How to Use Cloudflare DNS’s Parental Controls

Cloudflare DNS parental controls logoCloudflare

Cloudflare now offers “1.1.1.1 for Families,” new DNS servers with built-in parental controls. Cloudflare’s standard 1.1.1.1 DNS server doesn’t perform any filtering, but Cloudflare can now block malware and adult content. Setting it up is simple.

We’re big fans of Cloudflare’s speedy DNS 1.1.1.1 DNS service. It may be faster than your ISP’s DNS servers, and it supports DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) for improved security and privacy. Like Cloudflare’s base 1.1.1.1 service, Cloudflare’s new parental controls are completely free.

To use the new parental controls, you’ll need to change your DNS server setting. We recommend changing the DNS server on your router, as that change will apply to every device on your network.

Enter the following DNS server addresses, depending on which version of Cloudflare’s DNS you want to use:

Cloudflare DNS, no blocking:

  • Primary DNS: 1.1.1.1
  • Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.1

Cloudflare DNS, blocking malware only:

  • Primary DNS: 1.1.1.2
  • Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.2

Cloudflare DNS, blocking malware and adult content:

  • Primary DNS: 1.1.1.3
  • Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.3

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Changing Your DNS Server

Cloudflare DNS server options an on ASUS router.

The new parental controls work similarly to the parental controls in OpenDNS. When a device on your network tries to request a malicious or adult site, Cloudflare’s DNS will block the attempt by not responding with the site’s actual IP address. You’ll instead see a DNS error.

Like all filtering solutions, Cloudflare’s database isn’t perfect and it won’t block all malicious or adult domains. But it can reduce security threats and prevent casual access to many adult websites.

Cloudflare DNS error after enabling parental controls.

RELATED: What Is DNS, and Should I Use Another DNS Server?

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