DNS: Safe?

Here’s how safe the DNS is:

Yes, the DNS is safe to use, and there is a fair chance that it is faster and more secure than what you already use.

It is a DNS run by Cloudflare, which is a networking company that is trying to provide better internet privacy for users.

Changing to this DNS should not cause any problems for most users.

So if you want to learn all about how safe the DNS is exactly, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it! DNS: Safe? (Everything to Know)

What Is a DNS?

This is a specific DNS that is operated by the company known as Cloudflare.

Cloudflare was established in 2009, and it’s a tech company that offers a range of products, services, and solutions geared towards global networking and cloud resources. 

Some of the things you could find with Cloudflare are network services like firewalls and smart routing.

You will also find features for data and analytics.

The full range is pretty vast, and all of it gets quite technical.

What matters most in answer to the original question is that Cloudflare runs the DNS, and they make it available to the public.

So, this is a specific DNS with specific features.

I’m going to get into all of it, including what a DNS even is and why this version is different from anything else out there.

What Are the DNS Basics?


So what is a DNS, and why does it matter?

It stands for Domain Name Server.

This is a part of the tech world that is integral to making the internet work.

Any time you type an address into your web browser, you actually call upon a DNS in order to load the website you’re after.

Here’s what’s happening.

The internet is really just a bunch of different devices that can all talk to each other over a distance.

Internet connectivity is a lot like phone lines, in that there are physical lines running all over the place that handle the transmission of data from one device to another (wireless is part of this too, but let’s keep it simple).

So, in order for your computer to send a signal to say, Google.com, the signal has to be properly routed.

The system has to know where you are and where the Google device that you’re talking to is.

That’s how the communication works.

In order to keep track of everything, the IP system was created. Basically, every device has an IP address.

IP addresses represent physical locations in the world, and they’re used to map the communication routing infrastructure that your device uses to surf the web. 

The thing about IP addresses is that they’re just serial numbers.

If you had to look up the specific IP to load up any website, it would be a huge pain to find what you’re really after.

In order to simplify and automate everything, a DNS is added into the mix.

It’s a literal server that connects with your device in order to route your internet requests.

So, let’s say you want to go to Google.com.

When you type that into the address bar on your web browser, a signal is sent to your DNS.

The DNS has a massive list of web addresses and their serial number locations.

It finds the correct IP address for whatever you typed into the bar, and then it connects you accordingly.

That’s the gist of what a DNS does, but there’s certainly more going on.

The structure of the DNS can affect how quickly pages load.

They can impact your internet security and your experience in general by performing well.

So, not all DNSs are created equally.

What Makes the DNS Special?

Now that you understand the essence of what your DNS is doing, we can look at how is different from what you might be using.

As a note, most people have default DNS set by their internet providers.

If you’ve never tried to change your DNS, then that’s very likely the case. 

As for, Cloudflare designed it in an effort to increase privacy and security for internet users.

The company also claims that is faster than most servers.

Does it live up to these claims?

To some extent, yes.

For starters, the Cloudflare DNS doesn’t sell user data to third parties.

When you search the internet, the DNS sees every search you make. It has to in order to function.

Servers can catalog user search data and then sell it in bulk to interested parties.

Big tech companies are potential buyers.

They can use the data for all kinds of things, including complicated analytics that help them target ads or adjust features.

DNS data is even used for academic research.

The fact that the Cloudflare DNS doesn’t sell this data is significant, and it definitely does increase your privacy online.

It’s not a total privacy solution, but it’s a step towards a more private internet experience.

As for speed, Cloudflare claims that their WARP service can increase website loading by 30%.

Supposedly this is done by optimizing internet routes to get a faster experience.

I couldn’t find conclusive third-party tests to confirm the speed boosts, but the theory is sound.

It’s at least possible that really is a faster DNS.

Is Cloudflare Trustworthy?

Cloudflare is a properly registered business.

It clears all of the normal checks to ensure that it is operating legitimately.

You can get a hold of their customer service resources.

There are no known scams or malpractice cases attached to the Cloudflare name.

The company is short on public scandals, and as far as can be checked, they work the way they claim to work.

There is no evidence that Cloudflare is selling user data, and in fact, other DNS providers seem to be moving in a direction similar to the practices of Cloudflare. 

Google and Xfinity have both released public statements claiming that they will never sell DNS data and that logs are automatically deleted after 24 to 48 hours.

These are both important Cloudflare principles.

Ultimately, I can’t tell you who to trust.

But, I can’t give you a compelling reason not to trust Cloudflare.

They pass all of the usual legitimacy tests.

How Does the DNS Compare to Other DNS Providers?

We’ve gone over some of the things that Cloudflare claims make special.

How does that compare to other servers?

Well, there are a lot of DNS options.

With so many out there, you’re going to see a mix of things.

It’s hard to claim that any of the perks of using are unique, but here are a few practices that could make a different DNS less appealing.

Again, none of this is standard, but there are servers doing each of these things.

First is data security.

The Cloudflare server encrypts all data that travels through it using something called HTTPS.

This is an industry standard for encrypting internet traffic.

These days, if you try to go to a site without HTTPS encryption, you’ll probably get a warning about it not being secure.

Even knowing that there are plenty of DNS resolvers that are not up to date in this regard.

They allow unencrypted data to travel through them, and they aren’t upgraded to HTTPS.

I don’t have a full list for you, but you can check with your internet service provider to see if your default DNS is encrypting traffic or not.

This is a key way that is more secure than some of the competition.

How Do You Use the DNS?

If you want to give it a try, you can use

You can decide for yourself if it feels any faster, and you’ll know that you aren’t being tracked through the DNS.

Ultimately, to use, you have to manually change the DNS on each device.

The steps vary depending on what kind of device you have, but you can usually find it in internet settings.

I’ll show you how to do it on Windows 10.

If you have a different device, you can look up the instructions for it.

You can also change the DNS on your router, and that will impact every single device on your network.

For Windows 11, follow these steps:

  • Open the Control Panel (You can search for it in the start menu)
  • Choose Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings
  • You might have multiple adapters here. Choose the one that is active (usually named Ethernet or Wi-Fi)
  • Right-click on the adapter you want to change and choose Properties.
  • In the new window, navigate to the Networking tab.
  • In the list present, look for “Internet Protocol Version 4.” Highlight it and then click the Properties button under it.
  • This new window has an option that says “Use the following DNS server addresses.” Click that bubble, and then you can type in the new DNS. Type in for the preferred DNS, and you’re good to go.

Again, the steps for any individual device will vary, but the process is similar to this.

You are looking for the DNS settings within your internet options.

Most importantly, you’re trying to tell the device to stop finding a DNS on its own and instead to use the one that you assign.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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