Are you looking for a free way to speed up your internet and gain some extra privacy in the process? Keep reading, because Cloudflare (the Web Performance & Security Company) is offering a free new DNS service. And it helped me improve the speed of my DNS lookups.
What is DNS?
DNS is short for Domain Name System. It is an internet protocol that allows user systems to use domain names/URLs to identify a web server rather than inputting the actual IP address of the server. For example, the IP address for Malwarebytes.com is 188.8.131.52, but rather than typing that into your browser, you just type ‘malwarebytes.com’ and your system reaches out to a ‘DNS Server’ which has a list of all domain names and their corresponding IP address, delivering that upon request to the user system. Unfortunately, if a popular DNS server is taken down or in some way disrupted, many users are unable to reach their favorite websites because without the IP address of the web server, your system cannot find the site. When trying to explain the concept of DNS name resolution I think that finding a phone number for a certain person is a good analogy. There are several ways to find a person’s phone number and the same is true for resolving an IP address that belongs to a domain name.
Which DNS servers am I using now?
If you have to ask yourself that question, there’s a big chance that you are using the DNS service provided by your internet provider. And while some of those are quite good, others are deplorable. Those that have looked into changing their DNS servers have probably ended up using Google’s public DNS or if they were also interested in a web-filter they might have ended up using Cisco’s OpenDNS. IMHO those are the two most popular alternatives for the ones provided by ISPs around the globe, but many more are available.