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Custom DNS Servers: servers are operating normally.
Alpha DNS Servers: servers are operating normally.
Zulu DNS Servers: servers are operating normally.
Echo DNS Servers: servers are operating normally.
Test DNS Server: server is operating normally.
Website (decloudus.com): server is operating normally.
November 2021 - Adding Options to "DeApple" and "DeMicrosoft"
In this release, DeCloudUs DNS Custom Server extended the ability to "deApple" and "deMicrosoft" to Premium Plus subscribers.
- Added "deApple" option to Custom Server: this option blocks nearly 6,000 apex/root domains (not just subdomains) registered to Apple. Over the past few months, we received many requests from subscribers to add a blocklist for Apple as many users with Apple devices are increasingly uneasy about what Apple does with the data it collects. While it was always possible to block popular Apple domains via Custom Blocklist, that Premium Plus subscribers have access to, many users were looking to DeCloudUs to make it a one-click setting, which makes sense since Apple is not just a major hardware and OS company but also embeds its cloud services in every device it sells. It is certainly expected for Apple users to allow specific hosts/subdomains needed for important functions such as device software updates; to make that task easier, we provided a link that includes a list of specific subdomains for popular Apple services so that a user can evaluate what to allow.
- Added "deMicrosoft" option to Custom Server: this option blocks over 30,000 apex/root domains (not just subdomains) registered to Microsoft. Microsoft has different lines of business that are fairly similar to Google: Windows is a popular OS on millions of devices that has increasingly been including more embedded Microsoft cloud services and Microsoft does run an online Ads business, so it is reasonable to expect that they collect user data for better ad performance. Since Microsoft owns tens of thousands of root domains, we decided to add a setting that blocks all of these domains with a simple setting. There are some necessary services that some users may want to allow (such as Windows OS updates); to make that task easier, we provide links that list the different subdomains Microsoft uses to deliver certain popular services, so that a user can evaluate what to allow.
- To use these settings, simply visit your Custom DNS page and select these options to enable them. Like the "deGoogle" option, these new settings are very powerful in completely blocking Apple and Microsoft. DeCloudUs aims to provide you with options and tools that you can use however you see fit based on your privacy goals. We would strongly recommend you to learn about what services/subdomains you need to allow for your devices, via the links we provide for reference under these settings, if you opt to enable them.
October 2021 (Part 2)- Major DeCloudUs DNS server enhancements
In this release, DeCloudUs DNS servers implemented advanced filtering capabilities that are second to none along with implementing our own recursive resolvers.
- Added malicious IP address blocking based on Threat Intelligence feeds. Many DNS resolvers are capable of parsing DNS queries and blocking DNS lookups for specific domains/subdomains, if they exist on a blocklist. DeCloudUS DNS servers are also capable of parsing DNS responses and blocking the response if a domain/subdomain resolves to a known malicious IP address. Registering malicious domains/subdomains is fairly easy and cheap; once a domain/subdomain is added to a blocklist, the malicious service owner can simply point the service IPs to new domains to get around that. Obtaining new/different server IPs is more difficult though. To better protect your traffic, we obtain daily threat intelligence feeds for server IPs that are proven to be malicious; regardless of the domain/subdomain, if these IPs show up in DNS responses, DeCloudUs DNS servers will respond with 0.0.0.0 instead to protect your devices. To prevent false positives, once the IP address ceases malicious activities (typically when the malicious service is taken down), the IP address is then removed from the blocklist, which is refreshed at least once a day. It is also worth mentioning that Custom DNS extends the ability to block by response IPs to Premium Plus users through custom blocklist.
- Launched DeCloudUs DNS own recursive resolvers. As you may have seen in the past, DeCloudUs DNS servers upstreamed non-filtered DNS queries to Quad9 and Cloudflare (which was done in a way that guaranteed Quad9/Cloudflare would know absolutely nothing about you as the user or what DNS queries a specific user was submitting). This was done mainly to reduce computing overhead and also deliver speedy responses. Surprisingly, we noticed some issues with Quad9 and Cloudflare over the past year: Quad9 responses would timeout once in a great while, which caused DNS errors for end users; Cloudflare delivered outdated responses on more rare occasions when certain DNS entries had large TTLs. As DeCloudUs grew, we became confident that we could do better. It took a couple of months to build massive recursive resolvers and configure them in a way that rivals Quad9/Cloudflare speed. Based on weeks of benchmarking, our recursors were often faster in resolving domains/subdomains that were not cached by Quad9/Cloudflare (sometimes twice as fast); when a DNS entry is cached by our resolvers, they are 10 times faster in responding. With all things considered, averaging the response times when benchmarking one million largely diverse requests, our resolvers were indeed slightly faster. Over the last two weeks, we configured all DeCloudUs DNS servers to use our own recursive resolvers. For you, this means faster and more reliable DNS with the peace of mind that no other provider is involved with you DNS queries whatsoever. Now, if you do a DNS Leak Test, you will only see "resolver.decloudus.com" as the DNS resolver.
October 2021 (Part 1)- Adding DeCloudUs DNS servers in USA and other major enhancements
In this release, DeCloudUs reached a big milestone of operating DNS servers globally and giving users the choice of selecting specific server location to use. This release also saw other major enhacements detailed below.
- Added the ability for users to restrict their DNS traffic to a specific location. By default, user DNS traffic is automatically routed to the DeCloudUs DNS server closest to them. The default setting ensures optimal DNS speed and availability. If servers in one location experience a failure or prolonged outage, the default setting automatically routes your DNS traffic to a different server location that's operational. However, if a user has a strong preference to restrict their DNS traffic to only one specific location, we added the ability for users to easily do that.
