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DonyMach1

Free new tool could help keep your data private

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DonyMach1

Free new tool could help keep your data private

A new tool promises to protect your privacy as you browse the internet. The free service will help to mask your online history, keeping this information hidden from your internet service provider (ISP) and other third parties, who often compromise people’s data by selling to research firms and secret agencies.

It works using the Domain Name System, or DNS, the directory of the internet used to direct traffic between servers hosting data and users trying to access them.

 
 

By rooting your DNS requests through a private network, the company behind the service can help to mask the pages you visit.

Combined with a new encryption standard proposed for future internet browsing software, this data could soon be totally hidden. 

The service also aims to speed up your connection by setting up computers in locations across the world to make the DNS process even faster.

The new tool, dubbed 1.1.1.1, has been developed by Cloudflare, a computer security and optimisation firm based in San Francisco. DNS is a crucial process that matches up web addresses, or URLs, like facebook.com with the site’s specific location, or IP address - 157.240.18.35 in the case of the world’s largest social network.

Whenever you click on a link, send an email or open a mobile app, one of the first things that has to happen is your device needs to look up the address of that domain.

ISPs, mobile carriers and WiFi hotspot providers normally control this process, which means they can see and store data on the pages you’ve clicked on. By redirecting DNS requests to Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 resolver, it makes it harder for third parties to collect this data.

And the firm says that it will never record this information themselves, working with auditing firm KMPG to ensure it lives up to this promise.

Speaking about the tool, CEO Matthew Prince said in a written statement: ‘With all the concern over the data that companies like Facebook and Google are collecting on you, it worries us to now add ISPs to the list.

What is the domain name system and how does it work?

The Domain Name System, or 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 sides of the DNS network: the authoritative side, ie webpages and other content, and the resolver side, devices that are trying to access this content.

Every domain needs to have an authoritative DNS provider, servers which store DNS records. Amazon, Cloudflare and Google are among the bigger names in authoritative DNS server provision. On the other side of the DNS system are resolvers. Every device that connects to the Internet needs a DNS resolver. 

By default, these resolvers are automatically set by whatever network you’re connecting to. 

So, for most Internet users, when they connect to an ISP, or a WiFi hot spot, or a mobile network, the network operator will dictate what DNS resolver to use.

The problem is that these DNS services are often slow and don’t respect your privacy. 

What many Internet users don’t realise is that even if you’re visiting a website that is encrypted, indicated by the green padlock in your browser’s address bar, that doesn’t keep your DNS resolver from knowing the identity of all the sites you visit. 

That means, by default, your ISP, every WiFi network you’ve connected to, and your mobile network provider have a list of every site you’ve visited while using them. 

Traditional DNS queries and responses are sent without encryption. 

This makes them vulnerable to eavesdropping and spoofing attacks, where hackers masquerades as other sites or uses using information contained in DNS requests.   

A new system called DNS over HTTPS uses the encryption behind secure websites, indicated by the green padlock in your browser’s address bar, to enhance the privacy and security of the DNS process.  The creators of web browsers, operating systems and devices need to build in support the new system. 

How do you install the 1.1.1.1 DNS privacy tool?

Setting up the 1.1.1.1 DNS privacy tool takes no more than two minutes and requires no technical skill or special software.

However, the exact steps vary depending on the operating system installed on the device you are using.

iOS

From your iPhone’s home screen, open the Settings app.

Tap Wi-Fi, then tap your preferred network in the list.

Tap Configure DNS, then tap Manual.

If there are any existing entries, tap the - button, and Delete next to each one.

Tap the + Add Server button, then type 1.1.1.1.

Tap the + Add Server button again, then type 1.0.0.1. This is for redundancy.

Tap the Save button on the top right. 

Android

Connect to your preferred wireless network.

Enter your router’s gateway IP address in your browser. If you don’t know this, it is usually printed on the back of the router.

If prompted, fill in your username and password. This information may also be labelled on the router.

In your router’s configuration page, locate the DNS server settings.

Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.

Replace those addresses with the 1.1.1.1 DNS addresses:

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Save your settings, then restart your browser.

Windows

Click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel.

Click on Network and Internet.

Click on Change Adapter Settings.

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

Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or Version 6 if desired).

Click Properties

Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.

Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.

Replace those addresses with the 1.1.1.1 DNS addresses:

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Click OK, then Close.

Restart your browser.

MacOS

Open System Preferences.

Search for DNS Servers and select it from the dropdown.

Click the + button to add a DNS Server and enter 1.1.1.1

Click + again and enter 1.0.0.1 (This is for redundancy.)

Click Ok, then click Apply.

Home Router 

Connect to your preferred wireless network.

Enter your router’s gateway IP address in your browser. If you don’t know this, it is usually printed on the back of the router.

If prompted, fill in your username and password. This information may also be labelled on the router.

In your router’s configuration page, locate the DNS server settings.

Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.

Replace those addresses with the 1.1.1.1 DNS addresses:

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Save your settings, then restart your browser.

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oliverjia

I admit I did not read the article at all. However, free AND private? These two do not really get along, I heard.

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flash48
8 minutes ago, oliverjia said:

I admit I did not read the article at all. However, free AND private? These two do not really get along, I heard.

 

The service is free for personnel use and by a monthly fee for business.

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