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DNS over TLS

By default, DNS is sent over a plaintext connection. DNS over TLS is one way to send DNS queries over an encrypted connection. Cloudflare supports DNS over TLS on standard port 853 and is compliant with RFC7858.


Cloudflare supports DNS over TLS on and on port 853. The certificate presented is for

How it works

A stub resolver (the DNS client on a device that talks to the DNS resolver) connects to the resolver over a TLS connection:

  1. Before the connection the DNS stub resolver has stored a base64 encoded SHA256 hash of's TLS certificate (called SPKI).
  2. DNS stub resolver establishes a TCP connection with
  3. DNS stub resolver initiates a TLS handshake.
  4. In the TLS handshake, presents its TLS certificate.
  5. Once the TLS connection is established, the DNS stub resolver can send DNS over an encrypted connection, preventing eavesdropping and tampering.
  6. All DNS queries sent over the TLS connection must comply with specifications of sending DNS over TCP.


$ kdig -d @ +tls-ca;; DEBUG: Querying for owner(, class(1), type(1), server(, port(853), protocol(TCP);; DEBUG: TLS, imported 170 system certificates;; DEBUG: TLS, received certificate hierarchy:;; DEBUG:  #1, C=US,ST=CA,L=San Francisco,O=Cloudflare\, Inc.,CN=\*;; DEBUG:      SHA-256 PIN: yioEpqeR4WtDwE9YxNVnCEkTxIjx6EEIwFSQW+lJsbc=;; DEBUG:  #2, C=US,O=DigiCert Inc,CN=DigiCert ECC Secure Server CA;; DEBUG:      SHA-256 PIN: PZXN3lRAy+8tBKk2Ox6F7jIlnzr2Yzmwqc3JnyfXoCw=;; DEBUG: TLS, skipping certificate PIN check;; DEBUG: TLS, The certificate is trusted.;; TLS session (TLS1.3)-(ECDHE-SECP256R1)-(ECDSA-SECP256R1-SHA256)-(AES-256-GC;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY; status: NOERROR; id: 58548;; Flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1; ANSWER: 1; AUTHORITY: 0; ADDITIONAL: 1
;; EDNS PSEUDOSECTION:;; Version: 0; flags: ; UDP size: 1536 B; ext-rcode: NOERROR;; PADDING: 408 B
;; QUESTION SECTION:;;             IN  A
;; ANSWER            2347    IN  A
;; Received 468 B;; Time 2018-03-31 15:20:57 PDT;; From in 12.6 ms

Supported TLS versions

Cloudflare's DNS over TLS supports TLS 1.3 and TLS 1.2.