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325 points by DeathArrow 87 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 166 comments

I had to stop using because I am getting rate limited when using their “cloudflared” dns-over-https proxy. My pretty modest home network and the various services running make 20-25k queries per day and I get a lot of REFUSED responses. Google on the other hand has no problem serving all of them. I even set a local cache to bypass the dns TTL but the problem is that sometimes 10 or more queries arrive at the same moment from a service.

That's not too many requests, but running any form of a home network would still benefit moderately from a local DNS server. You could even install something like dnsmasq on the most heavy-using boxes to cache lookups locally.

Granted, I'm saying this as yet another home-network admin who hasn't quite... ahem... gotten around to installing a DNS server. ^_^; I'm mostly sharing this here in case someone else has a similar problem and wants a solution.

I am running a pihole and I have set a minimum TTL of 40 minutes for the local cache, my setup is pihole --> local DoH proxy --> as described here https://docs.pi-hole.net/guides/dns/cloudflared/

Pi-hole with Tailscale checking in here. Easy to set up.

Did you talk to someone at Cloudflare about this? That sounds... odd.

As John says - sounds odd - but please drop me an email with more details - silverlock at cloudflare

Understanding the # of unique names, peak QPS, % of response types, etc will help.

I consider it a “bug” if you can take the same profile of DNS queries to another resolver and see no issues ;-)

> 10 or more queries arrive at the same moment from a service.

I suspect you hit some sub-second ratelimit.

Why can't you not set up a local DNS on any PC backed by if you really want to stay with Cloudflare?

I used to use till the day I realized that it doesn't resolve archive.is [1]. I don't particularly care what the details are, whose fault it is, etc., but as an end user, I see this a major problem because with if my browser is unable to resolve a domain, I wouldn't know if it's my DNS's fault or if it's the site's without an explicit check. I also don't care much for family "protection", so right now I don't see a good reason for using Cloudflare over Quad9.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21155056

[2]: https://www.quad9.net/

> I don't particularly care what the details are, whose fault it is, etc.


From the article above:

> In other words, Archive.is's nameservers throw a hissy fit and return a bogus IP when Cloudflare doesn't leak your geolocation info to them via the optional EDNS client subnet feature. The owner of Archive.is has plainly admitted this with a questionable claim (in my opinion) about the lack of EDNS information causing him "so many troubles."

Not sure how it’s causing him so many troubles.

> Not sure how it’s causing him so many troubles.

The allegation is that Cloudflare's in the (anycast) CDN business, hence its customers do not require EDNS (ECS) to be steered to the geographically-nearest server, and so, they naturally want to kill EDNS (ECS) and that privacy's just an excuse.

As a consumer, I agree with what Cloudflare's doing (though they could potentially engineer a solution to send fake/blind EDNS (ECS)). Wearing my developer hat, I also agree with archive.is' decision to stage a protest.

This makes me even more willing to use

Thank you! This is incredibly informative on the situation and makes sense. It also makes me happy with clouflare's choice

It doesn't have the owner's side on it, though, which is not as evil as the article makes it sound. I can post more information when I'm home, but he basically uses that info to thwart attacks.

This has come up a few times. Mostly the owner is set in their ways and are mad at CF for not providing the DNS flags that allow outside CDNs to figure out what IP you are closest to. From a 2019 thread about this:

The archive.is owner has explained that he returns bad results to us because we don’t pass along the EDNS subnet information. This information leaks information about a requester’s IP and, in turn, sacrifices the privacy of users. This is especially problematic as we work to encrypt more DNS traffic since the request from Resolver to Authoritative DNS is typically unencrypted. We’re aware of real world examples where nationstate actors have monitored EDNS subnet information to track individuals, which was part of the motivation for the privacy and security policies of


Can you explain the attack a bit more? One would (naively) expect that the process of the user connecting to my web server would expose their IP address (associated with their intent) to many more relevant actors (including "nationstate actors") than Cloudflare connecting to my DNS server... is the issue that the specific nationstate actor you have been concerned with is explicitly able to target and achieve surveillance on Cloudflare's outgoing traffic, but is expected to not be able to surveil the incoming traffic to my infrastructure on the other side (which sees the user's IP address way)?

Because DNS is still largely unencrypted. Nation state actors can read that information and map who is making requests for what domains.

It’s not so much a concern of the site host from getting the users IP, because the user is presumably going to visit it. This is an issue with Archive.is because they host their own DNS, not their web server.

