DNS over HTTPS in Firefox for the US

DNS over HTTPS in Firefox for US users

On February 25, 2020, Firefox began the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) on default for users, based in the US. In this article, we will tell you what DoH is and how to enable it if you are not in the US.

About DNS over HTTPS

When you enter a web address or domain name in your address bar (for example, www.mozilla.org), your browser sends a request over the Internet to find the IP address for this website.

Usually, this request is sent to servers via a simple text connection. This connection is not encrypted, allowing third parties to see which website you are going to visit.

DNS over HTTPS (DoH) works differently. It sends the domain name you entered to the DoH-compatible DNS server using an encrypted HTTPS connection instead of plain text. This protects information about which websites you intend to visit from being viewed by third parties.

So, the benefits are obvious. DoH increases privacy by hiding domain name requests from someone in public WiFi, your ISP, and everyone else on your local network.

But, of course, there are risks too. Some people and organizations rely on DNS to block malware, operate parental controls, or filter your browser’s access to websites. Once enabled, DoH bypasses your DNS resolver and might break these special policies.

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The rollout of encrypted DoH by default for the US

From February 2020, in the US, Firefox by default sends DoH requests to the DNS servers that Cloudflare manages, which means CloudFlare can see user requests. Anyway, Mozilla has a strong TRR policy that prohibits Cloudflare or another DoH partner from collecting personally identifiable information.

Mozilla explains:

‘We’re enabling DoH by default only in the US. If you’re outside of the US and would like to enable DoH, you’re welcome to do so by going to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Networking Settings and click the Settings button on the right. Here you can enable DNS over HTTPS by clicking, and a checkbox will appear. By default, this change will send your encrypted DNS requests to Cloudflare.

Users have the option to choose between two providers — Cloudflare and NextDNS — both of which are trusted resolvers. Go to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Network Settings and click the Settings button on the right. From there, go to Enable DNS over HTTPS, then use the pull down menu to select the provider as your resolver.’

That’s the settings:

DNS over HTTPS in Firefox for US users

Firefox users in the USA will see a notification that allows them to stop using DoH and instead continue using DNS.

DNS over HTTPS in Firefox for US users

Mozilla plans to enable DoH in other regions: ‘DoH is just one of the many privacy protections you can expect to see from us in 2020.’

Not enough information? Watch our demo video, “how it works” video or read the AdSpyglass review.

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