How to Use Cloudflare DNS on iPhone, iPad and Mac to Speed up Browsing


How to Use Cloudflare DNS on iPhone, iPad and Mac to Speed up Browsing

Cloudflare, known primarily for its CDN and DDoS mitigation services, launched a consumer-oriented DNS service last month. The free DNS service promises to greatly speed up the browsing experience whilst also keeping your privacy intact. The company says it won’t keep a record of your IP addresses, the websites you visit and sell them to third-parties. It will only keep a record of your data for 24 hours for debugging purposes and then discard them. 

There are plenty of other free DNS services out there including that from Google, but Cloudflare boasts that its DNS offering is faster than the competition. I immediately noticed a slight improvement in the browsing speed on my Mac and iPad after switching to Cloudflare’s DNS.

If you are wondering what exactly a DNS is, and how it will help in improving the browsing speeds on your Mac or iPhone, read Cloudflare’s explanation on it below.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. Humans access information online through domain names, like nytimes.com or espn.com. Web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources.

So, if the DNS is the phonebook of the Internet, DNS Resolvers are the ones that go through this phonebook to find the IP address of the website you’d like to load. The faster the DNS Resolver works, the faster the page will start loading. CloudFlare’s DNS Resolver is just that. Since it relies on CloudFlare’s extensive network, it has a huge advantage over others in terms of resolving DNS queries.

As the above chart shows, Cloudflare’s DNS is faster than the likes of Google DNS and OpenDNS by 28 percent. While we are talking about milliseconds here, the difference is still going to be noticeable in daily use. So, how do you use Cloudflare’s DNS on your Mac or iPhone/iPad? Follow the steps below to know how.

How to Use Cloudflare’s DNS on macOS

Step 1: On your iMac or MacBook, head over to System Preferences -> Network. From here, select the network interface your Mac is connected to i.e. Wi-Fi or LAN from left and then head over to Advanced menu.

Alternatively, you can just open System Preferences and search for DNS Servers. 

Step 2: Switch to the DNS tab. Click the ‘+’ button under DNS Servers and enter Cloudflare’s DNS address: 1.1.1.1. Click the ‘+’ button again and this time enter 1.0.0.1 as the DNS server address.

How to Use Cloudflare’s DNS on iPhone and iPad

You can also use Cloudflare’s DNS on your iPhone or iPad as well. Here’s how.

Step 1: Head over to Settings -> Wi-Fi and tap the button located near the name of your preferred Wi-Fi network.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom and select the Configure DNS option. Tap Manual and under DNS Servers enter 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1.

Make sure to save your entry before you exit the menu. Your iPhone and iPad will now make use of Cloudflare’s DNS servers for an improved browsing time.


While the above steps work, it is ideally recommended that you directly configure your Wi-Fi router to use Cloudflare’s DNS. This will ensure that every device connected to the router makes use of Cloudflare’s DNS.

If you do end up switching to Cloudflare’s DNS, let us know by dropping a comment below as to how much of a difference have you seen it make to your overall internet browsing speed.