DNS is short for “Domain Name Service” and this tool is at the core of our internet network. DNS makes sure you don’t have to type in an IP address to get where you want to go. Without DNS, instead of typing, say, “Google” into your browser, you would remember an address like 22.214.171.124. In other words, DNS makes the Internet more user-friendly. Your desktop, laptop, tablet, and even your phone need DNS to function properly.
Almost everything you do on connected devices starts with a DNS query. So when you search in the address bar of a web browser or any application on a mobile device, DNS works.
The problem is that standard DNS is often insecure, which means all your queries are sent over the network in the clear.
Why is this a problem? Let’s imagine that you are browsing the public web (like in a coffee shop) and start typing various search terms on your Android device. If someone else is on the same network and has the necessary skills, they can intercept your search queries and know exactly what you are looking for.
This is where private DNS mode comes in handy. Once this feature is enabled, all your DNS requests are encrypted so attackers cannot view them (even if they intercept packets). In other words, Private DNS mode should be a must for anyone who values their privacy and security.
But how to enable private DNS mode on Android? It’s actually quite simple.
The only thing you need to enable private DNS mode is an Android device with OS version 9.0 or higher. Almost every modern Android phone is able to take advantage of this feature.
Enabling private DNS mode
1. Open network and Internet
Open the app Settings (in the notification bar or in the application list), then select Network and Internet. If the menu does not appear, search for “DNS” in the search bar.
2. Enable Private DNS
You will find the menu Private DNS at the bottom of the list.
Picture: Jack Wallen.
3. Add a provider that offers secure DNS.
This is where things get a little more complicated. You must have an address from an ISP that offers private DNS. One such provider is Cloudflare and its private DNS server address is 1dot1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com.
Other private DNS also exist:
- Google-DNS: dns.google
- Quad9: dns.quad9.net
- Net DNS lookup: security-filter-dns.cleanbrowsing.org
When you click on Private DNS, a new popup will appear. Press Private DNS provider hostnamethen enter the desired name.
Picture: Jack Wallen.
Press Register to save the new setting and close the Settings app.
That’s all. Once you have enabled private DNS on Android, you can be sure that all your DNS queries will be encrypted. Take advantage of increased privacy and security.