I am sorry, can you explain this to me step by step? My computer makes a DNS request through Cloudflare, which forwards a request to archive.is's DNS server which is apparently going out of its way to carefully prevent anyone from figuring out that I wanted to access archive.is... and then my computer ruins all of that by making a direct connection to archive.is's web server. If you are a "nationstate actor" able to randomly sniff traffic in various places, the DNS request doesn't seem to add any value over the web request. What is the actual attack? Be more specific.

The IP you connect to could host 1000 sites. Leaking which one you're actually accessing could be important.

The "attack" is bad implementations revealing the whole IP, leaking that PII, to anybody watching DNS, instead of the query being masked to a /20, or some other subnet.

Not all VPNs route DNS queries over the VPN for performance reasons. Thus, knowing that a specific IP is visiting dissident net when that cannot be directly observed is very useful.

Your "VPN fails to prevent my ISP from seeing the DNS request" attack is already prevented by using with DNS-over-HTTPS even if Cloudflare gives your IP address, unencrypted, to the upstream DNS server, as the only party in question there is your local ISP. I am asking after some detail on the specific attack that Cloudflare is claiming they caught nationstate actors doing wherein it matters that Cloudflare's DNS requests leak my IP address, as the only scenario I can come up with where that matters is a hypothetical attacker that specifically is monitoring Cloudflare's egress (which frankly sounds relatively difficult due to scale) but not the website's ingress (which for a website of interest seems absolutely trivial) nor the user's egress (such as many countries now seem to do routinely), either of which trivially out the user's address and intent due to the browser making a direct socket connection to the result of the DNS query.

They also blocked all of Finland a few years ago for pretty dubious reasons:


"They" refers to archive.is, not Cloudflare.

Is archive.is the only major site using that line of reasoning?

That I’m aware of, yes.

> I used to use till the day I realized that it doesn't resolve archive.is.

It does resolve archive.is, it’s just the archive.is nameservers return garbage if the source if CloudFlare. CloudFlare could simply fix this their end if they wanted but haven’t done so out of integrity. This looks good for CloudFlare and bad for archive.is from where I’m sitting.

Is there any non-conspiratorial reason for archive.is's position on this?

Yes. From a technical standpoint, archive.is' stance is that it's actually important useful data that, more importantly, isn't a privacy violation. How much you agree with archive.is depends on a very technical understanding of the subject, or barring that, it depends on how much you buy Cloudflare's reasoning. Cloudflare's business would prefer you pay for Cloudflare (at large but specifically their anycast) instead of using an optimization available to you as a Internet business to route clients to a more optimal/closer server.

As far as the privacy implications, remember that the site you visit needs to know your IP address in order to respond to your request, so while there are some issues to be aware of, it's kind of hard to see it as a privacy violation and not Cloudflare trying to squash the little guy, imo.

I coded a GeoDNS for a couple of my sites and Cloudflare‘s IPs are always geolocated to the nearest datacenters and works great in a GeoDNS setting.

Also, what about DNS resolvers that don’t support EDNS at all?

The check archive.is uses to return garbage is specifically for cloudflare's IPs all other non-EDNS works fine. You can dig to there authoritative DNS server yourself to see.

Latency optimization.

There's an argument that CF benefits if that DNS extension is not in widespread usage. (Because CF sells a CDN but if sites can "just implement" that with DNS, then there's "nothing for them to sell".)

It leads to further centralization of the internet where a few have more data to make better decisions (and more money) and the smaller players are left out.

That's a fairly good argument IMO. Today's Cloudflare does not sell data. Tomorrow's, or our children's generation's, could.

As you say, this could become a monopoly and it's cool to see a popular website standing up for a future where littler guys can still make it. It's not clear to me that's the precise argument he's made so I'm just guessing.

When did HN get these new awesome nav buttons? Root, next, ... amazing!

If you run a pi-hole create a config file in /etc/dnsmasq.d such as 02-archive.is.conf with the following

And restart dnsmasq (or just reboot the pi)

This will resolve the common archive.is domains using Google's DNS service rather than but everything else via as normal.

I just installed pi-hole and it says version 4 doesn't use dnsmasq anymore [1].

edit: Nevermind, your configuration worked. I verified after flushing DNS cache that archive.is was at first inaccessible, and now after a pihole reboot it does resolve. Thanks!

I wonder if this is another way to set up the same thing with PiHole's "FTL-DNS" [2]

[1] https://docs.pi-hole.net/ftldns/dns-resolver/

[2] https://docs.pi-hole.net/ftldns/configfile/#pihole_ptr

CloudFlare is in the right. This is for privacy.

