Google Public DNS gets DNS-over-TLS treatment

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(Image: Vladimir_Timofeev, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Google Public DNS, the product name for the DNS servers that sit at IP addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4, is now able to handle the more secure DNS-over-TLS specification. Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed, phone book-like method for converting domain names into IP addresses.

Traditionally, DNS queries have been vulnerable to sniffing and spoofing from anyone sitting on the wire, but wrapping the queries in Transport Layer Security (TLS) can go some way to changing that.

“Starting today, users can secure queries between their devices and Google Public DNS with DNS-over-TLS, preserving their privacy and integrity,” Google said without mentioning the obvious — since it is on the receiving end of your queries, it will know what domain names you are browsing, as at some point your DNS query needs to be resolved.

Users of Google’s Android 9 release are able to switch to make use of DNS-over-TLS already; users need to find the Private DNS setting in Android’s network settings, and set the DNS provider to dns.google — older versions of Android do not have native DNS-over-TLS support.

Must read: What are the fastest DNS providers?

To help solve this, in October fellow Alphabet company Jigsaw released the Intra app to encrypt DNS queries via HTTPS connections.

Google also added that Linux uses could use the stubby resolver for DNS-over-TLS on its resolver.

Google is far from the first DNS resolver to make use of DNS-over-TLS, with Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 resolver making use of it when launched in April last year.

In November, Cloudflare released Android and iOS apps for mobile users.

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