Cloudflare Promises Faster Internet and More Privacy on Your Phone With New DNS App

Illustration for article titled Cloudflare Promises Faster Internet and More Privacy on Your Phone With New DNS Appem/em
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Earlier this year, Cloudflare launched it’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service, and now it’s available for free on iOS and Android. And if that reads like gobbledygook, the TL;DR is: faster, more private internet on your phone.

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Basically, a DNS service translates IP addresses from mystifying numbers into more easily recognizable names like Google.com. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) generally give you the short end of the stick with their DNS services, resulting in slower speeds—oh, and they can snoop on what you’re looking at by logging your IP addresses. The way Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 app works is that it will redirect all your apps to send DNS requests through a local resolver on your phone. Or, again, if this is reading like a foreign language: It takes your DNS queries and sends them to its faster 1.1.1.1 server, then encrypts them so no one can creep on your data.

Cloudflare seems pretty serious about that. The company says it collects limited DNS query data, and that doesn’t include “user IP addresses or any personally identifiable information.” It also says most of the data is only stored for 24 hours.

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Cloudflare’s app is stupid easy to install
Gif: Cloudflare

So is it a VPN app? Nope. A VPN works a bit differently in that it essentially hides your IP address, which can sometimes lead to slower speeds. So if you’re looking for a way to watch Netflix overseas on your phone, this ain’t it.

As for speeds, it’s a bit vague right now how much you’ll save on loading times and a lot will depend on your individual carrier. That said, 1.1.1.1 is the fastest public server, and according to Cloudflare, they’re about “28 percent faster” than other public DNS resolvers.

While getting started with Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 server is a bit tricky on desktop, it’s shockingly easy on mobile. All I did was download the app and then switch on a giant toggle. And that was it. We’ll have to check just how speedy 1.1.1.1 can be on mobile, but if it’s actually this easy to get faster and more secure internet on my phone... well, it’s kinda hard to argue against giving it whirl.

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Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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DISCUSSION

Searching for this app on Play store yields some very very bad no good results. This is clearly rife with exploit at the moment. Without a link to Cloudflare’s app, a well-intentioned user could get in some trouble. Cloudflare for their part made an app / app name that doesn’t really pop out from the crowd of bad ones using their name.

Make sure you help someone who is not saavy and make sure you get cloudflare’s app and not one of the HUNDREDS of spoofs trying to cash in on this right now. Or is it cache in in this case?