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Next DNS vs AdGuard DNS vs Quad9 vs Cloudflare DNS vs Pi-hole: A Comparative Analysis


In the fast-paced realm of cybersecurity, the Domain Name System (DNS) plays a pivotal role by translating user-friendly domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. While Internet Service Providers (ISPs) typically offer default DNS services, a plethora of third-party DNS providers have emerged, presenting a range of enticing features such as heightened security, robust privacy protection, and improved performance.

This comprehensive article aims to conduct a thorough comparison of Next DNS , AdGuard DNS, Quad9 , Cloudflare DNS , and Pi-hole - five prominent DNS services. By meticulously examining their unique attributes, security protocols, performance benchmarks, and user-friendliness, readers will gain valuable insights to make well-informed decisions when selecting their preferred DNS provider.

What is Next DNS?

Next DNS is a cutting-edge, cloud-based DNS resolver with a strong emphasis on safeguarding user privacy and security. By efficiently blocking ads, trackers, and malicious domains, Next DNS ensures a smoother and safer browsing experience.

One of Next DNS’s standout features is its AI-driven threat detection system, which utilizes advanced algorithms to dynamically adapt to new and emerging cyber threats, providing users with up-to-date protection against potential hazards.

Key Features of Next DNS

  • Ad blocking: Say goodbye to intrusive ads and enjoy a cleaner online environment.
  • Tracker blocking: Prevent data trackers from monitoring your online activities and invading your privacy.
  • Malware blocking: Next DNS thwarts access to websites known for hosting malware, keeping your devices safe.
  • Phishing protection: Stay protected against phishing attacks, ensuring your sensitive information remains secure.
  • AI-powered threat detection: The cutting-edge AI technology employed by Next DNS continuously identifies and mitigates potential security risks.

Pros of Next DNS

  1. Robust ad and tracker blocking: Next DNS excels in blocking unwanted ads and trackers, enhancing user experience.
  2. Regularly updated threat database: With a constantly updated threat database, Next DNS stays ahead of emerging cyber threats.
  3. Simple and intuitive web dashboard: The user-friendly web dashboard makes configuring DNS settings a breeze.
  4. Low-latency response times: Next DNS offers quick and seamless DNS resolution, optimizing browsing speed.

Cons of Next DNS

  1. Some advanced features may require a premium subscription: While many essential features are available for free, certain advanced functionalities may require a paid subscription.
  2. Limited support for customization compared to self-hosted solutions: Users seeking extensive customization options may find self-hosted DNS solutions like Pi-hole more suitable to their needs.

Click here to read more about NextDNS .

AdGuard DNS: Enhancing Privacy and Blocking Annoyances

If safeguarding your privacy while enjoying an ad-free browsing experience is your priority, AdGuard DNS is a top contender. Operating as a dedicated DNS server, AdGuard DNS effectively filters out unwanted content, including pesky ads and potential malware-infected domains.

Key Features of AdGuard DNS

  • Ad blocking: AdGuard DNS eliminates intrusive advertisements, granting you a seamless browsing journey.
  • Malware blocking: Shield your devices from potential malware threats with AdGuard DNS’s efficient malware blocking feature.
  • Parental control: Families can rest easy knowing that AdGuard DNS offers optional parental control to create a safer online environment for children.
  • Query logging (disabled by default for privacy): While AdGuard DNS does support query logging, it respects user privacy and keeps this feature disabled by default.

Pros of AdGuard DNS

  1. Effective ad and malware blocking: AdGuard DNS excels at providing a cleaner and more secure browsing experience by effectively blocking ads and malware.
  2. Option for parental control: Families can tailor their online experience with AdGuard DNS’s optional parental control feature.
  3. High level of privacy protection: AdGuard DNS prioritizes user privacy, ensuring a safer online journey without compromising sensitive data.
  4. Transparent documentation and clear privacy policy: AdGuard DNS maintains transparent documentation and a clear privacy policy, building trust with its users.

Cons of AdGuard DNS

  1. Limited customization compared to self-hosted solutions like Pi-hole: Users seeking extensive customization options might find self-hosted DNS solutions like Pi-hole more suitable to their needs.
  2. Lacks some advanced features provided by other DNS services: While AdGuard DNS offers robust ad and malware blocking, other DNS services may provide additional advanced features.

Quad9: Security-First DNS Resolver

If uncompromising security is your top priority, look no further than Quad9 , a non-profit DNS service dedicated to safeguarding users from accessing malicious websites that pose potential threats to their devices and data.

Key Features of Quad9

  • Malware blocking: Quad9 employs robust malware blocking mechanisms, proactively shielding users from harmful content.
  • Phishing protection: With Quad9’s advanced phishing protection, users can confidently browse the web, knowing they are protected from deceptive websites.
  • Botnet control: Quad9 actively mitigates botnet-related risks, enhancing overall cybersecurity.
  • DNSSEC support: Quad9 supports DNSSEC, offering enhanced data integrity and security for DNS resolution.

