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How To Use Cloudflare DNS To Stop ISP Tracking (Step by Step)

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How To Use Cloudflare DNS To Stop ISP Tracking (Step by Step)

Cloudflare, one of the largest server hubs in the world, just quietly launched a new DNS service that could vastly change the landscape of consumer to ISP protocols. Their new service allows all consumers to utilize the DNS service.

I know, you’re confused, but worry not, I’m going to explain to you how this free service can both improve your online privacy and speed up your Internet connection. All this said, I’d suggest reading our what is a VPN guide if you don’t understand anything about VPNs. Otherwise, read on.

Yes, no more ISP spying on you, tracking you, targeting you for endless ads…

By using Cloudflare’s DNS service solution on your smartphone or laptop, you cut out your ISP from having to accept the request. Many ISP’s sell your data to the highest bidder. This means all those Facebook searches, Google searches, and apps you use are creating service request logs through your ISP. That’s massive, valuable data.

That means your privacy is always at risk.

Additionally, ISP’s are often sluggish to make those request.

You can speed up your online experiences and wrangle in some further privacy by using Cloudflare’s (But its almost like a dirty secret that your ISP doesn’t want you to know about, which makes sense once you read this guide)

Let’s look at how it works (Don’t worry, it’s easy to do once you understand some basic concepts).

Understanding And DNS Protocol

Before you rush to change your laptop and smartphone to, you should understand the basics of what’s at play here.

So let’s get super basic.

Here’s an illustration of what happens when you do anything on the Internet through your phone or laptop.


Feeling the shade?

You should be.

Here’s what’s wrong, ultimately.

When you do anything online, even if through an app, that request must first go to your ISP’s server. If you are at Starbucks using their wireless, your request goes through their ISP.

You follow?

This means if you simply type in Google.com, or PrepForThat.com, that request doesn’t go directly to Google or PrepForThat, it first goes to your ISP’s servers. Your ISP then sends that request out to Google and PrepForThat, who then return your request to your iPhone or laptop.

The problems?

As the illustration notes, the ISP now has your data captured and stored on their server. Depending on your service contract with your ISP and their terms of service and privacy policy, they may have the right to wheel and deal your data. Remember, the ISP has ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION, not just those requests of you searching for how to water plants or make homemade sushi.

That’s loads of valuable data!

What else?

The logic is a flaw for speed.

Think about this…

If you type in Prepper News into Google.com, but that request has to go FIRST to Comcast, wouldn’t it make sense that Comcast’s request speed time would be relevant to your online speed experience?

Yes, this is milliseconds. But yes, this matters. Your Internet speed at home can be sizzling fast, but your request times are sluggish.

How Cloudflare Helps Improve Your Internet Speed, Privacy

cloudflare privacy

Believe it or not, your ISP does not control your DNS service IP.

Here’s how it works.

Your iPhone, Android phone, or Mac or Windows machines, automatically detect the ISP’s IP for use. This isn’t nefarious, in fact, it is your smart device acting with your ultimate convenience in mind.

The trick is to use a VPN to intercept the data before the ISP gets hold. Cloudflare is essentially a free VPN. There are many other popular VPN services, but Cloudflare is the one with all the hype now.

If you hook up to a Comcast wireless router at your home, your laptop will savvily detect the Comcast IP to route your requests through. If you then go to Starbucks and use their wireless router, once again, your computer or smartphone will autodetect the most convenient IP option. The same goes for if you plug directly into Cat 5.

Pretty awesome if you are the ISP company. Pretty crumby if you are the normal consumer that seeks privacy and speed in your online experience.

Cloudflare Benefits

faster internet cloudflare

When you change your device to route your requests through Cloudflare’s IP, you receive the following benefits.

Cloudflare Deletes Data Daily

While Cloudflare still logs those request, its only temporarily. There would likely be no way they could immediately delete the data as they must fulfill the online request. But according to Cloudflare, they scrub their system of every request daily.

This means your request data is not sold, nor stored. Additionally, this also means they won’t use your data to target you for ads.

Cloudflare Is Fast, Fast, and Faster

As mentioned prior, your laptop or smartphone will automatically detect your ISP’s IP for these requests.

This IP may be fast or slow.

Yes, it is milliseconds, but it matters more than you think.

Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest server farms. In fact, most of your large websites route through Cloudflare. Most likely, using Cloudflare’s IP will speed up your online experience.

Remember, this isn’t the same as Internet speed. This is the request speed. If Internet is down, won’t help you. If Internet is super slow, will help a little.

Cloudflare Now Allows All Consumers To Use Their IP

You can now bypass the autodetect part of this router experience. You can either manually change settings on your device, or for Android and iPhone users, you can simply download an app that will do it for you.

Here’s how to change your device(s) to use Cloudflare’s

Apple iPhone/Android

Simply download the Cloudflare app. Follow instructions. This is easy as pie. If you don’t like it, simply shut if off and your iPhone goes back to autodetect.

You can find it by searching “” in the app store. Here’s what it looks like in the search results.

cloudflare app

Here is what it looks like when you use it. To use on your smart device, you simply switch the button.

cloudflare iphone

You should immediately notice your smart phone’s improved speed. Additionally, when using wireless, you will no longer be logging request logs with a shady ISP…

Change Mac To

Get ready, this is about to get overly easy…



Next, click on the NETWORK SETTINGS

mac cloudflare

Next, click ADVANCED

Next, select DNS (It’s in blue). Just use the – button to delete the highlighted presets. Use the + button to add in what you see in the screencap.

Mac OS

You should notice improved speed almost immediately. If you don’t like it, just delete the settings using the – buttons. Your Mac will automatically autodetect your ISP’s IP address, so it won’t knock you offline.

Additionally, your Mac will now use in place of all ISP IPS, no matter where you are.



Step 1: Click on the Start menu, then click on Control Panel.

Step 2: Click on Network and Internet.

cloudflare windows

Step 3: Click on Change Adapter Settings.

Step 4: Right click on the Wi-Fi network you are connected to.

Step 5: Click Properties.

Step 6: Select Internet Protocol Version 4.

Step 7: Click Properties.

Step 8: Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.

Step 9: Remove any IP addresses that may be already listed and in their place add:

Step 10: Click OK.

Step 11: Go now to Internet Protocol Version 6.

Step 12: Click Properties

Step 13: Click Use The Following DNS Server Addresses.

Step 14: Remove any IP addresses that may be already listed and in their place add:


Step 15: Click Close.

Alternative DNS/VPN Services

Google has a service for this as well, but they are slower and well, Google hasn’t compiled the greatest reputation with consumer trust. But its an option. There is also OpenDNS.


Using Cloudflare’s on your Internet-connected device means more privacy and faster web surfing. The Cloudflare service is free for anyone to use. Mobile devices can use an app to change their DNS, while computers can be done following the simple steps I listed above.

This makes sense to do if you care about your privacy and Internet speed.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.

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