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When talking about web traffic, it’s vital to know that it runs through a Domain Name Service (DNS). ISP usually manages this service, and the service itself can be fast or slow – it depends on what you’re using. However, many companies are now offering alternatives to it, and Cloudflare is a new contender on that market.

Their DNS is called 1.1.1.1 and, according to their claims, it is faster than its competition. Furthermore, it is also more private and secure as well.


About Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a well-known web infrastructure giant. It currently offers CDN (content delivery network), Authoritative DNS services, as well as DDos (Distributed Denial of Service) mitigation. The newest addition is the DNS resolver service for consumers.

Their client list is extensive, and it includes websites like OkCupid, Mobile Nations, and Uber. What’s more, the company has established CDN servers all around the world. Thus, if your computer is near one, you can get content faster. So, it’s no wonder they’ve made a DNS resolver service as well – the size of their CDN allows it to be successful.


Why is Their Service Unique?

Before we delve further into the matter, it’s essential to explain what DNS is. DNS works as a web’s phonebook.

As you already know, every website has a domain name and an IP address. But, instead of remembering the IP address, we use domain names when navigating to a site. A DNS database is where you’ll find all addresses and domain names. And, when you want to access a website, your computer sends a request to a DNS via the network. The DNS then finds the IP address and shows the site to you with its domain name.

The DNS resolver is something your ISP has, but it’s not always the fastest service around. Therefore, using alternatives like Google Public DNS and Cisco OpenDNS proves to be useful. However, Cloudflare is now offering an even quicker service with added security precautions.

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The average latency rate for Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver is only 14ms, which is a lot less than the Google Public DNS (34ms). And, when it comes to security, Cloudflare has a lot of promises. They will not store user records on disks, and the logs will be deleted after 24 hours.

In this guide, we will show you how you can configure your devices to use this new super-fast DNS resolver by Cloudflare.

The IP addresses

To set up this DNS service, you will need the following IP addresses:

  • IP version 4 requires 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
  • IP version 6 requires 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Router Configuration

If you want to use Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 instead of your current DNS, you should configure your router. Once you do that, all devices in your home will use the same DNS service. The other approach would take some time – you would have to set up each device separately.

Follow these steps:

Warning: Your router might have different configuration instructions. Hence, you should first find out more about it on the manufacturer’s support website.

  1. Click on your preferred web browser and open it.
  2. Type in your router’s IP address and press Enter.
  3. Note: You can quickly find the address by using the Windows key + R shortcut. Type cmd, left-click on OK, and it should open the Command Prompt. There you should run the ipconfig command. Look for the “Default Gateway field” – the router’s IP address is there.

  4. Enter the router password and username so that you can log in. (This info is usually on the sticker on the router).
  5. You’re going to open the page where the DNS server settings are. If you don’t know how to find them, go to the router support website again. It’s usually in the advanced settings section. Here are the locations for some of the most popular router brands for home use:
    • For Linksys, go to Setup > Basic Setup.
    • For ASUS, go to WAN > Internet Connection.
    • For Google Wifi, navigate to Settings > Networking & General > Advanced Network > DNS.
    • For Netgear, go to Internet.
    • For D-Link, go to Manual Internet Connection Setup.
  6. When you find the settings section, input these IPv4 addresses:
    • 1.1.1.1
    • 1.0.0.1.
  7. Save the changes.
  8. Restart the browser you were using.

You’ll have to restart your device so that you can use the newly-configured settings.

You can also run the “ipconfig /flushdns” and “ipconfig /renew” commands through Command Prompt. By doing so, you’ll purge the DNS Resolver cache. Thus, you will then be asked to renew the IPv4 settings.

If your network uses IP version 4, you don’t have to use the addresses for the IP version 6 on your router. However, if you have to use them, you have to input them in the router’s IPv6 DNS setting page. They are:

  • 2606:4700:4700::1111
  • 2606:4700:4700::1001

Windows 10 Configuration

If you find the previous method a bit hard, you can always configure your Windows 10 instead. That will also allow you to use these settings on all networks you connect to with your tablet or laptop. That includes public networks as well.

Follow these steps:

Note: Don’t use this method at work. It could cause connectivity issues, among other problems. Contact the IT department if you want to configure your work computer.

  1. Click on Start and open it.
  2. Look for Control Panel and click on it.
  3. Navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.
  4. Open Properties of your Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter by right-clicking on the icon.network-connectins
  5. Once there, choose the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left-click on Properties.ipv4
  6. Choose the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option.
  7. You will see two fields: one is “Preferred DNS server,” and the other one is “Alternative DNS server.” Input 1.1.1.1 in the first, and 1.0.0.1 in the second field.
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  8. Press OK and then Close.
  9. Optional – Additional Steps

  10. Continuing from step 5, select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) if it’s enabled.
  11. Go to Properties again.
  12. Choose the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option.
  13. You will see those two fields again, but you will now input two IPv6 addresses.
  14. Type 2606:4700:4700::1111 in the first field (Preferred DNS server), and 2606:4700:4700::1001 in the second field (Alternative DNS server).cloudflare Ipv6 DNS
  15. Press OK.

You can also use these steps to configure Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Afterward, all that’s left is to resolve domain names. Your device will reach out to the Cloudflare servers to do that.


How to Verify the Configuration?

If you’re not sure in your configuration skills, you can check by using the nslookup tool. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on Start and open it.
  2. Type “cmd” and click on Command Prompt.
  3. Type “nslookup” and hit Enter.
  4. The results should be:
  • Default Server: 1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com
  • Address: 1.1.1.1

However, if you’re using IPv6 addresses, you will get these results:

  • Default Server: 1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com
  • Address: 2606:4700:4700::1111

If you have opted to configure your router, the address field will show its IP address. That makes sense because your router is the one that’s sending requests to DNS for all the network connected devices.

Therefore, if you want to verify your configuration settings, you can use the router’s network tools (if it’s possible). You can test them with the nslookup method.