Pros of Quad9

  1. Strong security measures to protect against cyber threats: Quad9 prioritizes security, making it a reliable choice for users seeking a trustworthy DNS resolver.
  2. Non-profit organization with a mission to make the internet safer: Quad9’s altruistic mission ensures that its services are geared toward benefiting the greater online community.
  3. DNSSEC support for enhanced data integrity: With DNSSEC support, Quad9 provides an additional layer of protection, validating DNS responses to prevent tampering and data manipulation.

Cons of Quad9

  1. Limited customization options: Users seeking extensive customization capabilities may find self-hosted DNS solutions like Pi-hole more suitable to their needs.
  2. Some false positives reported in malware blocking: While Quad9’s malware blocking is robust, occasional false positives may occur, leading to the inadvertent blocking of legitimate content.

Cloudflare DNS: Security and Performance Combined

When it comes to security and performance, Cloudflare DNS stands out as an integral part of the Cloudflare ecosystem, renowned for its global Content Delivery Network (CDN) and top-notch security services. Cloudflare DNS offers a well-balanced combination of robust security features and optimized performance enhancements.

Key Features of Cloudflare DNS

  • Malware and adult content filtering: Cloudflare DNS actively filters out malware and adult content, ensuring a safer online experience.
  • DDoS protection: With Cloudflare’s cutting-edge DDoS protection, users can trust that their online assets are fortified against distributed denial-of-service attacks.
  • DNSSEC support: Cloudflare DNS supports DNSSEC, adding an extra layer of protection to DNS resolution.
  • Privacy-focused resolver (doesn’t log full IP addresses): Cloudflare DNS prioritizes user privacy by implementing a privacy-focused resolver that doesn’t log complete IP addresses.

Pros of Cloudflare DNS

  1. Fast and reliable performance due to Cloudflare’s vast network: Leveraging Cloudflare’s extensive network infrastructure, Cloudflare DNS offers fast and reliable DNS resolution.
  2. Comprehensive security features, including DDoS protection: Cloudflare DNS boasts a comprehensive suite of security features, including powerful DDoS protection, guarding against malicious attacks.
  3. Privacy-oriented approach to data handling: Cloudflare DNS takes privacy seriously and ensures that user data is handled with the utmost confidentiality.

Cons of Cloudflare DNS

  1. Some logging of personal information (anonymized after 24 hours): Users should be aware that Cloudflare DNS logs some limited personal information, which is anonymized after 24 hours to maintain privacy.
  2. Limited control over filtering options compared to Pi-hole: While Cloudflare DNS offers a solid range of filtering options, users seeking more extensive customization may opt for self-hosted DNS solutions like Pi-hole.

Pi-hole: The Self-Hosted DNS Solution

Pi-hole sets itself apart from cloud-based DNS services by offering a unique self-hosted DNS sinkhole that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi or any other Linux-based server. Functioning as a network-wide ad and tracker blocker, Pi-hole provides users with unparalleled customization capabilities.

Key Features of Pi-hole

  • Ad and tracker blocking: Pi-hole excels in blocking intrusive ads and tracking scripts, enhancing the overall online experience.
  • DNS-based content filtering: Through DNS-based content filtering, Pi-hole prevents access to unwanted content across the entire network.
  • Query logging for network analysis: Pi-hole facilitates network analysis with query logging, offering insights into network activity and traffic patterns.
  • DHCP server integration: Pi-hole seamlessly integrates with the DHCP server, streamlining the process of assigning IP addresses to devices on the network.

Pros of Pi-hole

  1. Complete control over DNS and filtering settings: Pi-hole grants users full control over DNS resolution and filtering settings, allowing for highly tailored configurations.
  2. Efficient ad and tracker blocking for the entire network: Pi-hole’s network-wide ad and tracker blocking benefit all connected devices, ensuring a uniform ad-free experience.
  3. Ability to monitor network activity through query logging: With query logging, Pi-hole enables users to monitor and analyze network activity in real-time.

Cons of Pi-hole

  1. Requires technical knowledge to set up and maintain: Setting up and maintaining Pi-hole may require some technical expertise, which might be challenging for less tech-savvy users.
  2. Relies on the performance of the hosting server: Pi-hole’s performance is dependent on the capabilities of the hosting server, which could impact its overall efficiency.


In conclusion, the choice between Next DNS , AdGuard DNS , Quad9 , Cloudflare DNS , and Pi-hole depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you seek a user-friendly and AI-driven DNS resolver with robust ad blocking, Next DNS might be the ideal choice. For those prioritizing privacy and ad blocking, AdGuard DNS offers a reliable option.

If security is your top concern and you appreciate the mission of a non-profit organization, Quad9 may be the right fit. Cloudflare DNS is a great option for users seeking a balance between security and performance, with the added benefit of DDoS protection.

On the other hand, if you desire complete control over your DNS and filtering configurations, and you’re comfortable with self-hosting, Pi-hole provides a powerful and customizable solution.

No matter which DNS service you choose, always remember to configure your devices securely, keep software up-to-date, and be aware of government regulations and guidelines related to DNS usage to ensure a safer online experience.

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  1. Next DNS -
  2. AdGuard DNS -
  3. Quad9 -
  4. Cloudflare DNS -
  5. Pi-hole -