Security

Top 5: Things you should know about DNS

The Domain Name System, or DNS, could be slowing you down or even exposing you to security issues.

The Domain Name System, DNS, is something most people don't think about. But it could be slowing you down or even exposing you to security issues.

SEE: Domain Name System (DNS) Policy (TechPro Research)

Here are five things to know about DNS.

1: You can speed things up. Most ISPs frankly don't spend a lot of time optimizing DNS—so replace it. Google's 8.8.8.8 DNS uses global coverage and load balancing to give fast domain resolution. Although it will collect your data.

2: You can get extra protection. Cisco-owned OpenDNS has built-in identity theft protection and even parental controls for free. Keep in mind OpenDNS also collects some data about you. Quad9 on the other hand at 9.9.9.9 uses real-time info to block phishing and malware, and Quad 9 does not store your data.

3: You can stay private and fast. Cloudflare offers a service at 1.1.1.1, which is not only fast but encrypted. Cloudflare promises to wipe all logs within 24 hours to insure privacy.

4: There are also IPv6 public DNS servers. It's not as catchy, but Google's is 2001:4860:4860::8888 and Quad 9's is 2620:fe::fe.

SEE:A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

5: This is one you can't do yourself yet, unless you're in with the folks working on Oblivious DNS at Princeton. Without requiring a change to DNS structure, Oblivious uses two servers on either side of the Recursive DNS server so that the DNS server doesn't know what you're requesting and top-level servers don't know who you are. Promising!

There are loads more out there with special features and promises—just make sure you read the data collection policies and are comfortable with what they are. And remember even a DNS is not a VPN, so it doesn't secure your entire network. But that said, it's another brick in that security wall, so it's worth looking into.

Also see

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About Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...

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