- Added the ability to do one-time direct invoice payments via Stripe when automatic payment fails. There are countries (such as India) and some banks and card issuers that reject automated subscription payments and require direct one-time payments. To solve this problem, when an automatic payment fails, we provide the user with a link to make direct, one-time invoice payment that satisfies the restrictions placed by these countries and banks. This is specific to Stripe being the payment method.
- Enhanced the Apple mobileconfig generator tool and clarified the instructions. We noticed that some browsers were downloading the mobileconfig files as txt, so we modified the tool to ensure it always downloads with .mobileconfig extension. We also clarified some of the instruction steps with better screenshots.
September 2021 - Expanding filtering capabilities and user options
In this release, DeCloudUs greatly expanded filtering capabilities for malicious sites and added more choices and block options for Premium Plus:
- Expanded the "Security By Default" filters to block over 600,000 additional sites that are known to be malicious (spreading malware and/or used for phishing). The expanded filters were applied to all Premium and Premium Plus servers and will be continuously kept up-to-date moving forward.
- Extended Custom DNS ability to block more site categories. Now, with a click of a button, users can easily block these new site categories: piracy and illegal content sites, online gambling sites, and crypto sites (cryptojacking, crypto-mining, etc). DeCloudUs is committed to giving users the ability to fully and easily control what to block or allow.
- Applied many site content and navigation enhancements.
August 2021 - Adding crypto payment method and site enhancements
In this release, DeCloudUs added the ability to accept crypto payments for subscription along with many other site enhancements that improve usability and user experience:
- Added the ability to subscribe via cryptocurrency (BTC and LTC) in the utmost privacy-friendly and user-friendly way. A user only needs to provide an email address to receive server details and manage subscription. Through our carefully designed subscription management flow, the user is able to generate an invoice and submit crypto payment to extend the subscription expiration date at anytime. The user is able to easily manage the subscription profile (change email address, extend subscription, cancel subscription) directly from the DeCloudUs portal with minimal effort.
- Added mobile-friendly and touch-friendly sub-navigation menus on pages with multiple sections for ease of navigation.
- Added more extensive user-friendly error and success messages as feedback for the different actions users perform.
July 2021 - Adding new features and service enhancements
In this release, DeCloudUs Premium and Premium Plus servers implemented major enhancements that significantly reduced DNS resolution time along with many new user features for Premium Plus Custom DNS server:
- Implemented major updates and upgrades to upstream DNS servers load-balancing, reducing DNS resolution time by 30%.
- Extended Custom DNS server ability to block/allow domains/hostnames by IP address they resolve to, with the ability to block/allow individual IPs or entire IP subnets.
- Added troubleshooting DNS querying/dig tool in Custom DNS management page. Since Custom DNS server is fully customizable, DNS queries results are unique to each user based on the DNS settings. Since DeCloudUs only supports secure DNS protocols, standard DNS troubleshooting and dig tools require advanced customization and configuration to work with DeCloudUs. To make it easier to troubleshoot any DNS issue users may have, the dig tool shows direct DNS responses from the user's Custom DNS server.
- Reformatted Zulu whitelist to make it easier to read and understand.
May 2021 - Launching Premium Plus service and Custom DNS
- Released new Custom DNS service under a new Premium Plus service plan. This new service plans gives access to all current Premium servers in addition to a custom DNS server where users get complete and full control over what sites to block or allow.
- Added "Manage Your Subscription" section in the server list details users currently have access to. In this section, there is a button that will allow users to manage their subscription profiles (update email address, update payment method, or cancel subscription) directly through the payment provider (PayPal or Stripe).
March 2021 - Accepting Stripe and launching Echo server
- Implemented payment integration with Stripe in addition to PayPal, extending the payment/subscription methods allowed to give users more options.
- Launched Echo Premium DNS server avaiable to all Premium subscribers. Echo servers block ads (including Google Ads), trackers (including all Google trackers), and known malware sites while leaving non-ad and non-tracker Google services and sites running. Echo DNS servers are best suited for devices or an entire home network where Google services are in wide use, but you still wish to enhance your privacy and online safety.
December 2020 - Launching Premium service
- Launched DeCloudUs Premium DNS service as monthly subscription plan. The plan gives us access to Production, Prime DNS servers with different filtering capabilities. Premium Servers operate on the community-based principle that those who contribute to a service should be the ones who benefit the most from it.
- Launched Alpha Premium DNS server available to all Premium subscribers. Alpha DNS servers are the "original" DeCloudUs DNS Premium servers where Google services and tracking are completely blocked (to fully deGoogle/unGoogle your device or your entire life, if you wish). In addition, the servers will also block ads, online trackers, and known malware sites.
- Launched Zulu Premium DNS server available to all Premium subscribers. Zulu DNS servers were built based on popular demand for "deGoogle/unGoogle light". Unlike Alpha DNS servers (that will completely block Google), Zulu DNS servers blocks most Google domains and tracking, but will allow some popular Google services to work, such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, Google CAPTCHAs, and Android App Notification
May 2020 - Launching DeCloudUs DNS service
- Initial launch of DeCloudUs DNS as a community-powered project started with a mission to take back our digital privacy and preserve our online security.
- Launched Production servers available to all subscribers that make a donation, where Google services and tracking are completely blocked (to fully deGoogle/unGoogle your device or your entire life, if you wish). In addition, the servers will also block ads, online trackers, and known malware sites.
- Launched Test server available to anyone free to use. Test server is a replica of a Production server and fully functional; however, it not as reliable as it is prone downtime (during test cycles), small in size, capacity does not scale with usage, and maybe throttled or slow with high demand.