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How To Set Up Cloudflare DNS? Easily

4 Min. Read

Cloudflare, a prominent provider of proxy and global CDN servers, provides a free DNS service for consumers. It is similar to Google DNS.

This free unmanaged DNS service does not require an account. It’s known for its easy-to-recall IP address, which is 1.1.1.1. It works with every browser type.

Continue reading to find out how to set up Cloudflare DNS, which has provided developers with the ISPs to protect websites from spying and hacker attacks since 2014.

What is DNS?

DNS is an acronym for Domain Name System and Domain Name Server. Both terms refer to the database maps between multiple addresses.

The domain name is part of the core URL in your site after HTTPS://, and any forward slashes after that refer to specific pages.

The addressing system used on the internet is called an IP address, which stands for Internet Protocol. A typical internet address has eight numbers separated by three periods.

The Internet router deciphers and sends messages between interconnected networks. Cloudflare IPS protects your DNS record from targeted advertising and distributed denial of service.

Your home network internet provider provides the default DNS server. However, it is possible to alter the DNS record with new IP settings provided by a server like Cloudflare. Cloudflare’s famous ISP is 1.1.1.1.

Why Do You Need Secure DNS Cloudflare Services?

Cloudflare settings allow you to disguise the information compiled by any Internet Service Provider (ISP). This allows you to browse with privacy, without the risk of surveillance or being hacked.

The server you install can access your web traffic, web pages, domain names, and browser history. It can access anything that isn’t encrypted and sell your information to market research companies.

ISPs can also limit access to sites or limit the access of others to your site. If you suspect this is an issue, use a new DNS like Cloudflare to override the default ISP provided by your browser.

Once you set up Cloudflare, it does not matter which browser you use, as it overrides every IP.

Set Up Cloudflare DNS On Windows

Here are the steps to setting up Cloudflare on Windows.

Step 1: Configure Network Properties

To get to the Network Properties button on Windows:

1) Open the Windows Settings System by clicking the Start menu and the gear button.

2) Get to the Network control panel by clicking on the Network & Internet.

3) Click on Advanced network settings. This will show a list of all connected networks.

Advanced network settings on Windows 11
Advanced network settings on Windows 11

4) Right-click on the network you use to connect to your ISP and select View additional properties from the drop-down menu to activate the DNS resolver.

5) Click on the Edit button to initiate DNS changes.

Step 2: Set Up DNS for IPv4

Find the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in the Properties window.

1) Click on the line with a checkmark to access DNS records.

2) Click on the radio button called Use the following DNS server addresses.

3) Enter 1.1.1.1 in the Preferred DNS server box.

4) Enter 1.0.0.1 in the Alternate DNS server field.

Edit IPv4 DNS on Windows 11
Edit IPv4 DNS on Windows 11

5) Click on OK and the Close button to shut the connection properties window.

6) Restart your browser to request a Cloudflare DNS session and perform a fast and secure DNS resolver.

Set Up Cloudflare DNS On MacOS

Here are the steps to navigating DNS settings on any Mac.

1) Open System Preferences.

2) Click on Search and enter DNS Servers.

3) Click on the + symbol to add a DNS record. Enter 1.1.1.1

4) Click on the + symbol again and enter 1.0.0.1 this time.

Set Up Cloudflare DNS On MacOS
Set Up Cloudflare DNS On MacOS

5) Click OK and click Apply.

6) Restart your browser to request a Cloudflare DNS session and perform a fast and secure DNS resolver.

Set Up Cloudflare DNS On Linux

These instructions are for all Linux DNS server settings.

Set Up Cloudflare DNS On Linux
Set Up Cloudflare DNS On Linux

Step 1: Open Network settings

1) Click on Applications in the left-hand menu.

2) Click on Settings, then click Network.

3) Click the gear button on the right-hand panel to open the menu, then click connection settings.

Step 2: Configure the DNS for IPv4

1) Click the IPv4 tab in the connection settings

2) Move the Automatic slider to Off.

3) Enter 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 in the two DNS address fields.

4) Click on Apply.

5) Restart your browser to request a Cloudflare DNS session and perform a fast and secure DNS resolver.

Step 3: Configure the DNS for IPv6

1) Click on the IPv6 in Connection Settings.

2) Find the DNS settings and set the Automatic slider to Off.

3) Enter 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001 in the two adjacent blank DNS address fields.

4) Click on Apply.

5) Restart your browser to request a Cloudflare DNS session and perform a fast and secure DNS resolver.

Cloudflare DNS On Android

Android only uses IPv4 addresses.

1) Swipe down from the screen top of your device to expand the Settings Bar.

2) Tap on Wifi and then More Settings to get to the next screen.

3) Long press on your ISP (network connection.) and tap on the Modify Network Pop-Up.

Cloudflare DNS On Android
Cloudflare DNS On Android

4) Tap on Advanced Options, then IP or ISPs, then select Static.

5) Scroll down to the fields DNS1 and DNS2.

6) Enter 1.1.1.1 for DNS1 and enter 1.0.0.1 for DNS2.

7) Tap Save and restart the device.

Cloudflare DNS On iOS

Just like Android, the iOS DNS service only uses IPv4 addresses.

1) Tap on Settings on the Home screen. Select Wi-Fi from the screen.

2) On the Wi-Fi screen, tap on the right arrow next to the name of your internet connection.

3) Tap Configure DNS and then Manual.

4) If any DNS entries exist, note them down and then delete them.

5) Tap + Add Server. Enter 1.1.1.1 for the address value.

6) Tap + Add Server. Enter 1.0.0.1 for the address value.

Cloudflare DNS On iOS
Cloudflare DNS On iOS

7) Tap Save and restart the device.

Cloudflare DNS Service Considerations

Although the main purpose of having IP addresses is to protect your website from hackers, you are not protected from Cloudflare.

Cloudflare is a free browser, but it is a DNS service owned by a company that can see information on your DNS records and any of your websites.

Cloudflare of Los Angeles is owned by APNIC, an Asian South Pacific Corporation. APNIC also owns the 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 DNS, which means it has access to your DNS records and website data.

Conclusion

Although Cloudflare is a free account with a universal IP address and fast DNS services, it does have some content delivery network issues that threaten website security.

First, the Cloudflare DNS settings may not protect your website log. The non-profit IP address distribution authority for the Asia Pacific region owns the free plan. However, it can protect your DNS record from data miners and external hackers.

Cloudflare offers a Pro Plan for $20/month and a Business Plan for $200/month. The Pro Plan offers image and speed optimization, security, mobile access, and cache analytics. The Enterprise Plan offers phone support, multiple domains, software engineer support, and credits against downtime.

I hope you found this article helpful.

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect, Swiss Certified ICT Security Expert, Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). He has over 20 years of broad IT experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize the performance of mission-critical enterprise systems with extensive practical knowledge of complex systems build, network design, business continuity, and cloud security.

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