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NextDNS: A Great DNS Blocking Alternative for Those Who Don’t Want to Selfhost


In today’s digital age, cybersecurity has become a critical concern for individuals and businesses alike. One fundamental aspect of maintaining a secure online presence is Domain Name System (DNS) filtering, which helps protect against malicious websites and content. While some tech-savvy users may prefer to self-host their DNS filtering solutions, many others seek a more convenient and hassle-free option. Enter NextDNS , a powerful DNS filtering service that offers an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to self-host. In this article, we’ll explore the features, benefits, and significance of NextDNS as a reliable DNS blocking solution.

What is NextDNS?

NextDNS is a cloud-based DNS filtering service designed to provide security and control over internet access. It acts as a middleman between your devices and the internet, intercepting DNS queries and blocking access to harmful or unwanted domains. By leveraging a vast and frequently updated database of domain categorizations, NextDNS can efficiently identify and block various threats, including malware, phishing sites, and adult content. The service works seamlessly across multiple platforms, making it accessible for a wide range of users.

NextDNS ensures real-time protection against emerging cyber threats by constantly updating its database of domain categorizations. This means that when a new malicious website is identified, NextDNS can promptly block access to it, preventing any potential harm to your devices and data.

For example, if a user unknowingly clicks on a link that leads to a known phishing site, NextDNS will immediately recognize the domain as malicious and prevent the connection, safeguarding the user from falling victim to the phishing attack.

Moreover, NextDNS provides customizable filtering policies, allowing users to tailor their internet browsing experience according to their preferences. Whether you want to implement stricter controls for a family-friendly environment or focus on maximum security for your business network, NextDNS gives you the flexibility to adjust the filtering settings as needed.

Additionally, NextDNS puts a strong emphasis on privacy protection. It does not log any personally identifiable information (PII) and offers options to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and DNS-over-TLS (DoT) for enhanced data encryption and privacy.

For instance, a business owner may want to ensure that employees’ internet usage is monitored and filtered to avoid accessing non-work-related websites during office hours. With NextDNS, they can easily set up filtering policies to block access to social media platforms and other distracting sites.

Furthermore, NextDNS is designed to be compatible with various platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing users to protect all their devices with a single DNS filtering solution.

A traveler connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network at a café can benefit from NextDNS’s protection against potential threats that may lurk on public networks. NextDNS’s DNS filtering will help ensure a safer browsing experience and protect sensitive data from prying eyes.

In conclusion, NextDNS is an effective and user-friendly DNS filtering service that offers comprehensive protection against a wide range of cyber threats. Its cloud-based infrastructure, real-time updates, customizable filtering policies, and commitment to privacy make it a great alternative for individuals and businesses looking to enhance their online security without the complexities of self-hosting a DNS filtering solution.

The Advantages of Using NextDNS

1. Effortless Setup and Configuration

Setting up NextDNS is remarkably easy, requiring minimal technical expertise. Users can simply change their DNS settings to point to NextDNS’s servers, and the service takes care of the rest. Furthermore, NextDNS provides detailed documentation and guides to assist users through the process, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free setup.

For example, if you’re using a Windows PC, you can follow NextDNS’s step-by-step guide on how to change DNS settings on Windows to start using the service.

2. Automatic Updates and Security

NextDNS keeps its database of domain categorizations up to date, ensuring that new and emerging threats are promptly identified and blocked. Users can rest assured that their devices are protected against the latest online dangers without any manual intervention required.

This means that if a previously safe website is compromised and classified as a malicious site, NextDNS will automatically recognize the change and prevent access to that website, thus safeguarding your system from potential malware attacks.

3. Customizable Filtering Policies

NextDNS empowers users with customizable filtering policies, allowing them to tailor the level of blocking and control according to their preferences. Whether you want to create a family-friendly browsing environment or prioritize maximum security, NextDNS provides the flexibility to configure policies that align with your needs.

For instance, parents can set up a policy that blocks access to explicit content and age-inappropriate websites to ensure a safer online experience for their children.

4. Insights and Analytics

NextDNS offers detailed insights and analytics about your internet traffic, allowing you to understand your online habits better. This feature can be particularly useful for parents or business owners who want to monitor internet usage and identify potential areas of concern.

By reviewing the analytics, you can identify trends in internet activity, spot any unusual or suspicious behavior, and take appropriate actions to enhance online security.

5. Privacy Protection

NextDNS takes privacy seriously. It does not log any personally identifiable information (PII) and offers options to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and DNS-over-TLS (DoT) for enhanced data encryption and privacy protection.

With NextDNS, your DNS queries are encrypted, making it more challenging for third parties to intercept and monitor your internet activities.

6. Multi-Platform Support

Whether you’re using Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, or even home routers, NextDNS works across a wide array of platforms, ensuring consistent protection for all your devices.

This means that no matter which device you’re using to browse the internet, NextDNS will be there to provide reliable and secure DNS filtering.

