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FAQ

I have a dynamic IP address assigned to me by my ISP. How can I still use Gateway?

There are two ways to connect to Cloudflare Gateway: with the Cloudflare WARP client and without the client.

You can filter DNS traffic without using the client by registering the source IP of your network and configuring Gateway as your upstream DNS resolver; however, if your IP address changes then Gateway will not know which policy to apply to your queries. This can be solved by using the DoH subdomain associated with the location for which you've configured a policy. When queries reach Gateway over DoH, only the DoH subdomain is used to determine which organization and policy to apply to the query--the source IP of the query is not considered. There are a several of DoH clients available for a variety of operating systems, and we recommend using cloudflared to send queries to Gateway via DoH if not using the Cloudflare WARP client. Simply install cloudflared and configure the DoH subdomain for a chosen location as the upstream resolver in cloudflared.

Install and configure cloudflared

Connecting to Gateway with the Cloudflare WARP client creates a secure connection to the Cloudflare edge and also affords you the ability to send queries to Gateway over DoH. Using the Cloudflare WARP client allows you to apply security for your users wherever they are regardless of location or source IP address.

Learn more about the Cloudflare WARP client

How can I check if Gateway is blocking a domain?

After you blocked a domain using a policy, you can use either dig or nslookup to see if it's working.

Before you test if the domain is blocked, please make sure that you are connected to a network that is associated with the location where the policy is applied.

If you are using a policy to block example.com, you can do the following to see if Gateway is blocking example.com:

  1. Open your terminal

  2. Type dig example.com (nslookup example.com) if you are using Windows) and press enter

  3. If the Block page is disabled for the policy, then you should see REFUSED in the answer section like below Blocked when block page disabled If the Block page is enabled for the policy, then you should see NOERROR in the answer section and 162.159.36.12 and 162.159.46.12 as the answers when the domain is successfully blocked. Blocked when block page enabled

If I add a policy, how long does it take to propagate or take effect?

It takes about 60 seconds for the policy to be updated across all of our data centers around the world.

If you are still seeing responses from the DNS queries for a domain that you blocked. The answers may be cached by your browser from anywhere between 5 minutes to a few hours.

Will I see the private IP addresses in the activity log?

No. The IP addresses are NAT-ed behind a public IP address. Activity log will only show the public Source IP address.

What is the difference between Cloudflare Gateway and 1.1.1.1?

The primary difference between 1.1.1.1 and Cloudflare Gateway is that 1.1.1.1 does not block any DNS query. When a browser requests for example.com, 1.1.1.1 simply looks up the answer either in cache or by performing a full recursive DNS query.

Cloudflare Gateway's DNS resolver adds an additional step to introduce security into this flow. Instead of allowing all DNS queries, Gateway first checks the hostname being queried against the intelligence Cloudflare has about threats on the Internet. If that query matches a known threat, or is requesting a blocked domain configured by an administrator as part of a Gateway policy, Gateway stops it before the site could load for the user - and potentially execute code or phish that team member.

For example, if you are using Cloudflare Gateway, and send a DNS query to example.com, Gateway checks if the DNS query matches with any of the policies you set up earlier to block domains. The policy could be a domain that you are manually blocking or it could be part of a broader security category that you enabled. If the domain matches one of those cases, Gateway will return REFUSED. The browser will think this website does not exist. As a result, it will not take the customer to the blocked website.

Can I use a wildcard operator to block domains?

You don’t need to use a wildcard operator to block domains. For example, if you want to block all the subdomains for example.com then you only have to block example.com. It will not only block dns requests to example.com but also all subdomains for example.com. You can read more about it on our policies page.

Can I block a URL using Gateway?

Not yet. Today, Gateway only sees domain names and not the full URL. So it can only block domains.

Does Cloudflare Gateway support IPv6 networks?

Yes. Each location has a unique IPv6 address. You can use that IPv6 address to send DNS queries to Cloudflare Gateway.

What happens when I have multiple policies assigned to the same location?

If you have multiple policies and both policies are applied to a single location, Gateway will arbitrarily choose one of the policies and apply them to the location.

What happens when there is no policy assigned to a location?

Assuming the location is configured correctly, Gateway will log the DNS queries and show them in the analytics dashboard. As there are no policies assigned to the location, Gateway will not block any DNS queries.

How can I test if SafeSearch is working?

Visit the SafeSearch page to see how you can test if SafeSearch is working.

In what order does Gateway apply the rules inside a policy?

Visit the Policies page to see in what order Gateway applies its rules inside a policy.