Cloudflare has introduced a new DNS resolver, which is both named and situated at 126.96.36.199, that may go further than any other towards keeping users' web browsing data private. Better still, its promise to not collect that information should equate to a faster, smoother browsing experience, to begin with. That's because DNS resolvers work by matching URL addresses to the IP address (or addresses) of a given domain. Ordinarily, a DNS resolver is set by default on mobile technologies, computers, or by the router a given network is being driven through. That means it is chosen and managed by a given carrier, ISP, or other network operators, with those entities having full access to whatever browsing data they want to collect on a user. Google's own public variant of that required internet tool, for example, doesn't collect all of the data that's available and the company says it anonymizes that information. However, Cloudflare's new resolver promises not to collect any at all. As a happy side effect of that, browsing is up to 28-percent faster, according to Cloudflare, because the data doesn't go through extra collection steps en route between devices and the Internet itself.
The primary caveat for Android users is that the OS doesn't allow for DNS settings to be determined on-device. That means it can only be set on a given router and won't be enabled if the router is replaced or users go off-network - or join another private or public network. Having said that, the process is fairly straightforward if a user knows how to access their router's internal settings - by inputting the router's gateway IP address into a browser's URL bar. Once the DNS settings page of a router is found, users simply need to write down or copy out the current DNS addresses - in case something goes wrong or they need to be set to their original values for some reason. From that settings page, the addresses entered will depend on whether IPv4 or IPv6 is in use. For the former, the DNS addresses need to be changed to 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 while the latter will need to be set to 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001. Finally, the settings need to be saved and all browsers restarted.
Bearing that in mind, there's no guaranteed way to ensure that privacy will be as advertised, as several other reports have shown that those kinds of claims can be misleading. Beyond that, there are still, admittedly, other ways an ISP or carrier can obtain the information anyway if they choose to pursue those. However, this does appear to be a step in the right direction and may provide peace of mind for users if it works as advertised. Moreover, it does make the process harder for those that might seek to collect sell a user's web browsing data for a profit. For full instructions on switching to 220.127.116.11 on any device, anybody interested can hit the button below.