I just heard about NextDNS that claims

  • Block ads, trackers and malicious websites on all your devices.
  • Get in-depth analytics about your Internet traffic.
  • Protect your privacy and bypass censorship.
  • Shield your kids from adult content.

Does anybody have some experience with NextDNS?

If yes, would you recommend it?

If not, which application would you recommend for macOS and iOS that has features similar to those of NextDNS?

Best regards.

— nef

I tried NextDNS when it first came out in 2019 as well as Cisco’s OpenDNS which made similar promises earlier, but decided to provide protection for my entire local network with Pi-Hole for the cost of a Raspberry Pi Linux server similar to this instead. Reportedly, NextDNS uses a cloud-based version of Pi-Hole to do it’s thing.

I’ve been using NextDNS for about a year now, and it has worked really well for me. Because it operates at the network level, it can stop connections to tracking domains or other places you don’t want your devices to visit, and the same protection is available to all your devices that are configured to use NextDNS. Crucially, if you’re using their apps, that protection persists even if you’re not on your own home network.

A couple of things to bear in mind:

  1. By default, NextDNS defaults to minimal blocking, you’ll need to turn on any additional blocks you wish to put in place.

  2. NextDNS will intercept and block tracking and malicious behaviour at the network level, but cannot do anything about malicious actions performed directly by websites you’re visiting.

  3. NextDNS offers broad privacy and parental controls, but you should check that they won’t interfere with websites you normally visit. If necessary, you can add domains to the Allow List so they can be accessed.

  4. NextDNS is not a VPN, and does not offer any facility to mask or fake where you’re accessing a site or service from.

As @alvarnell noted in his reply you can get a lot of the features of NextDNS by using a Pi-Hole on your home network. I’ll note that NextDNS offer a pretty generous free tier for their service, and the paid tier is very reasonably priced for what it offers, in my opinion.

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Al and Alan

Thank you for your constructive feedback.

— nef