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How to enable encrypted DNS in Microsoft Edge and protect your web browsing

How to enable encrypted DNS in Microsoft Edge and protect your web browsing

Microsoft announced a few weeks ago, its wish to integrate the native support of the DNS-over-HTTPS protocol on Windows 10. Thanks to it, the protection of the privacy of its users will be strengthened thanks to the automatic encryption of DNS requests.

If, for the time being, the date of availability of such a function in the Microsoft OS is unknown, users can already activate the function in the Microsoft Edge web browser.

Like Chrome and Firefox, the new version of Microsoft's browser supports encrypted DNS. However, the function is not available by default and requires that you activate a specific parameter in a hidden menu. Here's how.

1. Access the flags

The new version of Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, so it shares a number of elements with Chrome. This is the case for example of flags, hidden experimental functions that can be activated. To activate encrypted DNS on Microsoft Edge, you will need to access these famous flags.

To do this, open an Edge window and then in the address bar, type edge: // flags and confirm using the Enter key on the keyboard.

2. Activate the flag

In the search field displayed at the top of the window, type secure dns lookups.

Once the parameter is displayed, click on the drop-down menu on the right and change the value Default to pass it on Enabled. Then restart the browser by clicking on the appropriate button.

3. Configure a compatible DNS on Windows

Enabling the DNS-over-HTTPS protocol in Microsoft Edge can only work if the DNS configured on your PC supports this feature.

You can check it by going directly to https://1.1.1.1/help, CloudFlare's DNS service, where you will see a line Using DNS over HTTPS (DoH), followed by the mention Yes when encrypted DNS is active, and No when it is not.

To change the DNS resolver configured on your Windows PC, open the Parameters using the keyboard shortcut Windows + i and go to the menu dedicated to Network and Internet.

Under heading Change your network settings, click on Change adapter options.

Depending on your connection type (Ethernet or Wi-Fi), right click on the network card, and enter the Properties.

Then select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4), and click on the button Properties.

In the window that appears, in the lower section dedicated to DNS, choose dUse the following DNS server address and enter the addresses of the primary and secondary DNS servers you want to use. Then confirm by pressing okay.

Examples of possible DNS servers (IPv4):

  • Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 / 1.0.0.1
  • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 / 208.67.220.220
  • FDN (French Data Network): 80.67.169.12 / 80.67.169.40
  • Google: 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4

Please note, if you are using the IPv6 version of the TPC / IP protocol, you will need to select this option (TCP / IPv6), and enter the addresses of the corresponding DNS servers. Check with your DNS provider to obtain it.

To check if Edge is now using encrypted DNS, return to https://1.1.1.1/help. The Debug Information pane should then display Yes in front of the line Using DNS over HTTPS.