A faster, more private internet?

I’ve always been a little uneasy about how much information I am required to share with my ISP.  Optimum is not on the top of my list of people that I trust to keep my data safe and secure.  For example, their privacy page’s section entitled How We Use Subscriber Information has this lovely phrase:

  • ensure that you receive information about products and services that may be of interest to you;

Which I read as “We will totally sell your browsing information to anyone that might want to sell you things”

So, I was very intrigued by the new service from Cloudflare called 1.1.1.1 which promises “browsing a faster, more private internet.”

Here’s a quote from their site:

Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads.

We think that’s gross. If you do too, now there’s an alternative: 1.1.1.1

via 1.1.1.1 — the Internet’s Fastest, Privacy-First DNS Resolver

They make the statement that We will never sell your data or use it to target ads. Period.”  They also claim to be faster for the DNS lookup, and that seems to be born out in independent tests.  dnsperf

I decided to try it out.  Installation is easy and the instructions can be found here:  https://1.1.1.1/#setup-instructions

It just takes a few seconds to change and doesn’t need any software to be installed.  Everything seems to work just fine so far.  In fact, I’m writing this using the new setup.

What’s in it for Cloudflare? You can read more about that here:  https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-1111/

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Technology

2 responses to “A faster, more private internet?

  1. DroneMann

    First, I will give the new DNS a try, despite the misleading claims.
    A new DNS will be faster because you are new. When you are processing thousands or more requests per second like Google DNS, the speed difference just fades away.
    Your local ISP and the websites you connect to are where most of the tracking for advertising occurs. I don’t see any advantage to data scraped by the DNS except aggregate data which does not contain personal information.
    A few ms faster resolving per lookup will make a negligible difference to the average website you visit. You will see some improvement in site load time when there are so many ads that your browser crawls while all the ads IP addresses are resolved. (I find that those are the very sites that are so obnoxious that their users are forced to use adblock.)

    As I said above, I will give the DNS at 1.1.1.1 a fair trial, but if the volume of target ads drops, I will be truly surprised.

    • Thanks for the response.

      It’s entirely possible that if a lot of people move to this then the speed will drop. That said, Cloudflare has been around since 2010 and is pretty widely used, so they have the experience to keep it going.

      I also highly doubt that the advertisements will drop. There are far too many means to track you these days. DNS is just one avenue.

      I have privacy blocking add-ons that allow me to choose which trackers a company can use. It’s amazing how many sites literally break if you don’t enable that data flow, but at least I get to make a decision on whether the access is worth giving them my data. But I have never been able to stop the sale of DNS data…until now.

      So, will it stop ads?

      No. But it will slightly reduce the flow of information that people have not asked my consent to share. And if it does it with no downside and just a sniff of being faster, there’s no real reason not to try. I hope it works for you and, who knows, maybe there will be just a hint of a benefit in the ad reduction.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

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