Is 1.1.1.1 DNS Good

Cloudflare, best know for their award winning content delivery network (CDN) launched their public DNS service (1.1.1.1, 1.0.0.1) in 2019. Since its launch, the popularity of Coudflare’s 1.1.1.1 public DNS service have exploded greatly.

This is no surprise given the success of Cloudflare’s CDN and other security services. Other popular DNS service options that have stood the test of time include Google’s public DNS 8.8.8.8 and Level 3’s DNS 4.2.2.2. Despite Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 being the newcomer it offers many compelling reasons to make the switch including a privacy centric approach to name resolution. Cloudflare’s DNS service is however not without its skeptics. So, is 1.1.1.1 DNS good?

Yes, 1.1.1.1 is a good DNS service that you should be using. Not only is 1.1.1.1 the fastest DNS for most of the world, it is also one of the few DNS services that is transparent about its data retention policies. For both of these reasons, Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 is an ideal DNS service for most people.

What is DNS and Why is it Necessary

DNS is a core element of the internet. It works behind the scenes and goes completely unnoticed by most users. DNS is an acronym for domain name system. The purpose of DNS is best explained as a giant phone book directory for the World Wide Web. DNS works as a collection of records known as DNS records to associate domain names with various online services. Perhaps the most essential DNS record is the “A” record. The “A” record is used to map domain names with IP addresses.

DNS is helpful because computers speak in numeric values, and humans speak in verbal languages. Long numbers are generally friendly to humans. Without DNS, websites would have to be accessed using their IP address. For example, if you wanted to visit Facebook you might enter 174.143.117.139. This would be how all websites would have to be accessed.

We would not have easier to remember domain names, and .com would not be in our vocabulary. This would be a horrible browsing experience for everyone. This is why DNS was pioneered in the early days of the internet. DNS remains highly relevant today and with IPv6 it will be more important than ever as IP addresses are even longer using IPv6.

Who Should be Using 1.1.1.1 DNS

Generally the DNS servers provided by your internet service provider works as expected and you would give little thought to changing DNS services. There are however certain situations where changing your DNS service could improve your browsing experience and your privacy. Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service is one of the best options out there. According to Cloudflare, they delete all logs after 24 hours and also allow you to turn off logs in the settings menu. This is makes perfect sense given that privacy is at the core of Cloudflare’s entire business model

. This is in contrast to DNS services such as Google’s 8.8.8.8 which logs substantially more information, consistent with Google’s business model that relies heavily on targeted advertising and data collection. Your DNS provider can see a list of every website you visit, this is a requirement for providing DNS resolution services. However, logging the information is optional. For this reason if you value privacy, Cloudflare is the better option.

How do I Use 1.1.1.1 DNS

Setting up 1.1.1.1 on your devices is a relatively straightforward process. You can set it on your devices such as laptop, smartphone, gaming console. Alternatively you can set it on your router. If you change it in your router you will automatically apply the change to all of your connected devices. This is in my opinion the best option for most people.

Some routers do not offer this capability, if this is the case you can set your DNS manually on your device to Primary DNS Server 1.1.1.1 and Secondary DNS Server 1.0.0.1. Additionally on iOS you can install the official 1.1.1.1 app from the Apple App Store. You can also install the official 1.1.1.1 app for Android from the Google Play Store. I would however recommend setting this on your router if at all possible rather than on your device.

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Why Should I Trust Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS Service

1.1.1.1 and its secondary DNS resolver 1.0.0.1 are hosted by Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a well established, trusted provider of privacy focused web services. Popular Cloudflare services include content delivery network (CDN) services, DDoS protection services, secure remote access solutions, and performance accelerator services.

Cloudflare is used extensively by fortune 500 companies, and independent content publishers alike. They have a massive global infrastructure and offer world class DNS name resolution services with server locations all over the world.

Cloudflare also offers a very transparent privacy policy that states what data is collected, for how long, and for what purposes. It also states that they do not sell any data and that all data is deleted after 24 hours, This transparency is something truly unique in the web services industry. You should feel good about using a privacy first DNS service such as Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 or Quad9’s 9.9.9.9 which offers a similar privacy focused approach to DNS resolution.