Just put the IPs on your hosts file, it's easy. https://dns.google/query?name=archive.is  archive.today  archive.is
While there try a hosts blocklist




> Just put the IPs on your hosts file, it's easy.

Just wanted to say: Thank you for posting an actual solution!

So if archive.is decided to also return garbage DNS results to Quad9 you would stop using them too?

I get your sentiment, but allowing one single webpage on the internet to dictate who you are allowed to use for DNS is going too far in the other direction, IMHO

It's a little ironic complaining about a single webpage on the internet, when you're suggesting that we use a single resolver on the internet instead of a distributed resolver system that we have otherwise.

FWIIW, I use the resolver of my ISP, and 100% happy with the results. If your ISP provides incorrect and fake data to make extra money on advertising, maybe you should vote with your wallet and change the ISP.

Millions of people in the US can't change their ISP. I live in a major city and would have to drop my speed by 90% if I switched to my other option. I have two options total.

Doesn't T-Mobile US offer home internet over 4G and 5G in most of the US now?

I've actually been using tethering for home internet, and it's often faster and cheaper than landline alternatives. Easily get 100Mbps in my location over 4G LTE on an old phone.

T-Mobile US is a funny example since they have been caught intercepting traffic for other DNS resolvers and silently responding with their own.


I don't think I could make do with less than 1 Gb/s (currently gave 1.3).

I have a ton of home automation, a few HD cameras, and household members who stream video (or play games) basically 24/7.

Aren't you a big enough player to have your own recursive DNS, then?

Plus, if you get so much bandwidth from your provider, are they really still messing about with your DNS?

> maybe you should vote with your wallet and change the ISP.

Not a lot an option for many, most of my life I've lived in areas that only have a single choice.

ISP's regularly resell subscriber data, including DNS requests. They're also more likely to "play ball" with authorities.

> we use a single resolver

Cloudflare is still doing BGP like your ISP.

This is simply unsubstantiated — there's absolutely no reason to believe Cloudflare won't play ball with authorities.

If anything, ISP DNS being a distributed system with independent ISPs all across the world, it would be much more difficult for the major agencies to control all the individual ISPs than it would be to simply control a single global entity with a US HQ and offices and POPs worldwide — Cloudflare.

They certainly make better privacy commitments and have more transparency than my ISP.

Cloudflare DNS supports DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS.

Cloudflare DNS claims to anonymize IPs in logs and only retain anonymized logs for 25 hours.[1]

Cloudflare has warrant canaries[2] and publishes transparency reports[3].

Many (most?) of us do not have more than one to two choices for an ISP. Voting with our wallet is not possible and doesn't even make sense for DNS.

I agree that centralizing under Cloudflare is unideal and I would gladly switch back to my ISP's DNS servers if they provided the same level of service and made similar commitments.

[1] https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-the-results-of-the-1-...

[2] https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/privacy/what-is-warrant-...

[3] https://www.cloudflare.com/transparency/

DNS is distributed, by design. Your ISP operates no differently than Cloudflare, and receives routing information from peers in the exact same way. There is nothing special or unique about consumer ISP-provided DNS. A DNS provider is either the definitive source and the buck stops there for a lookup, or it forwards to a peer for resolution.

Cloudflare is not a telecom, which comes with regulation baggage that can be enforced. This matters a lot to a subpoena.

I'm not quite sure I get your point.

I use the resolver of my ISP also, and they must recurse to cloudflare, because by default archive.is is broken for me at home.

I am not going to change my ISP and not going to bow down to a single website that chooses to go against the good faith of distributed systems.

I just don't visit their site anymore because that is the decision that they have made.

> I also don't care much for family "protection", so right now I don't see a good reason for using Cloudflare

It seems like you don’t fit the target audience for this service at all.

Cloudflare DNS also broke Spotify for me in a way that took me a while to discover. The Spotify desktop app would randomly stop playing music with no error message. I traced the issue back to changing my Pi-Hole upstream DNS to Cloudflare few days earlier. Switching to another DNS provider fixed the issue right away.

[0] https://community.spotify.com/t5/Desktop-Windows/Random-Stop...

>I traced the issue back to changing my Pi-Hole upstream DNS to Cloudflare few days earlier. Switching to another DNS provider fixed the issue right away.

Since you're already using a pi-hole, why not just roll your own recursive DNS server.

