Cloudflare wants to make your internet faster and more secure with 1.1.1.1

Hoping for faster internet? Cloudflare can help.

On April Fool’s Day, the internet company delivered a new product that ought to bring a smile to your face (but not because of a joke). Cloudflare debuted its first consumer service product called 1.1.1.1. It’s a domain name system (or DNS) resolver that anyone and everyone can use, and promises to be “the internet’s fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service.”

Sure, there are other DNS services available (think OpenDNS and Google DNS), Cloudflare is emphasizing that its own product places quite the premium on privacy. Indeed, it will wipe all DNS query logs within 24 hours.

So what exactly is a DNS? Cloudflare explains in a blog post, “DNS is the directory of the Internet. Whenever you click on a link, send an email, open a mobile app, often one of the first things that has to happen is your device needs to look up the address of a domain.” There are two components of the DNS network — the Authoritative and Resolver. Every device that accesses the internet must have a DNS resolver. “For most Internet users, when they connect to an ISP, or a coffee shop wifi hotspot, or a mobile network then the network operator will dictate what DNS resolver to use,” Cloudflare continued.

The problem, however, is that many DNS services do not respect your privacy. Even if you’re visiting an encrypted website, your DNS resolver can still determine the identity of all sites you visit. But Cloudflare hopes to fix that with 1.1.1.1.

As Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince told VentureBeat, “We’re committing to, and actually having a third party come in and audit the fact that we’re destroying all of the logs within 24 hours, we’re never writing any of the source IP addresses to disk, and that’s the only personal identifiable information that would be there.”

And to ensure that your internet is blazing fast, Cloudflare is also running not only the authoritative DNS service it has always provided, but also the consumer DNS service. “And while [that consumer service is] fast if you’re going to someone who is not a Cloudflare customer — it’s the fastest in the world — if you’re going to a Cloudflare customer, it is blindingly fast.”

But why is Cloudflare doing all of this? As the company explains, it’s all about its driving mission — to help build a better internet. “People come to work at Cloudflare every day in order to make the internet better, more secure, more reliable, and more efficient,” the team noted.

If you’re interested in taking the service for a whirl, just type in 1.1.1.1 into your web browser, and follow the instructions to get set up.

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