DNS stands for Domain Name System, while, HTTPS stands for Hypertext transfer protocol secure. DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a protocol that is used to perform remote DNS resolution via the HTTPS protocol. It is used to increase the privacy and security of the users, thereby preventing eavesdropping and middle man attacks by manipulating the DNS data.
It uses the HTTPS protocol for encrypting the data between the DoH client and the DoH based DNS resolver. Encryption helps to obfuscate the data, but it does not protect privacy by itself. An important purpose of DNS over HTTPS is to improve the performance by testing of the ISP DNS resolvers; this shows that often they have a bit slower response time. But often the problem is noted while loading a single web page.
DoH is notably present in all the major browsers. So, it is the users who now need to enable and configure it. DoH is published as RFC 8484 by IETF. It uses HTTPS and also supports wire format DNS data.
Out of the six major browsers, all of these browsers have their specific plan to support DNS over HTTPS, thereby, improving the web privacy.
Why Use DNS-over-HTTPS?
The DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol, which once enabled inside the browser, allows the browser to keep a regular check on the HTTPS traffic. This even allows the browser to hide the DNS requests.
Not everyone is pleased with DoH, ISPs are rejecting the concept of DoH globally. One of the main reasons for there rejection is, it prevents ISPs from viewing the DNS requests, which means they won’t be able to see which websites a user visits.
Enable DoH in All Major Browser
Mozilla Firefox supports DoH in all its stable versions. They use Cloudflare as the DoH server, this way it overwrites the local DNS settings for the users. This is the easiest DoH support that can be configured. As it is present in all the stable versions a user can easily enable it via the browser’s Settings, in the Networking section.
- In Firefox, click the hamburger menu and select Options.
- Scroll at the bottom and select settings under the Network Settings section.
- Here check the ‘Enable DNS over HTTPS.’
DoH was first added to Mozilla Firefox. Soon after that, it was added to Chrome as well. Currently, Google is experimenting with a limited number of users. It can be enabled in Google by navigating the below link in the chrome browser.
Unlike Firefox, Chrome never forces all the DoH traffic to Cloudflare. After DoH gets enabled, the user sends the queries of the DNS to the same DNS servers. If the server-side has a DoH capable interface, then the DNS traffic would be encrypted by chrome. This way chrome is resisted for hacking the DNS settings of the operating system.
Similarly, the Chromium-based Edge browser (Interner Explorer) also supports DoH. Users can enable it by visiting:
Similarly, for the Brave browser, you need to enable the DNS-over-HTTPS flag, you can do this by visiting the following link in the brave browser and Enable the Secure DNS lookups flag.
The DoH feature is turned off by default in Opera, but after its stable release, it can be enabled any time, and the users don’t need to follow any additional steps.
This happens mainly because the devices using opera already has a default DoH resolver within them. All DoH traffic of opera is directed to Cloudflare 126.96.36.199. DoH resolver.
If still, it doesn’t work, then the VPN feature has to be turned off in that specific device. For enabling DoH in opera, enable the DoH flag.
There is no response from safari developers yet, but it is expected that the DoH feature will be enabled soon in safari.