The additional network traffic to do so is insignificant.

That way, you don't have to rely on someone else to resolve your DNS queries -- or deal with spats like that.

I've been meaning to do so for a while, but life has interrupted. As I'm going through an ISP change ATM, I will do so soon.

And I won't ever look back.

Edit: Since your post got me thinking about it, I just now went ahead and set up my recursive resolver and pointed my pi-hole at it. Took about 10 minutes on an existing VM.

I use Pi-Hole + Unbound forwarding to Cloudflare/Quad9 over TLS.

It would be nice if all servers supported DoT/DoH + DNSSEC and you could roll your own recursive DNS server and have more trust in traffic not being intercepted.

Post-Snowden revelations I feel pretty confident that DNS requests in the clear are being surveilled. I don't know for sure that requests to Cloudflare or Quad9 are being surveilled.

>It would be nice if all servers supported DoT/DoH + DNSSEC and you could roll your own recursive DNS server and have more trust in traffic not being intercepted.

I love DNSSEC, but am not in favor of DoH/DoT. Mostly because I can't control DoH/DoT requests emanating from my network, as they're already encrypted and can't be differentiated from standard HTTPS traffic.

That's an issue (and will become a much bigger one as time passes) because vendors can use DoH/DoT to bypass local DNS controls like Pi-Hole, and short of blocking TCP/443, there's nothing you can do about it. Which is, IMNSHO, a big reason why DoT/DoH was developed.

>Post-Snowden revelations I feel pretty confident that DNS requests in the clear are being surveilled. I don't know for sure that requests to Cloudflare or Quad9 are being surveilled.

Your ISP can surveil whatever they want and there isn't much you can do about it unless you use a VPN.

I don't think my ISP can easily intercept the content of DoT DNS requests.

They would need a valid certificate for or from a trusted (by me) CA, correct?

Now obviously that's not impossible but is a VPN any better in that scenario?

>I don't think my ISP can easily intercept the content of DoT DNS requests.

No. But they can intercept connections to the IP addresses returned by such DNS queries.

>They would need a valid certificate for or from a trusted (by me) CA, correct?

In order to MiTM such requests, yes.

>Now obviously that's not impossible but is a VPN any better in that scenario?

You're only considering the DNS queries. Once you've received a response to your DoT/DoH query, presumably you'll want to connect to the returned IP address, right?

Your ISP can absolutely capture those packets, and even if the payload is encrypted, the headers are not -- so while they might not be able to access the data, they have full access to the metadata. Unless you use a VPN, which will encapsulate the headers as well.

All that said, my issue is with DoH/DoT, since devices can stealthily bypass my DNS controls (including ad/telemetry blockers like Pi-Hole) and unless I block all TLS/HTTPS traffic (making my internet link mostly useless), I can't stop surreptitious connectivity.

I'm not as concerned with my ISP as I am with not being able to block ads/tracking/telemetry. Apologies if I wasn't clear about that.

You can use eero secure+, which will intercept dns requests at the gateway to prevent devices and apps from bypassing the set dns servers. I won't work for apps which hardcore their own DoH/DoT clients and use their own servers, however.

>You can use eero secure+, which will intercept dns requests at the gateway to prevent devices and apps from bypassing the set dns servers.

I'm not familiar with eero secure+, but why would I want to pay for something like that, when a single firewall egress[0] rule can block outbound DNS requests that come from sources other than the "set dns servers"?

Note that I'm not trying to denigrate eero secure+, I don't know anything about it except that it's some sort of cloud-based (read: someone else's servers) security application.

I'm merely pointing out that limiting outbound DNS requests to specific hosts is trivial.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egress_filtering

Post-Snowden, the lesson is the NSA is doing their damnedest to watch American's activities online. I would bet money that they're doinf everything they can to watch Cloudflare, despite no direct evidence, because of course they are.

If you can't control where your device is making DNS requests then it's not your device. It's the manufacturer's surveillance capitalist revenue generator.

We need more devices that actually respect the user.

Eh, not the GP but I had tried that and switched back to with hosts rules for specific sites to fallback to

Running my own DNS just proved to be too much of a troubleshooting headache, since if a site was broken it was one additional step. The pihole itself has been almost no trouble, but the diy DNS would occasionally fail to resolve a site. If I'm at home, the last thing I really want to do in the evening is troubleshoot network issues.

It was a fun project to setup, and I did learn more than I expected I would. I can recommend it as a weekend project, but not as a long-term solution.

