Cloudflare is on a mission to help the universe build a better and safer Internet. The company has rolled out it's own free DNS for consumers 126.96.36.199 and claims it as Internet's fastest, privacy-first DNS service.
Before moving ahead, let's understand key technical terms: Domain, IP address, and DNS.
Let's suppose you would like to access information on free tools and technolgies available for non-profits. In your browser address, you type in TechRasam.Org, which helps non-profits use technology effortlessly & confidently to achieve their goals. The word "TechRasam.Org" is called a Domain.
"An Internet Protocol Address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication." Any device, such as a smartphone or a laptop, has a unique IP address which other machines use to find the device. DNS (Domain Name System) is called the phonebook or directory of the Internet. To load information from TechRasam.Org, web browser interacts through device's IP address and DNS translates domain name TechRasam.Org to IP address.
Since it is difficult for us to remember IP addresses (such as 192.168.1.1 or 2400:cb00:2048:1::c629:d7a2), we have domain names like TechRasam.Org, which is stored in a DNS database alongside the IP address. WHen you type this adress in your web broswer, DNS servers converts TechRasam.Org to an IP address. This IP adress is necessary to identify internet connected devices - just like a combination of latitude longitude is used to find a particular address (here TechRasam.Org).
The fundamental problem is that most DNS services are often slow and not privacy-focussed. Even if you visit any encrypted website online, your Internet Service Provider knows that website you are connected to, and it sells your private browsing data to get money. Companies, including Cisco OpenDNS and Google Public DNS offers free, fast and reliable DNS services, but Cloudflare claims its DNS 188.8.131.52 to be faster and more secure than the rest.
In additon to privacy, there is security concerns as well. Hackers have been attacking DNS servers through a number of ways among which DNS hijacking is common where the they redirect our web searches (queries) to a different domain name server.
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Images Credit: Cloudflare.com