CLOUDFLARE HAS ANNOUNCED that its open DNS server has been made available for smartphones.
The service at 18.104.22.168 can now be accessed via an app for Android and iOS that offers a one-touch control to switch between your network's DNS and Cloudflare.
Of course, there's a certain melodrama to all this - what Cloudflare has launched is an app. The 22.214.171.124 service for consumers arrived back in April and could be used by anyone if they had the nous - what's actually launched here is an app to make it a no-brainer.
But why would you want it? Lots of reasons.
First and foremost, the use of an open DNS like Cloudflare, OpenDNS or Google DNS, is security. By routing your traffic through it, you'll get an encrypted service, orphaned from your ISP and making it just that little bit more difficult to monitor it.
Then there's speed. Quite often the alternatives are significantly nippier. In the US and UK the difference may be imperceptible (or significant - you just have to try out what works for you) but in parts of the world with slower connections, that DNS change can boost you quite significantly.
Finally, there's freedom. In countries where internet access is blocked at some level, the use of alternative DNS configurations has let people get around the ban and access restricted content, perhaps containing dissidence or opinions that you aren't supposed to have.
"We launched 126.96.36.199 to offer consumers everywhere a better choice for fast and private Internet browsing," said Cloudflare head of honcho Matthew Prince, "The 188.8.131.52 app makes it even easier for users to unlock fast and encrypted DNS on their phones."
Let's be clear though - this isn't a silver bullet. Your privacy isn't absolute using this or any other DNS service. You'll need more (like a VPN for example) to be more confident. Not completely confident. Just more confident. μ
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