How to Speed up Internet by 400% with Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS

How to Speed up Internet by 400% with Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS

  • June 18, 2018

Behind the content and communication that we use through Internet, there are servers and the network infrastructures which our devices communicate to along with other consumer devices.

These devices use domain address to locate one another. And thus, technologies like domain name system (DNS) was born.

What is DNS?

Every time you access a website, your computer is communicating with a server where the website and its assets are saved. The computer and the server will continue to communicate with each other as long as you are accessing the website.

With thousands of servers on the Internet, how can your computer find the specific server of the website?

Each server uses an IP address to identify its “location”. The computer uses the IP address to find the server and communicate with it. For example, one of Google’s IP address is 216.58.551.132. However, it is very difficult for a person to remember IP addresses for the websites that we want to visit. Instead, we use human-readable domain names such as www.google.com.

Domain name system (DNS) servers translate the URL to machine-readable IP addresses. Humans understand domain names, but machines only understand IP addresses. Imagine DNS servers as phone books which connect a phone number to a person or a business.

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To find out the IP address of a website, use the tracert command in the command prompt. The IP address in the bracket is the IP address of the website.

What is Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is a web infrastructure company. It offers content delivery network (CDN) services, DDoS mitigation, internet security, and distributed domain name server services. It serves major websites such as Udacity, Cisco, Zendesk, DigitalOcean, and more. Cloudflare has infrastructure around the world making it ideal to house a DNS resolver.

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS Service

By default, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a DNS server. However, they are known to be slow and insecure. It is possible for any hacker to “listen” to your computer’s communication with a website’s server through default DNS servers.

Cloudflare’s DNS Service promises to be the fastest DNS directory on the Internet. Their extensive experience in providing enterprise-level network services and infrastructure around the world allows Cloudflare to provide a fast, consumer-level DNS directory.

Moreover, Cloudflare puts privacy as its top priority. It is known that companies can sell your data to advertisers to create targeted ads for you. Cloudflare promises to never log your IP address when using 1.1.1.1. The company retained KPMG to audit their processes to make sure that they are fulfilling their promises.

Configuring Windows 10

It is quite easy to set-up 1.1.1.1 as your DNS server on Windows 10. Open Control Panel. Click on Network and Internet.

Click View network status and tasks.

Then, click on Change Adapter Settings.

Right-click on the network that you are connected to, then click Properties.

Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or Version 6). Then, click Properties. Take note of any DNS server settings for future reference.

Choose Use the Following DNS Server Addresses, then enter the following:

– IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
– IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Click OK, then Close. Restart your browser as well.

Configuring Your Router

Changing the DNS server settings on Windows 10 only affects that specific computer. You will need to change the settings in the router to set all devices on your network to use 1.1.1.1. Note that each router’s configuration may vary. It is best to check your router’s user manual.

To access the router’s interface, make sure that you are connected to the router’s network. Open a browser and enter your router’s IP address. Typically, most routers use 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.0.2. To make sure that you have the right IP addrbess, launch the command prompt and enter ipconfig. The IP address on the Default Gateway is the router’s IP address.

You may need to provide a username and password to access the router’s interface.

Most DNS settings can be found under the Internet or Network tab of the router interface. For example, in Netgear routers, DNS settings are under Internet.

DNS settings in Linksys routers is in Connectivity, under Local Network tab.

Remember to take note of any existing DNS settings for future reference. Enter Cloudflare’s DNS server settings, then save.

– IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
– IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Comparing Cloudflare with Google’s Public DNS and ISP

Testing the speed of DNS servers can be tricky as other factors such as Internet speed comes into play. DNSPerf provides an objective look into the speed of Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 against Google’s Public DNS and other DNS servers. Looking into the servers’ performance in the last 30 days, Cloudflare outperforms most DNS servers.

Conducting a local test also shows a significant improvement in performance. A DNS Tester from Code Project tests server response time.

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 outperforms the local ISP in most, if not all tests. While the difference seems insignificant, it affects speed during regular browsing.

Final Thoughts

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 provides a viable alternative to ISP’s default DNS servers. Speed and privacy are today’s top concern of any consumer. Cloudflare’s infrastructure allows 1.1.1.1 to serve anyone, anywhere in the world. Moreover, Cloudflare is known to be a privacy-first company with initiatives like Project Galileo.

It is still important to conduct your own safety measures to speed up your connection and maintain privacy. Customize Windows 10 privacy settings, set-up a firewall protection, install an anti-malware program, and maintain an all-around antivirus software.

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