Each time we type a URL or click on a link, our request goes through a server that transforms the alphabetical address (www.lastampa.it) into the numeric IP address of the destination site (126.96.36.199). That server belongs to the Domain Name System (DNS), a sort of large telephone directory on the Web. The “address resolution”, as they say in the jargon, occurs in a few milliseconds, without us noticing it.
The fundamental problem with this system is that the DNS server manager – usually the connection service provider – can collect (and perhaps use for commercial purposes) information about the sites we visit. By checking the DNS servers of a specific geographical area it is then possible to prevent access to certain sites (as happened for Twitter in Turkey last year ).
DNS for privacy
To try to solve the age-old question, Cloudflare – a well-known connectivity services company – has launched a completely free DNS service, focused on security and respect for privacy. The reference address, 188.8.131.52 , was made available by APNIC, the body that manages the allocation of IP addresses for the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions. To ensure that no data is collected, Cloudflare has entrusted KPMG with the task of carrying out an external audit on an annual basis.
Browsing data privacy is not the only advantage of the new service. Cloudflare promises superior performance to Google’s DNS (184.108.40.206 – 220.127.116.11) and to those of OpenDNS, managed by the multinational Cisco, which advanced users have been using for some time as an alternative to DNS managed by Internet providers.
How do I set up 18.104.22.168?
To change the DNS used by our devices, the procedure is relatively simple and you don’t need to be an expert. Below we explain how to do it on Windows, Mac and iPhone.
(Android requires advanced procedure on the router). With the following procedures you can of course also set the Google DNS or Cisco OpenDNS.
Change DNS on Windows
On a Windows PC, right-click on the Wi-Fi icon at the bottom right, then click Open Connection and Sharing Center . From here select the Ethernet option from the left menu. In the window that appears, right-click on the wireless connection icon (or Ethernet, if you are connected by cable) and click on Properties .
In the pop-up that appears there is a list, under the heading “The connection uses the following elements”. Locate “Internet Protocol version 4”, which must have a tick in the respective box. Select the entry and then click the Properties button , just below. In the window that appears you can finally enter Cloudflare’s DNS in the Use the following DNS servers box , by clicking on the button next to the wording. In the first field enter the address 22.214.171.124, in the second enter 126.96.36.199, i.e. the alternative address.
Change DNS on Mac
On Mac, the procedure is less convoluted. Click on the Wi-Fi icon at the top right and then on Open Network Preferences. In the WiFi panel click on Advanced and from here open the DNS tab. In the left field you can enter the two DNS servers by clicking on the “+” button below. You will have to enter the address 188.8.131.52 and then 184.108.40.206 separately. At the end of the procedure click on Ok and then on Apply in the main panel of the network settings.
Change DNS on iPhone
On the iPhone proceed as follows: open the Settings and then the Wi-Fi item. Tap the “i” next to the name of the network you are connected to. From the next screen select DNS Configuration. Check Manual, then under DNS Server add the two addresses (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168) by clicking on the green “+”. Finally, click on Save at the top right to complete the operation.
Change DNS on the router
If you are familiar with your router settings, the quickest option is to set the DNS directly from the device options. The procedure may vary depending on the model, but in general all routers – except for some models limited by the providers – have the possibility to change the DNS through a dedicated option. Before entering Cloudflare addresses make a note of the IPs already present, in case you need to reset them in the future.