Speed up your internet (and make it safer) for free

By Rick
on March 11, 2019

Everyone wants faster internet, so here's how you get it (for free). As well as making your internet faster, it's going to make your internet queries private.

How?

On your phone it's as simple as downloading and running this app, then installing the VPN profile. Click the button below to go to the store of your choice and grab the free app (sorry if you're not on one of these platforms, you'll have to do the manual process).

Installing on your phone is fairly simple, just run the app and install the VPN profile, but on a desktop computer is a little trickier so proceed with care. Please note, you do this at your own risk, but if you run in to difficulty, just comment below or send me a message and I'll try to help.

On a Mac

Click the WiFi icon and choose 'Open Network Preferences' from the bottom of the list.

The active internet connection is at the top of this list and should have a green light beside it, for example this is the WifI Connection:

At the bottom right of that window, choose Advanced... then go to the DNS tab.

You'll see a box with some DNS entries in them with possibly a few IP addresses which are dark grey. Those are the addresses your computer uses to look up websites, we're going to replace them with CloudFlare's DNS servers.

Press the + button at the bottom left and then type:

1.1.1.1

Press the + button again and enter.

1.0.0.1

Your window should now look like this:

Updated DNS settings with CloudFlare DNS

Hit OK, then apply to make the changes stick and you're done. Welcome to speedier, more private internet.

On a Windows PC

On a PC it's a little tricker:

  1. Click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel.
  2. Step 2: Click on Network and Internet.
  3. Step 3: Click on Change Adapter Settings.
  4. Right click on the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.
  5. Click Properties.
  6. Select Internet Protocol Version 4.
  7. Click Properties.
  8. Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.
  9. Remove any IP addresses that may be already listed and in their place add:
1.1.1.1  
1.0.0.1

10: Click OK.

Here's a link to a video tutorial

How does it work?

The company that make this app are the worlds largest Content Delivery Network (CDN). They make copies of websites (like this one!) available to users in locations that are geographically closer, so they load faster.

When you visit any website, your device asks another computer 'where is this website', the question is passed down a chain of computers until the answer is given, then your computer loads the website.

CloudFlare servers also know where most websites are, so they reduce the number of 'hops' your computer has to do to get an answer.

How does it make my connection more private?

Some internet providers make money from your internet queries. For example; if you type an incorrect website address, you may be presented with a page full of suggested sites, or adverts. Your internet provider makes money from those adverts loading, or from you clicking on them. So by using CloudFlare's DNS service you're bypassing their servers so they don't know what you're looking up. In your face ISPs!

Is it Trust Worthy?

Yes! They are a business but this is a bi-product of what they offer.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a virtual private network. A VPN is used for remotely connecting to another server and to encrypt all the information that you send and receive over the internet. If you ever made a code wheel, it's like that, but for your internet connection.

Is this a full VPN?

Not quite - from what I understand, it doesn't encrypt your data, but it does encrypt your internet queries. I'll do a full post about VPNs some time in the future as they are increasingly important these days.

If you like this and found it useful, please consider sharing, joining me on facebook or following on twitter.

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