Reverse proxy and global CDN services make Cloudflare one of the largest web infrastructure providers. Their acceptance puts them at the right point to start a consumer DNS service.
You can sign up for Cloudflare here.
Cloudflare praised Google’s Overall DNS service when it announced the service, but added that it thought it could do even better, especially in terms of speed and privacy.
Like their peers, Cloudflare’s is an iterative DNS service. As expected, instead of using a central cache, the service uses a distributed cache for better latency. It is available by Cloudflare’s Global Anycast Network and is available to everyone.
Cloudflare claims that the service has access to addresses of more than 7 million domains on the same servers where it operates. What’s more, Cloudflare will respond even faster to queries for customers because the resolver and leader are now on the same network. This also allows Cloudflare to provide instant updates without having to wait for TTl’s expiration.
Although only IPv6 networks are not yet the norm, you can seamlessly use Cloudflare’s DNS if it networks. This is because it supports DNS64, which allows it to create IPv6 addresses from IPv4 hosts. Cloudflare also expands the DNS service to resolve addresses through the Tor anonymity network.
Cloudflare’s DNS service is also an application. With a single tap, you can use the app to switch to Cloudflare’s DNS resolver, and it also offers several other benefits. There is WARP, a VPN-like feature created using the WireGuard VPN protocol. When enabled, it automatically encrypts all your unsecured connections. Even if you can’t use WARP to bypass geo-blocks, it also benefits from other benefits.
In addition to the main DNS address (220.127.116.11),Cloudflare also has several other addresses that you can use to block malware (18.104.22.168) and adult content (22.214.171.124).
Privacy and security
Cloudflare talks a lot about privacy benefits. The company promises that it will never use your browsing data to target ads. In fact, he claims that he never writes your IP addresses to disk, and although the service logs some data to prevent abuse and troubleshoot problems. All of them will be contained within 24 hours.
To support privacy claims, the company retains the services of supervisory firm KPMG to review its services annually and publicize its findings.
The service also uses a variety of standards, such as DNS Query Name minimization, to improve privacy. In addition, Cloudflare’s DNS service supports two of the most common DNS security mechanisms, namely DNS over DNS, and DNS over HTTPS.
Usage and Performance
As mentioned earlier, Cloudflare’s DNS service has very memorable addresses. Primary address 126.96.36.199 and secondary address 188.8.131.52. These addresses will not block any content as required by design. However, if you want to block malicious content, you can use 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 instead. If you want to block adult content as well as malware, you should use 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
The easiest place to add these addresses is your router, but as always. It’s a good idea to add them to the settings of network hardware on all your devices. This allows these devices to continue using Cloudflare’s DNS even. When connected to an untrusted network, such as a hotel or café.
You can also use the service through the app that is currently available on Android and iOS devices. As mentioned earlier, the highlight feature of the app is a VPN-like service called WARP. The service uses a free model; you can use the standard service for free for a faster and more reliable connection or pay WARP+ fees. The application is currently in beta testing for Windows and macOS.
In terms of performance, Cloudflare’s DNS service led all its competitors in August 2020, except for the two regions, according to DNSperf.com. So it lags behind Google’s Overall DNS in Asia and Africa, behind DNSFilter, while outpacing competition in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.
In terms of absolute numbers, the worldwide query rate of Cloudflare DNS no.1 in August 2020 is 13.89ms, compared with 22.2ms for runners up to Google Public DNS. While OpenDNS is at 18.06ms, the gap is growing in Europe, leading by Cloudflare 8.38ms.
You can also use the DNS Performance Test script to query popular public DNS services from your location. You can run bash script without installing in Windows using the WSL compatibility tier. The results of the script will be more relevant to you than the global averages reported by DNSperf.com.
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Cloudflare’s DNS analyzer doesn’t cost you any, but the top icing focuses on the hiddenness highlighted by annual third-party controls. You can use the service as a vanilla solver or with malicious and adult content blocks that are very cleverly presented at separate IP addresses.
The service’s ad-free app also makes it very easy to switch to it. And offers a VPN-like service as an optional add-on.
Cloudflare’s DNS service also performs well in many corners of the world. Which makes us conclude that Cloudflare is definitely one of the best options available for free. Unless you want to have more control over your DNS resolver.