>Running my own DNS just proved to be too much of a troubleshooting headache, since if a site was broken it was one additional step. The pihole itself has been almost no trouble, but the diy DNS would occasionally fail to resolve a site. If I'm at home, the last thing I really want to do in the evening is troubleshoot network issues.

A fair point.

That said, note the edit on the comment to which you replied.

I've been running my own authoritative DNS for (personal) domains I own for 15 years or so and have spent very little time managing that. I also run my own internal DNS servers (hybrid BIND/AD DNS) without issue.

As such, I don't expect to have many issues with a simple recursive resolver.

That said, I understand your point of view and know that managing DNS isn't for everyone.

However, I'd rather perform my own DNS lookups rather than relying on my ISP(s), Google or Cloudflare. Yes, my ISP could capture every single recursive query, but I'd rather have them do that than just log every DNS query I make.

No, it doesn't significantly add to my privacy, but (IMHO) it's better than the alternative.

I also run my own DNS servers, both internal caching resolvers and external authoritative, and and have done so since 1996. I run BIND. It takes almost zero maintenance. DNS is one of the easiest services to operate.

> ...so right now I don't see a good reason for using Cloudflare over Quad9.

If you care about performance there is a pretty significant gap between them [0].

[0] https://www.dnsperf.com/#!dns-resolvers

So you stopped using, because the owner of archive.is deliberately broke his domain so it wouldn't work on Cloudflare, specifically so he could mine your geolocation?

You do you, I guess.

It seems that archive.is doesn't want to support requests.

Solution: Resolve archive.is yourself if you want to use For example with a host file, pihole, dnmasq, whatever. Look up archive.is once with a different DNS server then create a manual record for archive.is. Whatever.

Finally you could write a script to do this automatically in regular intervals to your taste.

Looks like a great alternative to NextDNS if you can do without any special configuration.

For me, NextDNS is still better. I can setup separate DNS zones for adults, children, IOT, etc. and it works across networks (unlike Pihole/AdguardHome). I can also setup DNS forwards for each zone.

You're not even mentioning that NextDNS blocks ads and trackers.

This release claims:

> * Since launching, the number one request we have received is to provide a version of the product that automatically filters out bad sites.*

Really? More asked for than ad blocking or tracker blocking?

NextDNS is fantastic. I love the level of control and flexibility it gives me to set network wide controls and then simple bypasses for the grown ups in the house.

Yeah, I would also love to get NextDNS-style offering fro CloudFlare. I'm currently have multiple malware/spyware/adds/annoyances filters enabled and I need them on DNS level because having uBlock Origin in my browser doesn't help me, for example, to prevent spying by my smart TV or phone apps.

Hate to break it to you, but DNS level blocking won't help you either. Lots of this kind of spying is done through fixed IP addresses.

Please define "lots" and provide source.

It will still help, but it won’t prevent this specific issue, to be clear.

What do you suggest instead?

Blocking traffic to bad IPs entirely, not just blocking DNS resolution to bad IPs.

NextDNS is great and all, but it's another third party that could be handing your data over to god knows who. PiHole is local and I don't have to worry about my data being misused.

PiHole also performs upstream DNS lookups, which could also be handed over to 3rd parties, be that Google (, or Cloudflare (, or even your own ISP.

With NextDNS you at least have a TOS that specifies

"1. We do not (and will never) sell, license, sublicense or share any of the data submitted directly or indirectly by our users with any person or entity. NextDNS Inc. is an independent company 100% funded, owned and controlled by its founders and will never engage in any data sharing or selling activities, now or in the future."

As well as the option to keep logs in the EU, and thus place it under the GDPR, and since IP traffic information is generally classified as PIM, it will be covered.

Well one of my domains resolves to some dodgy russian website when using cloudflare's dns. I did everything in my power, including trying to contact them, but it still resolves to the russian host. On any other dns server it resolves correctly to gandi's parking page. Cloudflare did send me an email within 10 seconds to say that no support ticket can/will be logged since I'm not a paying customer (or just customer on their system) and that they case is closed. i get it, but it's still a nasty feeling. And yes I did use their dns flusher, it didn't help.

I switched all my networks back to google's dns.

I am Cloudflare's CTO. Email is jgc@cloudflare. Please email me and let me know what domain is involved so I can investigate.