Is 1.1.1.1 the Fastest DNS Service

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service is the fastest globally. In some situations due to geographic reasons or the routing used by your internet service provider, there may be faster options. It is important to remember that when it comes to DNS, faster actually means lower in latency and not higher in bandwidth. If you are looking to increase your download speed, changing your DNS service provider will be of no value to you. DNS does not affect bandwidth in any way. However, reducing latency in name resolution can make webpages open faster and make for a more responsive browsing experience. For many people this will make the internet “feel faster”.

Generally 1.1.1.1 will be the fastest DNS for most people due to them having server located all over the world making it extremely likely that a DNS resolver is nearby regardless of where you live. Cloudflare also make very effective use of DNS caching which further reduces the latency is DNS name resolution. Overall Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 is the fastest DNS for most people.

If you want to be 100% sure you are getting the fastest DNS performance, you may want to test it for yourself. Depending on your internet service provider (ISP) your results my vary widely. In my case 1.1.1.1 was the fastest at resolving DNS queries.

You can either test using a DNS benchmark tool or using your operating systems command line tool. If you the command line you will use the ping command to test each DNS service. The syntax is a follows, ping x.x.x.x. The command line method is fast and easy, requiring nothing to be downloaded. You will want to test other DNS services such as Google’s public DNS, Level 3’s DNS, OpenDNS, Quad9’s DNS, and any other public DNS service that you trust. You could also test your internet services provider’s DNS servers, for example Comcast uses 75.75.75.75.

DNS Latency Test

That said if Cloudflare is very close to other options, it may be worth using even if slightly slower due to the privacy advantages over a service such Google’s public DNS. It really comes down to what matters most to you and who do you trust the most.

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Is 1.1.1.1 Good for Gaming

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service is a great choice for gaming. Using 1.1.1.1 for gaming can reduce latency in DNS resolution improving gaming performance in many cases. 1.1.1.1 is also a great choice for gaming because some games used DNS to determine the game server closest to your location. Using 1.1.1.1 on a game such as Fortnite can reduce your latency in online multiplayer matches by connecting you to the closest Fortnite server such as NA East, NA West, or Europe. Other games that use P2P technology and rely on matchmaking servers such as Call of Duty also benefit from using 1.1.1.1 in many cases. Cloudflare’s global presence makes it an ideal choice for gaming for most people.

In my independent testing I found that using 1.1.1.1 reduced my latency in popular online multiplayer games including Fortnite, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Halo Wars 2 by an average of 7 ms. This is not a huge change but definitely an improvement that is worth it given how easy it is to change your DNS service.

Does 1.1.1.1 Replace Using a VPN

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 offers some of the protections offered by using a VPN but not all of them. Services such as DNS over HTTPS and other privacy focused technologies are useful but not a full on replacement for a quality VPN service. Many people do not need the level of protection offered by a VPN service and would be well suited to using 1.1.1.1 in place of a VPN.

However a VPN is still the best protection, especially if you use public Wi-Fi at locations such as airports, hotels, or coffeeshops. A VPN encrypts your data all the way from your device regardless whether you are using public Wi-Fi, a cellular data connection, or your home internet connection. This is ideal but not necessary for everyone. 1.1.1.1 offers some unique privacy benefits including their limited data logging and transparent privacy policy.

If you want to try a VPN risk free with a 30 day money back guarantee, I would recommend trying ExpressVPN. Much like Cloudflare they offer servers in many countries around the world, and lightning fast speeds.

Download ExpressVPN

FAQ About 1.1.1.1 DNS

Does Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 Support IPv6

Yes it does. Set your IPv6 DNS to 2606:4700:4700::1111 Primary and 2606:4700:4700::1001 Secondary.
This will apply the cloudflare DNS service to your IPv6 traffic. Make sure to also set it for IPv4.

Does 1.1.1.1 Make a Difference

For most people using 1.1.1.1 can improve the speed of their web browsing while also improving their online privacy. You can try 1.1.1.1 by changing your primary DNS server on your device or on your router. 1.1.1.1 is especially beneficial for gaming.

Is Cloudflare DNS safe

Yes Cloudflare DNS is safe. It is one of the safest options for a DNS service provider given its transparent policy policy and limited logging of data. Change your Primary DNS server to 1.1.1.1 and your secondary DNS server to 1.0.0.1 to take advantage of Cloudflare’s free public DNS service.

Does Cloudflare DNS Make Internet Faster

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service can make for a faster web browsing experience by reducing latency in DNS name resolution. It cannot increase your download speed as bandwidth is not a function of DNS. Using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service can make your internet feel more responsive