Cloudflare launched its DNS service back in 2018 (on April 1) to the public promising a fast, private, and secure service. The company promised that 188.8.131.52 would be privacy-friendly, that it would not sell user data or use it for targeted advertising, and revealed that the service would never log full user IP addresses and erase logs every 24 hours. A recently published audit by independent auditing companyKPMG uncovered some minor issues but backed up Cloudflare’s claims.
Yesterday, on April 1, Cloudflare announced an expansion of its DNS service called 184.108.40.206 for Families which adds new DNS Server IP addresses and filters to the service to block certain requests automatically. Users who used OpenDNS and some other DNS providers in the past may recall that these providers offered something very similar for quite some time already.
Filtering functionality was the number one request from home users according to Cloudflare and the main reason why 220.127.116.11 for Families was created.
18.104.22.168 For Families
22.214.171.124 for Families comes in two different versions: the first blocks known malware requests, the second malware and adult requests. Here is the information required to use the new DNS servers on your devices:
Malware Blocking Only
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS: 188.8.131.52
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1112
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1002
Malware and Adult Content
- Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
- Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1113
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1003
Cloudflare DNS without Filtering
- Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
- Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111
- IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1001
The filtering is automated at this point in time; Cloudflare plans to introduce management options in the coming months to whitelist or blacklist sites, schedule filters for certain times of the day, and more.
For now, the only option that you have to bypass filters, e,g. when a non-malware or non-adult site is blocked, is to switch the DNS service.
How to set up 126.96.36.199 for Families
Windows users may do the following to replace the current DNS provider with Cloudflare’s:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-R to open the run box.
- Type netcpl.cpl to open the Network and Sharing Center (note that this may not be available in the newest builds of Windows 10)
- If it is not available, right-click on the network icon in the System Tray and select Open Network and Internet settings.
- On the page that opens, click on “change adapter options”.
- Right-click on the active connection and select properties from the menu.
- Double-click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
- Switch to “Use the following DNS server addresses”.
- Enter the primary and secondary DNS server in the respective fields.
- Close the configuration window.
Pro Tip: You may also change DNS servers using PowerShell.
Here is how that is done:
- Use Windows-X to display the “secret” menu.
- Select Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the menu to open an elevated PowerShell console.
- Confirm the UAC prompt.
- Run the command Get-NetIPConfiguration and note the value of InterfaceIndex of the Network Adapter that you are using (use other information, e.g. the InterfaceAlias value to identify the right interface if multiple are available).
- Modify the command Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex 10 -ServerAddresses 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and run it afterward. Change the value after -InterfaceIndex to the right one on your device, and the IP addresses behind ServerAddresses to the desired DNS servers (first primary then secondary)
Installation guides are available here for routers, Linux, Windows, and Mac. Cloudflare has created applications for Android and iOS that users may download to use the DNS service on their devices.
You may use a program like Gibson’s DNS Bechmark to test the performance of the servers.
Now You: Which DNS service do you use, and why?
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