And the reason why it pissed me off was, I thought my mikrotik router or raspberry pi + pihole got compromised. I spent two hours trying to track down the problem, reset all dns setting on gandi, resetting and updating the router etc... just to find that it worked fine on my phone on MNO's network...then I digged further and found if I switch my dns to anything other than, it worked fine. So I don't care what features they are flinging at this point, dns being hijacked is no good.

Just tweet at the account, it‘ll resolve for you on Twitter. ;P See https://twitter.com/1111Resolver

That seems less "sticking to principles" and more "we aren't resolving correctly, but can't/won't tell you why?"

If you are using dnssec this should be impossible, right?

That's an odd problem. A few possible causes jump to mind:

A. Someone is poisoning it between you and Cloudflare, but only for DNS requests directed towards Cloudflare.

B. Someone is poisoning it between Cloudflare and Gandi.

C. Someone was able to trick Cloudflare into thinking it is the authoritative DNS provider and its authoritative DNS servers are the same ones as its recursive resolvers.

D. Something got missed in troubleshooting. (Not trying to be a jerk, it's just always a possibility.)

You could probably surface whether it's A or B by playing around with DNSSEC.

I'm not certain, but you might be able to figure out if it's C with this: https://rdap.cloudflare.com

This is a very serious security issue if the cause is on Cloudflare’s end. Would you be willing to disclose the domain name?

All providers are in on this "free" public DNS scam for the same reason, and it makes me wonder why anyone would voluntarily donate their entire home's click analytics to a super-aggregator free of charge. Did I miss the link to the payment page?

Cisco at least release some low frequency summaries of the data they are able to collect: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/umbrella-static/index.htm...

Cloudflare's public DNS's privacy promises are audited by KPMG https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/cloudflares-1...

That is almost 2 years old, and does not seem to cover aggregate processing applied before the logs are deleted. FWIW stripping the last octet is the same as happens in EDNS, it is far from anonymous.

So, they basically still collect, log and process the exact same data as Google DNS, but disallow anyone else from having it, breaking legitimate uses of DNS for GeoIP targeting and DoS mitigation? How convenient!

> legitimate uses of DNS for GeoIP targeting and DoS mitigation

What legitimate uses would those be, and how is DNS involved in DoS mitigation?

A good example is Cloudflare's own CDN business — they require you to delegate your domain name to their DNS servers by name, not by IP address with your own glue records on your own domain name. Because they want to be able to use all the resources available to stop DDoS, including EDNS Client Subnet provided by other resolvers.

Same goes for GeoIP — EDNS Client Subnet was specifically created for effective and cheap GeoIP. (BGP anycast isn't cheap.)

I mean, both issues are exactly why archive.is had to put the block in place. For sure both of these usecases are pretty legitimate.

BTW, what's the actual legitimate need to block ECS? After a domain name is resolved by DNS, you still have to connect directly to the hostname by an IP address, and your IP will be leaked — there's no way around this, that's how internet works. Cloudflare knowingly runs these marketing campaigns trying to obscure this simple fact that easily invalidates the need for their services, and invalidates the benefits of their service compared to competition.

The current product page still states that "a big four accounting firm" audits the service's privacy policy on a yearly retainer https://one.one.one.one/dns/

Use a DoH/DoT oblivious proxy? I have no idea if anyone commercializes that.


I'd much rather the opposite: an honest public DNS service that offers all data collected to the public, with some premium paid for high frequency data, and free from any conflict of interest. I would happily use a service like this since I could benefit from it.

The business case to collect DNS statistics is clear and imminently useful to numerous people and organizations, it's the complete lack of honesty about why they offer the service that bothers me.

This is from April last year and needs a 2020 tag.

WoW I just realized this... thx. It does put some perspective :)

Any updates from Cloudflare on their replacement for EDNS that they are making with Google/Facebook/Netflix etc?


``We are working with the small number of networks with a higher network/ISP density than Cloudflare (e.g., Netflix, Facebook, Google/YouTube) to come up with an EDNS IP Subnet alternative that gets them the information they need for geolocation targeting without risking user privacy and security. Those conversations have been productive and are ongoing. If archive.is has suggestions along these lines, we’d be happy to consider them. ``

It's a problem of their own making that doesn't require a solution.

After the client gets the IP address of the content web server from the DNS resolver, the client has to connect directly to the content web server, and the whole IP address — not just the subnet — is immediately shared with the content server anyways.

The market is supposed to regulate this abusive behaviour by showing how much slower the websites work when resolved through Cloudflare DNS compared to Google DNS or any other DNS providers that support EDNS Client Subnet. It seems that most of DNS benchmarks simply test how fast the names resolve, not how good of a resolution it is. So, it's a miss on the benchmark side.

