A Domain Name System, or DNS for short, is the component of your network connection that looks up the server IPs after you enter a domain name (e.g. androidpolice.com). Most people use the default DNS services from their ISPs/carriers, but alternatives have existed for years, like Google Public DNS. Google announced today that its DNS service finally supports DNS-over-TLS, meaning it can be set as the system-wide DNS provider on Android 9 Pie.
"Starting today, users can secure queries between their devices and Google Public DNS with DNS-over-TLS, preserving their privacy and integrity," the company wrote in a blog post. "We implemented the DNS-over-TLS specification along with the RFC 7766 recommendations to minimize the overhead of using TLS. These include support for TLS 1.3 (for faster connections and improved security), TCP fast open, and pipelining of multiple queries and out-of-order responses over a single connection."
If that all sounded like gibberish, the point is that it's now much harder for ISPs or other third parties to snoop on your internet usage, assuming you have Google DNS set up on a device that supports DNS-over-TLS. It also means you can now set Google Public DNS as the system-wide DNS server on any phone or tablet with Android 9 Pie. Just head to the networking section of the Settings app, and enter "dns.google" as the Private DNS server. More detailed instructions are available here.
- Google Security Blog