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DNS Resolvers

Should I use encrypted DNS?

Encrypted DNS with third party servers should only be used to get around basic DNS blocking when you can be sure there won't be any consequences. Encrypted DNS will not help you hide any of your browsing activity.

Learn more about DNS

DNS Provider Privacy Policy Protocols Logging ECS Filtering
AdGuard Cleartext
DoH
DoT
DNSCrypt
Some1 No Based on server choice. Filter list being used can be found here.
Cloudflare Cleartext
DoH
DoT
Some2 No Based on server choice.
Mullvad DoH
DoT
No3 No Based on server choice. Filter list being used can be found here.
NextDNS Cleartext
DoH
DoT
DNSCrypt
Optional4 Optional Based on server choice.
Quad9 Cleartext
DoH
DoT
DNSCrypt
Some5 Optional Based on server choice, Malware blocking by default.

The criteria for the servers listed above are:

Native Operating System Support

Android

Android 9 and above support DNS over TLS. Android 13 will support DNS over HTTPS. The settings can be found in: SettingsNetwork & InternetPrivate DNS.

Apple Devices

The latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS, support both DoT and DoH. Both protocols are supported natively via configuration profiles or through the DNS Settings API.

After installation of either a configuration profile or an app that utilizes the DNS Settings API, the DNS configuration can be selected. If a VPN is active, resolution within the VPN tunnel will use the VPN's DNS settings and not your system-wide settings.

Signed Profiles

Apple does not provide a native interface for creating encrypted DNS profiles. Secure DNS profile creator is an unofficial tool for creating your own encrypted DNS profiles, however they will not be signed. Signed profiles are preferred; signing validates a profile's origin and helps to ensure the integrity of the profiles. A green "Verified" label is given to signed configuration profiles. For more information on code signing, see About Code Signing. Signed profiles are offered by AdGuard, NextDNS, and Quad9.

iOS/iPadOS

Select SettingsGeneralVPN, DNS, & Device ManagementDNS

macOS

Select System Preferences → Profiles or System PreferencesNetworkAdvanced, (depending on if you have configuration profiles installed).

tvOS

Select SettingsGeneralPrivacyShare Apple TV Analytics → then press the Play button on the remote.

Windows

You can turn on DoH by accessing Windows settings in the control panel.

Select SettingsNetwork & InternetEthernet or WiFi, → Edit DNS SettingsPreferred DNS encryptionEncrypted only (DNS over HTTPS).

Linux

systemd-resolved, which many Linux distributions use to do their DNS lookups, doesn't yet support DoH. If you want to use DoH, you'll need to install a proxy like dnscrypt-proxy and configure it to take all the DNS queries from your system resolver and forward them over HTTPS.

Encrypted DNS Proxies

Encrypted DNS proxy software provides a local proxy for the unencrypted DNS resolver to forward to. Typically it is used on platforms that don't natively support encrypted DNS.

RethinkDNS

Recommendation

RethinkDNS logo RethinkDNS logo

RethinkDNS is an open-source Android client supporting DNS-over-HTTPS, DNS-over-TLS, DNSCrypt and DNS Proxy along with caching DNS responses, locally logging DNS queries and can be used as a firewall too.

Website Privacy Policy

Downloads

DNSCloak

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DNSCloak logo

DNSCloak is an open-source iOS client supporting DNS-over-HTTPS, DNSCrypt, and dnscrypt-proxy options such as caching DNS responses, locally logging DNS queries, and custom block lists. You can add custom resolvers by DNS stamp.

Project Info Privacy Policy

Downloads

dnscrypt-proxy

Recommendation

dnscrypt-proxy logo

dnscrypt-proxy is a DNS proxy with support for DNSCrypt, DNS-over-HTTPS, and Anonymized DNS.

The anonymized DNS feature does not anonymize other network traffic.

Wiki Privacy Policy

Downloads

Self-hosted Solutions

Pi-hole

Recommendation

Pi-hole logo

Pi-hole is an open-source DNS-sinkhole which uses DNS filtering to block unwanted web content, such as advertisements.

Pi-hole is designed to be hosted on a Raspberry Pi, but it is not limited to such hardware. The software features a friendly web interface to view insights and manage blocked content.

Website Privacy Policy

Downloads

  1. AdGuard stores aggregated performance metrics of their DNS servers, namely the number of complete requests to a particular server, the number of blocked requests, and the speed of processing requests. They also keep and store the database of domains requested in within last 24 hours. "We need this information to identify and block new trackers and threats." "We also log how many times this or that tracker has been blocked. We need this information to remove outdated rules from our filters." https://adguard.com/en/privacy/dns.html 

  2. Cloudflare collects and stores only the limited DNS query data that is sent to the 1.1.1.1 resolver. The 1.1.1.1 resolver service does not log personal data, and the bulk of the limited non-personally identifiable query data is stored only for 25 hours. https://developers.cloudflare.com/1.1.1.1/privacy/public-dns-resolver/ 

  3. Mullvad's DNS service is available to both subscribers and non-subscribers of Mullvad VPN. Their privacy policy explicitly claims they do not log DNS requests in any way. https://mullvad.net/en/help/no-logging-data-policy/ 

  4. NextDNS can provide insights and logging features on an opt-in basis. You can choose retention times and log storage locations for any logs you choose to keep. If it's not specifically requested, no data is logged. https://nextdns.io/privacy 

  5. Quad9 collects some data for the purposes of threat monitoring and response. That data may then be remixed and shared, such as for the purpose of security research. Quad9 does not collect or record IP addresses or other data they deem personally identifiable. https://www.quad9.net/privacy/policy/ 


Last update: May 24, 2022