Google launches DNS-over-HTTP in Android

Google this week declared to introduce DNS over HTTP/3 (DoH3) for Android 11 and newer devices.

An encrypted DNS protocol, DoH3 is expected to provide performance and safety improvements compared to alternatives, mostly through the QUIC transport layer network protocol.

By default, even for encrypted connections, DNS lookups are not private – the base DNS protocol does not include encryption – something that has been resolved through solutions such as DNS-over-TLS (DoT) and DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH).

According to Security Week, Support for DoT was introduced in Android 9, but Google says that the protocol incurs overhead on any DNS request. Although it enjoys wide adoption and has already been deployed by numerous public DNS operators, DoH doesn’t reduce overhead, the internet giant says.

DoH3, which should provide both performance and safety improvements courtesy of its use of QUIC, has been rolled out as part of a Google Play system update and will replace the use of DoT for well-known DNS servers that already support it.

“Which DNS service you are using is unaffected by this change; only the transport will be upgraded. In the future, we aim to support DDR which will allow us to dynamically select the correct configuration for any server. This feature should decrease the performance impact of encrypted DNS,” says Google as per Security Week.

Google also notes that the QUIC transport can resume a suspended connection, which is helpful when the mobile device changes networks, and that DoH3 may excel traditional DNS in unreliable networks.


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