7. Blocklist and Allowlist Management

NextDNS allows users to manage their blocklists and allowlists, giving them granular control over which domains are blocked or permitted. This level of customization ensures that the filtering experience is tailored to individual preferences.

For example, if you want to block access to specific social media platforms during work hours to enhance productivity, you can easily add those sites to your blocklist.

How NextDNS Stands Out From Self-Hosting

1. Simplicity and Convenience

Self-hosting a DNS filtering solution may appeal to tech enthusiasts, but it can be time-consuming and demanding for the average user. NextDNS eliminates the complexities of self-hosting, providing a user-friendly interface and a straightforward setup process.

For example, setting up NextDNS involves a few simple steps, such as creating an account, adding your network, and configuring your filtering preferences through the NextDNS dashboard. No advanced technical knowledge is required, making it accessible to a broad audience.

2. Automated Maintenance and Updates

Managing a self-hosted DNS filtering server requires constant maintenance and updates to stay effective against new threats. NextDNS takes care of these aspects automatically, allowing users to focus on other priorities without compromising their online security.

With NextDNS, users benefit from real-time updates to the domain categorization database. As new threats emerge, NextDNS promptly identifies and blocks them, providing a seamless protection experience without any manual intervention needed.

3. Scalability and Redundancy

NextDNS operates on a cloud-based infrastructure, ensuring scalability and redundancy to handle large volumes of DNS queries efficiently. This robust architecture guarantees high availability and performance, even during traffic spikes.

For instance, during a surge in internet traffic or when multiple users simultaneously access the DNS filtering service, NextDNS’s cloud-based setup can effortlessly handle the load without compromising response times.

4. Security Expertise

NextDNS employs a team of cybersecurity experts dedicated to analyzing and categorizing internet domains. This collective expertise results in a comprehensive and up-to-date database of known threats, far beyond what an individual self-hosted setup can achieve.

By leveraging the knowledge and insights of cybersecurity professionals, NextDNS can efficiently detect and block malicious websites, phishing attempts, and other cyber threats, offering users an elevated level of protection.

Government Regulations and DNS Blocking

DNS blocking, as employed by services like NextDNS , has been a topic of interest in various government regulations worldwide. Some countries mandate DNS filtering to prevent access to illegal or harmful content. It’s essential for users to understand the specific regulations governing their region and how DNS blocking services comply with these laws.

In the United States, for instance, DNS blocking is relevant in the context of CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) compliance for schools and libraries that receive certain federal funding. Similarly, other countries may have their own legislation concerning DNS filtering and its implications.

For schools and libraries in the United States that receive federal funding, CIPA requires them to employ internet filtering measures, including DNS blocking, to protect minors from accessing harmful or inappropriate content. By implementing DNS filtering solutions like NextDNS , educational institutions can meet CIPA’s requirements and provide a safer online environment for students.

It’s crucial for users to be aware of the legal implications of DNS blocking in their respective countries. In some regions, DNS filtering might be used for broader purposes, such as blocking access to websites that host pirated content, prevent cyber threats, or enforce internet censorship.

As regulations and legal frameworks continue to evolve, DNS blocking services must remain compliant with the law while ensuring users’ privacy and freedom. NextDNS , as a responsible DNS filtering provider, adheres to relevant regulations and prioritizes user data protection.

For example, NextDNS does not store any personally identifiable information (PII) of its users, ensuring privacy compliance and protecting user data from unauthorized access.

By being aware of government regulations and choosing reputable DNS blocking services like NextDNS , users can make informed decisions about their internet security and privacy.


NextDNS is a fantastic DNS blocking alternative for users who prefer a hassle-free and effective solution without the complexities of self-hosting. Its robust features, ease of use, and dedication to privacy and security make it a standout choice in the realm of DNS filtering services.

For instance, a small business owner looking to implement a secure and filtered internet environment for their employees can benefit from NextDNS’s customizable filtering policies. They can create policies that block access to non-work-related websites, ensuring a productive and secure work environment.

NextDNS’s cloud-based infrastructure ensures constant updates, scalability, and expert analysis, setting it apart from self-hosted DNS filtering solutions. This means that whether you’re browsing the internet on your computer or mobile device, NextDNS consistently provides reliable and up-to-date protection.

Additionally, its ability to provide detailed insights and analytics empowers users with valuable information about their internet usage patterns. Parents can review the analytics to understand their children’s online activities better and identify any potential areas of concern.

So, if you’re seeking a reliable and user-friendly DNS blocking service, give NextDNS a try and experience the enhanced security and control it brings to your online journey.

Affiliate Disclosure

As an affiliate of NextDNS, I want to disclose that I did not receive any payment or compensation for writing this article. No money exchanged hands between NextDNS and me for creating this content. The opinions expressed in this article are entirely my own, and I genuinely believe that NextDNS serves an essential purpose in providing robust DNS filtering services in today’s digital world.


  1. NextDNS Website
  2. Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) - Federal Communications Commission