Firefox Begins Rollout of Encrypted DNS Over HTTPS (DoH)

Posted on February 25, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Web browsers with 10 Comments

Like Opera, Mozilla is adding support for encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) to its flagship web browser for improved privacy and security. But it appears to be taking a slower, more restrained approach.

“Today, Firefox began the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) by default for US-based users,” Mozilla’s Selena Deckelmann writes in the announcement. “The rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled for Firefox’s US-based users.”

As Mozilla explains, the Domain Name System (DNS) used by all Internet sites and services is insecure because it uses decades-old technologies and is unencrypted, even for websites that are protected with HTTPS. But DoH forces all DNS lookups—where a friendly URL is translated into a domain name—to occur over an encrypted connection, helping to prevent malicious DNS servers or hackers using man-in-the-middle attacks from seeing or collecting your browsing history.

Though Mozilla is only enabling DoH for its Firefox users in the United States, anyone can manually enable this feature by navigating to Settings > General > Networking Settings; click the Settings button on the right and enable DNS over HTTPS.

Likewise, users of other browsers can also enable this functionality. In addition to Opera, which released a new DoH-backed version of its desktop browser today, Chromium-based browsers support a pre-release “Secure DNS lookups” feature in the flags interface (edge://flags in the new Edge, for example). Only Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer do not support this feature.

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