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Google Chrome DNS over HTTPS

DoH protocol in Google Chrome

How can you enable support for the privacy-focused DNS-over-HTTPS or DoH protocol in Google Chrome using a command-line argument?

DoH works just like the original DNS protocol, meaning that its main purpose is to take a domain name, such as Codexing.Art, that a user types in a browser and send a query to a DNS server to learn the numerical IP address of the web server that hosts the website. But while the classic DNS protocol makes this request in plaintext, for everyone to see, DoH packages its DNS queries as encrypted HTTPS traffic.

The primary benefit of DoH is that it hides the DNS requests and responses in the giant stream of HTTPS traffic that moves across the internet, non stop. This means that others can’t look at yourf DNS requests to guess what you are trying to access. This makes DoH a protocol very useful for bypassing DNS-based blocklists, as there will not be any DNS traffic to filter.

Trying to enable DoH in Chrome isn’t super easy since Google is delayed with supporting the protocol. DoH works well in Chrome, but there is no user interface for enabling or configuring it. So what can you do?

How to enable and test DoH in Google Chrome?

To enable DoH support in Chrome, you have to use a so called command-line argument or command-line flag, which is a set of additional instructions that are passed to the Chrome executable during startup, to enable developer features.

  • Find your Chrome shortcut. This may be on your taskbar, desktop, start menu or somewhere else on your file system and it may not be available in one or another of those options but it is available, for sure.
  • Right-click on the Chrome shortcut and select the Properties option. It will open the little window visible below:
Google Chrome Properties
  • Please note the extra space that exists between “……application\chrome.exe” and what you will add next to it. The extra space must be removed, so that only the space for ONE character/symbol truly exists between the two pieces of intructions.
  • In the Target field, add the following text instruction at the end of the shortcut path and hit Save.

–enable-features=”dns-over-https<DoHTrial” –force-fieldtrials=”DoHTrial/Group1″ –force-fieldtrial-params=”DoHTrial.Group1:server/https%3A%2F%2F1.1.1.1%2Fdns-query/method/POST

  • The above text will configure Chrome to use the Cloudflare DoH server. Now, if Chrome is already running, close it and restart it. Otherwise, you can start Chrome as usual. This is done to fully configure your Chrome browser to use DoH.
  • To test if DoH support is working in Chrome, please access https://1.1.1.1/help and where you see “Using DNS over HTTPS (DoH)” should return “Yes.” We consider essential to read our webpage WARP+ for a better overall understanding of DNS.

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