Hide web history from ISP with Android's new 'DNS over TLS' supports

Android Security

Keeping Internet service providers (ISPs) at bay, Google appears to be planning to add "DNS over TLS" support to Android. The new development will encrypt your domain name server (DNS) requests to massively protect your Web history and make the experience more secure and safe, without the use of any third-party virtual private network (VPN) or proxy.

Highlights of Android new 'DNS over TLS' supports:

  • The addition of "DNS over TLS" support on Android will limit the use case
  • Commits on Android Open Source Project have suggested the new development
  • Android 8.1 could be the first version to get new support

Traditionally, a computing system processes DNS requests through protocols such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP). This way helps ISPs track the log of the websites you visit through their networks. But with Transport Layer Security (TLS), the entire Web browsing process gets the HTTPS-level security that masks the Web addresses you visit through your device. This simply means that no matter which website you visit, its address will not be shared with your ISP.

The enhanced protection on Android is vital as the operating system is often a soft target for hackers. Also, the advanced adoption would make it difficult for ISPs to provide private Web browsing details to governments and private agencies in snooping cases.

However, there is still a backdoor access for ISPs to go through your Web history. TLS notably does not protect the IP addresses that have been communicated while processing DNS requests. Various DNS service providers also yet to accept connection through TLS. Therefore, you still need to rely on a VPN app to get the most secure Web browsing on your Android device.
As XDA Developers spotted through the commits available on Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the support for "DNS over TLS" is arriving under Developer Options. The development would be a part of Android 8.1 Oreo, which is also confirmed to enable the Pixel Visual Core in the Pixel 2 smartphones.

Earlier this month, Google revealed that HTTPS use on its native products reached 89 percent overall, up from merely 50 percent in 2014. The search giant added HTTPS as a ranking signal for webmasters back in August 2014 and even started marking sites without HTTPS as non-secure in January. All that is aimed to make web browsing a secured experience and promote the adoption of TLS.

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