I experimented with on a small network segment by configuring DHCP to make the default. I found that they resulted in numerous false-positives that turned out to be a real nuisance. As I went around to various machines and either overrode the DHCP settings with another DNS and/or added lines to the hosts file, I decided that just because you _can_ use DNS for content filtering, doesn't mean it's a particularly effective modality.

Cloudflare does have a tool that allows you to correct false positives... https://radar.cloudflare.com/categorization-feedback/ But I found that the corrections I made were ignored with only one exception. The one I successfully corrected took many attempts over several weeks.

I ended up throwing in the towel on the whole thing and giving up on Cloudflare DNS altogether. That's not to say that others couldn't find value in it. I just found it to be more trouble than it was worth.

Who bears the brunt of the task of collecting every adult/NSFW domain out there? Doesn't such a list grow by huge numbers each day? What is the name of this list, and where can I get it?

Search for block lists, here’s a popular one that is updated regularly.


Wow. Incredible list. Thanks for sharing.

Noticed some of them weren't NSFW domains, just problematic ad-tech domains, but still very useful.

I’m pretty sure adult sites register themselves for inclusion on this kind of blocklists because they have not a whole lot to gain and a lot to lose when serving their content to children.

You know, for educational reasons ... :D

I was happy to set up for my daughter on her Iphone7 but it never seemed to work well with Mobile Data (Freedom Mobile Canada). Internet would always be spotty/non-existent. The app being used was Google Classroom. In the end we turned off and Google Classroom started working. Anyone experience anything similar?

Did you set up both and also 2606:4700:4700::1113/2606:4700:4700::1003? Maybe there was some IPv6 issues.


this is definitely the solution, mobile is mostly ipv6 in my experience

One thing I can think of is: perhaps some sections (all?) of their network is IPv6 only, and the carrier does XLAT64. In which case they would provide custom dns servers which resolve IPv4 dns records to IPv6 addresses. Custom DNS servers would not do that, therefore IPv4-only services would not work.

May well have been something else though.

I know they consider "" to also be a product name, but it's very confusing when the text says 50 times, and then there's 2 mentions of "Oh, the service is at".

They laid it out pretty simply in the article: - General - No Malware - No adult content

Personally I like how they laid this out, makes it super easy to remember. - General with no ads - No Malware and no ads - No adult content and no ads

This would be amazing if they have the guts to do it. I suspect they will one day when they become huge (they're already handling some 10% of global internet traffic). Today, I want a big corporate pi hole that is managed for me - enough fire power to block shitty ads.

Completely undercut Google, FB, Twitter ad machines. More eggregious are the media companies such as Adobe and their ad-tech.

For businesses ads are super important and we also need to consider the other side of the coin.

I'm not sure I follow why this would be a big deal. There are already ad filtering DNS resolvers and most people are better served by a browser extension.

It would be a huge deal. Sort of how Apple has the power to put in place a whole slew of privacy measures on the iPhone. Let Big Tech fight amongst themselves. The opposite would be terrifying.

I consider Cloudflare a formidable player wedging between Big Tech corporations.

we have a pi hole and it makes a world of difference. smart devices and iphones are adless in our house.

I like it too. If Cloudflare posts become the impetus for reading the article, all the better. Their posts are well written and they don't burden the reader with what the editor wants you to know after hooking you with a headline.

The name they could have used: ( for families)

Or more correct: ( for families)

It still results in kinda weird readings when the product name is also one of its subproducts but not all of them. Like a coffee shop called "The Big Cup" with a menu "The Big Cup", "The Medium Cup" and "The Small Cup".

One should use DNS servers offered by one's VPN provider. Otherwise, it leaks to both VPN provider and DNS provider.

This is irrelevant, no one using a VPN is also configuring a 'family-friendly' DNS resolver.

Why not?

I use a VPN to give my half-Danish children access to Danish TV from outside Denmark, and I also have, well, children who I might want to protect against evil content such as nipples. I don't do the latter but that has little to do with the fact that I use a VPN sometimes and more to do with the fact that we're not American and American ideas of what's "family friendly" feel extremely alien to us.

In fact, given that they have an option that blocks malware but not nipples, I might actually use this.

I mean, you don't seem to be a counter-example to the claim that "no one using a VPN is also configuring a 'family-friendly' DNS resolver".

