Quad9 is a new endpoint DNS service by IBM, Packet Clearing House (PCH) and Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) that improves privacy and data protection.
While there are quite a few public DNS services out there, most Internet users probably don't use any of those but rely on the Internet Provider for all things DNS. That's comfortable as it works out of the box, but neither really secure nor beneficial to data privacy.
The provider knows any domain name to IP look up on the computer, and knows exactly what users do on the Internet. Even VPN solutions may not protect against this, depending on whether the VPN protects against DNS leaks or not.
Third-party services may improve security, privacy and the performance of DNS. Not all services do, and some services may use the accumulated traffic information internally or may sell it to marketing companies.
Quad9 by IBM, PCH and GCA promises fast speeds, and improved security and privacy. The operators of Quad9 promise that the service does not "store, correlate or otherwise employ any personally identifiable information", and that data will never be shared with marketers or used for demographic analysis.
Security checks are performed on all DNS requests to identify malicious networks and sites prior to the loading of content from these sites and services.
Quad9 uses PCH's network of worldwide servers -- IBM states that services are available in over 160 locations around the world -- and that access and performance should be quite good regardless of location.
Setting up Quad9 is quite easy as well. All you need to do is set the DNS of the network adapter to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 to do so . You find instructions on how to set this up for Windows and Mac devices on the Quad9 website.
Webmasters find options on the site to check whether domains are blocked by the service, and an option to request the unblocking if it is a false positive.
I ran Quad9 through a series of DNS benchmarks and the service did not disappoint.
While it is not the fastest service out there, it finished in the top 3 before popular services such as Google DNS, OpenDNS and many others.
Here is a video that highlights the basics of Quad9 and DNS
It is always good to have more choice, and Quad9 is a promising new DNS service that is free, secure, not invasive to privacy, and quite fast .
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