DNS over TLS might be in Android's future

The hierarchical Domain Name System, organized into zones, each served by a name server. Credit: Public Domain

Reports are in that Android's future version might include a feature that supports your wish to hide your browsing history.

Engadget said Android is taking on a feature that encrypts website name requests. Translation: Google is adding an extra layer of security to the operating system. DNS requests on mobile will be as encrypted as HTTPS—making it harder for snoopers to see what websites you visit.

XDA Developers, according to reports, spotted some commits to the Android repository that suggested the Android team may support the feature, said ITPro.

Specifically, this all about support for DNS over TLS (Transport Layer Security), which will encrypt DNS requests and prevent hackers from spying on a site's traffic.

What is DNS? It is an important component of all things that make your information world chug along each and every day. DNS stands for Domain Name System services, a part of Web sites.

Krebs on Security explains that DNS is "responsible for translating human-friendly Web site names like "example.com" into numeric, machine-readable Internet addresses."

You go up on a web site and your machine gets busy sending a DNS look-up request to your ISP to help route the traffic.

On Sunday, XDA Developers reported that "It appears that 'DNS over TLS' support is being added to Android, according to several commits added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP)."

Well, this is a good place to refer to Wccftech: "TLS hides your DNS requests, but it still can't promise full privacy as your Internet Service Provider can see the IP address you're using. To hide that, you need VPN services."

In a video, Kerry Davis, Engadget, said DNS is often referred to as the Internet's phone book. It shows your ISP with what IP address you are communicating. But now, said Greg Synek in TechSpot, "Instead of sending domain names and IP addresses in plain text, traffic to and from DNS servers will be encrypted similarly to HTTPS traffic."

(Synek said that "providers may no longer be able to see DNS requests and responses, but are still able to determine which remote servers have been used via Server Name Indication.")

Really concerned about privacy? Then "using a trusted VPN service is still more effective at protecting your browsing," he added.

So when is this all real?

Davis said it may arrive in future updates.

"We can assume that if such an option is being added to Developer Options, then it may arrive with the next version of Android, presumably Android 8.1," Zara Ali said in Wccftech.

Bryan Clark in TNW had the same thought: "According to several commits on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the feature may arrive in Android 8.1."

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