When you want to protect your online privacy, then the very first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is to use a VPN service. Why? Because VPN is the simplest and easiest solution you can have. It’s just like anti-virus software. “Install and Forget” and the rest will be taken care of automatically.
If you want to read more about VPN, then you can read my story on Medium.VPN — Why Everyone Needs It More than Ever Before
Any VPN software will provide the following basic protection:
- It will hide your IP Address (and therefore your location) from everyone including your ISP.
- It will encrypt all of your communication with the external world on the internet to make it fully private to protect it from the prying eyes, including your ISP.
But, if you are not ready to start using the VPN yet, then you can start with 18.104.22.168.
Privacy Protection can’t get any simpler than this and the most interesting part is that it’s totally free and comes from one of the most reputed organizations “Cloudflare”
The simplest thing, you can do is to just install the mobile app called 22.214.171.124 and the job is done. You are all set and all your communications with the internet world will be private. Your ISP would not know, what you are doing or which websites you are visiting.
Is it that simple? Yes, it is.
But, you might also be interested in applying the same protection to your laptops, desktops, iPad, smart home devices, smart speakers, basically all of your devices that are connected to the internet through your wi-fi- router.
We will talk about all this in the following sections. Because I prefer writing for an audience who is not from the computer’s background, I will try to explain this without any technicalities involved.
126.96.36.199 is a DNS resolver service provided by a company called Cloudflare. Most of you might already know that Cloudflare is one of the leading organizations today, which protects thousands of websites of renowned companies in the world.
But before we go into any further details let us first understand a few basics of the internet world.
What Is DNS
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It’s nothing but a kind of address book of the internet.
Today, every electronic device or gadget can communicate with the internet, and we call them “smart devices”. Any device talking to the internet should have a unique name. This name is defined in the form of an Internet Protocol (IP) Address, e.g. 192.168.1.1. Similarly, every website is hosted on a server on the internet has a unique IP Address.
Remembering so many IP addresses of so many websites is not easy for a human being. So, websites have been given more user-friendly names e.g. nytimes.com or foxnews.com. It is called the website address or domain name.
In the background, a system is defined to store the linkage between a website address (or Domain Name) and its unique IP address. This system is called the Domain Name System (DNS).
Just like a phone book, DNS maintains this information for every website in the world. As soon as a new website address is purchased by anyone, that information is shared with DNS, without which the website can’t be accessed.
How DNS Works
Every website you visit, cannot be accessed without a DNS query. Your internet browser doesn’t know anything. The core job of the internet browser is to display the content of a webpage, but the browser needs to work in the background before this content can be fetched from the server where the website is hosted. So, where the website is hosted? Well, that’s what is informed by the DNS.
Let us assume that you want to go to your friend’s place. You know the name of your friend, but you don’t know the address. There is no phone, so you can not ask your friend for his/her address directly.
So, you need to ask someone for your friend’s address. In this case that someone is DNS. You cannot talk to the DNS directly without going through your ISP, because that’s how you talk to the internet.
So, now your ISP and DNS both know where you are going. Privacy is lost, which you never wanted.
Let’s look at the entire process step-by-step
- You type in the address of a website in your browser, e.g. nytimes.com and press enter.
- Your browser doesn’t know anything about nytimes.com, so it sends the request to your ISP.
- Your ISP talks to the DNS server to ask for the (IP) address.
- DNS responds to ISP with the (IP) address for nytimes.com
- ISP sends the information back to your internet browser.
- Now your browser knows where to go to fetch the content of nytimes.com
- It will again send the request to your ISP with the IP address of nytimes.com for a specific page content you want to view.
- Your ISP will respond to your browser with the page contents requested by you.
- Finally, the browser will display the content.
Simple, isn’t it?
So, if this is how internet queries work, then is it possible to hide where you are going, I mean, which websites you are visiting.
Yes, it is possible. Either you use a VPN service or you use privacy-focused DNS, i.e. 188.8.131.52.
What Happens in Incognito Mode
When you are using the incognito mode, you can tell your browser not to store any information and erase it as soon as you are done.
You can hide the traces on your laptop, so your family members (or anyone who has access to your computer) will not know that you have visited a porn site recently, but the world (your ISP and DNS) knows about it.
This is also the reason everyone says that incognito mode is not private at all.
What Is Private DNS
There are multiple DNS service providers available worldwide. Usually, you depend on your ISP to find out the best suitable DNS to provide you with what you are looking for. You, as an average Joe, don’t bother as long as your ISP is doing its job.
But, what if, you can directly go to a DNS to ask for your friend’s address. Can you?
Yes, you can, but you still have to go through your ISP only. So, your ISP still knows who (which DNS) you are talking to and what you are asking for.
If you want to make this communication with the DNS private, then the only way you can do it is by encrypting that communication. This encryption technique is called DNS over HTTPS. Your ISP will still know who you are talking to (your DNS), but they will not know what you are talking about. They will not know which website you want to visit.
What is 184.108.40.206
Now it is easy to understand that 220.127.116.11 is nothing but a privacy-focused, privacy-first DNS provider.
Without going into the complexities of using a VPN service, you can simply ask all of your devices to use 18.104.22.168 DNS service to resolve all the IP addresses.
22.214.171.124 replaces the connection between your device and the Internet with a modern, optimized, protocol.
It is Fast, Free, and Private
Your Internet service provider can see every site and app you use. Some providers even sell this data or use it to target you with ads.
126.96.36.199 with WARP prevents anyone from snooping on you by encrypting more of the traffic leaving your device. 188.8.131.52 believes that privacy is a right. They don’t sell your data, ever.
184.108.40.206 is the fastest DNS resolver today and therefore also speeds up your internet.
How to set it up on Mobile Devices
Mobile devices may include your iPhone, android mobile phones, iPad, and android tablets.
The only thing you need to do is to download the 220.127.116.11 mobile app on your device, open the app, click a few buttons, enable 18.104.22.168, and the job is done.
It is that simple.
Setup on your PC
Setting up 22.214.171.124 takes two minutes and requires no technical skill or special software. Even if you’re a computer novice, there is an easy-to-follow setup guide.
- Click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel.
- Click on Network and Internet.
- Click on Change Adapter Settings.
- Right-click on the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, then click Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or Version 6 if desired).
- Click Properties.
- Write down any existing DNS server entries for future reference.
- Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.
- Replace those addresses with the 126.96.36.199 DNS addresses:
- For IPv4: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206
- For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
- Click OK, then Close.
- Restart your browser.
- You’re all set! Your device now has faster, more private DNS servers.
How to set it up on MacBook
- Open System Preferences.
- Search for DNS Servers and select it from the dropdown.
- Click the + button to add a DNS Server and enter 220.127.116.11
- Click + again and enter 18.104.22.168 (This is for redundancy.)
- Click + again and enter 2606:4700:4700::1111 (This is for redundancy.)
- Click + again and enter 2606:4700:4700::1001 (This is for redundancy.)
- Click Ok, then click Apply.
- You’re all set! Your device now has faster, more private DNS servers.
What about Other Smart Home Device
If you want to protect all your smart home devices as well, and also want to protect them from malware, you just need to configure it at your wi-fi router. If you want to, you can also restrict adult content on all your devices.
You can follow the guide at https://22.214.171.124/family/
I hope this gives you an easy way to protect your privacy to some extent. There couldn’t be any easier solution for a good start towards better privacy.
If you run into any trouble and are not able to find any help, as I always say, please feel free to reach out to me via the comments section, and I will be more than happy to help.