy, with a promise to wipe all logs within 24 hours and to never log your IP address. Cloudflare says that it has also hired a firm to audit its code and practices annually and produce a public report to ensure that it is keeping its privacy promises.

Cloudflare's service also offers support for DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS. Both protocols ensure greater security of web traffic, and Cloudflare is hoping that its support for DNS-over-HTTPS, in particular, will result in greater support for the protocol. "We're hoping that with an independent DNS-over-HTTPS service now available, we'll see more experiments from browsers, operating systems, routers, and apps to support the protocol," the company says. Cloudflare is also positioning the DNS service as a way for citizens to work around internet censorship during government crackdowns.

What's more, Cloudflare is promising that 1.1.1.1 currently ranks as the fastest DNS resolver, averaging around 14ms globally.

Cloudflare DNS chart

If you're interested in trying out Cloudflare's DNS service for yourself, you can visit the 1.1.1.1 website to learn how to get started.

11 Comments
  • Such a cool thing, almost like internet 2.0 on Silicon Valley
  • Nothing is free, so how are we paying this company for this service?
  • Eh, not sure it's really THAT much faster. Just ran a few DNS benchmarks and they weren't the fastest. A handful of others were faster. My own DNS servers (not including cached performance obviously) were even faster. In most cases the difference is between 12-17ms. You MIGHT notice that. But you probably won't.
  • It's not even opening to me (timeout)...
  • Great news!
  • Oh boy! After testing with libre app DNS66, this dns crashed the app, still not stable unlike OpenDNS. Ugh!
  • Better stick to OpenDNS though...🤷🏼‍♀
  • You might want to do a before and after with the google namebench tool. https://code.google.com/archive/p/namebench/
  • Is this an ad or an article?
  • But how is the packet loss?
  • I did some testing and I get basically the same 11-16ms I was getting before. I'm assuming the only pro perhaps might be the security part of it other than that I don't see any point in me switching? Also, how can we get proof that indeed it is encrypted, right now it's just he/she said. Thank you.