How cool would it be to be able to only allow malware but not nipples? :D

Don’t most vpn providers encapsulate both udp and tcp?

What is the definition of Malware in this case? Which malware list does it use?

On the malware intelligence, it is a combination of first party threat intelligence (what we see on our own network) and third-party threat intelligence across open source intelligence, specialized malware intelligence vendors, and private threat sharing communities.

Any tips/ideas for configurations for selective content blocking by device? I'd like to block content on the kids' devices, but not for the adults in the household. I'm not concerned about circumvention at this point. I'm currently using a pi-hole for ad blocking, so I'd like to configure something at that level, unless there's a better way.

Put those devices on a separate subnet would be the easiest way. In order of technical complexity:

* Buy a second router, plug it into your existing one, set the DHCP options to point to

* Reconfigure your existing router to add a second subnet ( etc) with its own SSID

* Use DHCP reservations to push to known devices (adults) and to all others; it could be done the other way, but all iPhones/Macs can randomize MAC addresses making evasion very simple

There may be a way to do this inside Pi-Hole, but it would probably be based on IP range rather than MAC address, which is much easier to circumvent.

Thanks for the ideas, it gives me somewhere to start investigating. I already have several subnets for other reasons, so I might try that route.

Are there some DNS services that block ads and trackers (or at least as much ads and trackers as possible) at the DNS level?

Yep! https://nextdns.io

And they have a super generous free tier!

https://nextdns.io (fixed typo)

Oops, sorry, thanks!

Since I see from your domain name that you are in Canada, might I suggest Canadian Shield[0] from CIRA (the .ca registry) as an alternative to

I have an article about setting it up via PiHole, too[1].

[0]: https://www.cira.ca/cybersecurity-services/canadian-shield

[1]: http://www.thedreaming.org/2020/11/07/pihole/

Posted 2020-04-01 ... why is it relevant now?

For the most up to date information about for Families, here's their product page:

Why is this here? It was launched last year?

Also, people should really be using Dnscrypt-proxy/DoH/DoT. Otherwise it's really easy for your ISP just to read/capture your DNS requests.

> Why is this here? It was launched last year?

FWIW, I'm one of today's lucky 10,000 and am thankful to have seen it.

If this is new for you, please look into a pihole + Dnscrypt-proxy setup instead.

(2020) - I was pretty confused by the 'Not a Joke' paragraph about 1st April traditions for a bit!

Needs a (2020)

So, it's not, it's actually ? That's confusing. Why not call it for families?

Works great from my experience. What's missing and why I'm not using it atm is DNS64 and TLS support.

For families? more like for family home network only. Families now own cell phones with mobile data.

How about, pi-hole?

i use as my dns on my pihole. just in case they catch something pihole doesn't

This is really need awesome kinda like opendns.

Completely off topic: These stupid illustrations (corporate memphis) are totally unneccessary. The whole blog post would read cleaner with less distraction.

Is there a version of for broke?

With ad-blocking!

DNS filters are a joke, too easy to bypass.

If your 12 year old is getting a malicious link via whatsapp on their tablet it can make a difference. (e.g. they'll ask you why this doesn't work and you might explain malware etc)

It's certainly not something for every circumstance, but given that most people (including family members) are just end users makes sense.

If my teenager figures out DNS and manages to bypass it, I'd be proud.

You mean if they ask Google what to do?

That’s always been my rule of thumb, too. I still remember defeating NetNanny on the PC my parents gave me 20 years ago. My dad was proud of me.


Can you please expand on this, I'm not familiar with the controversy and don't understand what you mean

If I recall, some sites providing help and information on certain things were flagged as adult content and blocked which made a bunch of people mad.

Cloudflare I think corrected a bunch, came out with a fairly reasonable explanation why, and then even showed how to setup special rules to override it.

Cloudflare's explanation: https://blog.cloudflare.com/the-mistake-that-caused-1-1-1-3-...

They said that one of their providers for site-classifications had two feeds called "adult content", one which was a fairly clear porn-blocker, and one which included the LGBTQIA+ stuff as well. Apparently when they launched they flubbed which of those feeds was used because of the name-confusion.

Mind explaining what you mean by this?

This was published on `01-April-2020`. So was it a joke or was it not?

It's adressed in the article

> However, we've made it a tradition every April 1 to launch a new consumer product that leverages our network to bring more speed, reliability, and security to every Internet user.

For me the publish date shows as April 2. They also explicitly say it’s not a joke and explain their own April tradition in the article.

Not a joke.

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