How DNS over HTTPS works and why it matters

Security and privacy are two very important factors when browsing the Internet. For this to be possible, it is necessary to have certain protocols and services. One of them is what is known as DNS over HTTPS . We will explain what it is and why it is important. It is something that is present when we navigate with browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.

What are DNS for?

How DNS over HTTPS works

To talk about the DNS over HTTPS protocol, first of all we must know what DNS is and what it is for. We can say that they are servers in charge of translating Internet traffic when we put a domain name in the browser.

Let’s take as an example that we use Chrome to enter this article. In the address bar we are going to put What the DNS servers do is link that domain name that we put with the corresponding IP address. In this way we will not have to memorize a series of numbers, which would be the IP, but simply know what the name of the site is.

What our team does, through the browser, is make a request to those DNS servers to provide us with the corresponding address. This is a process that is carried out the first time, since from that moment it is stored in cache and speeds up the process. Of course, if we clear the DNS cache, the process will start again.

Generally we use the DNS servers that come predetermined with the Internet operator that we use. However we can change them. We can use, for example, the publics of Google or those of Cloudflare, which are some of the most used. There are many more, and using one option or another can even improve Internet speed.

Mejorar la privacidad con DNS over HTTPS

What is the DNS over HTTPS protocol

Once we know what DNS servers are for, we can explain how the DNS over HTTPS or DNS over HTTPS protocol works. This is closely linked to security and privacy, since what it does is encrypt that request. If we go back to the example we put before, our browser will make a request by putting or whatever domain name it is. That request is going to travel unencrypted.

In the early days, when the DNS protocol appeared, they did not focus so much on privacy . This is something that happened with most protocols that have been adapted over the years. For example FTP or HTTP itself. In both cases they were updated with more secure versions.

Thanks to DNS over HTTPS, that request will be encrypted . With DoH, as it is known for short, we are going to prevent a third party from spying on and recording those requests that we send. No one would know which directions we are trying to enter.

What it ultimately does is make that DNS request but using the encrypted HTTPS protocol. This will avoid certain problems, as we will see, in addition to helping to have a better connection.

Today the main browsers such as Chrome or Firefox use DNS over HTTPS as standard. This was one more step to achieve an improvement in security and privacy when browsing.

Why is DoH useful

So why is DNS over HTTPS really useful? How does it come in handy when browsing? There are security and privacy reasons, as we will explain. It is a protocol that has come to stay, as HTTPS did at the time and today there are few pages that do not use it.


One of the main reasons why the DoH protocol is interesting is to improve user privacy. When we initiate a request in the browser, for example to enter this article, in the mail, on social networks or wherever, that process will not be registered by a third party.

This is especially useful if we are going to surf from networks that are not secure or we do not want a third party, by some means, to be able to see what sites we are visiting. Thanks to this protocol, that request is sent fully encrypted.

Mejorar la privacidad

Avoid DNS hijacking and other attacks

But security is also going to improve. A potential hacker could intercept that request and lead us to pages that have nothing to do with the one we hope to visit. It is what is known as DNS hijacking or DNS hijacking.

This can cause us to enter a website inadvertently and turn out to be a threat. For example, a DNS hijack could cause entering a legitimate news page to redirect us to another malicious site full of malware. We can even end up on a page created by a cybercriminal and pretending to be legitimate so that we can log in and steal passwords.

Complicate censorship

Using unencrypted DNS can make censorship easier. They could block certain requests so that we cannot enter a web page. This can happen if, for example, we are traveling in a country where viewing certain news pages is prohibited and the providers do not allow such requests.

By using DoH, those requests will be encrypted. They’re going to be hidden and they couldn’t really know which site we’re trying to get into. Therefore, using this protocol will also come in handy in order to, at least, complicate censorship on the network.

Improve performance

Another point to highlight is that thanks to the DoH protocol, an improvement in performance is achieved when it comes to resolving DNS requests. In tests carried out through Internet providers, the response time in many cases improves.

This is important in order to have a better Internet connection, more optimized, with less loading times for web pages.

In short, DNS over HTTPS is a protocol used to encrypt the DNS requests that we make on the Internet every time we visit any page. It is important for security and privacy, although it also has other advantages as we have seen.