7 DNS services to protect your family and network with minimal configuration
DNS services come in many different forms; some focus on improving load times, while others focus on online privacy and security. As such, they are often part of your online safety toolkit.
But what are the best DNS services to keep your family and network safe? We will take a look. Here are seven security-focused DNS providers you should check out today. They are easy to install and use.
Quad9 is a free DNS service that focuses on security rather than speed (although DNS page load speeds are still blissfully fast).
When you visit a site, Quad9 checks the site you are about to visit against a list of malicious host names in real time. The list is provided by over 12 of the world’s largest cybersecurity companies.
This process means that any threat against your PC, mobile device or smart home device will be blocked and cannot be transmitted to your network.
Quad9 is also committed to respecting user privacy. Based outside Switzerland, it does not log any IP addresses and automatically uses encryption if your system supports it. IPv4 and IPv6 connections are also available.
Formerly known as Verisign Public DNS, the company was renamed Neustar UltraDNS Public at the end of 2020 following a takeover. Like Quad9, the service places security and confidentiality at the heart of its operational philosophy.
There are a few different plans available, each offering different levels of security.
For example, Neustar’s unfiltered resolution plan will not block any specific category. If you upgrade to the threat protection plan, you can block malware, ransomware, spyware, and phishing attacks. If you plan to deploy Neustar UltraDNS Public in a home that you share with young children, you should choose the Family Secure option; it adds gambling, pornography, violence and hate / discrimination to the list of blocked topics.
Behind the scenes, Neustar UltraDNS Public uses 30 nodes on six continents to perform real-time filtering. Again, both IPv4 and IPv6 connections are available.
DNSFilter is an AI powered DNS security tool. It can help you block ransomware, phishing attacks, malware, botnets, etc.
It is primarily intended for business users who want to protect their office network. Features include content filtering, the ability to apply a “safe search” on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yandex, and low latency thanks to its 48 global data centers.
The service is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS. It can protect your office network and any public Wi-Fi networks that you make available to on-site guests.
DNSFilter costs $ 1 per user for up to 20 users.
Of course, “protecting your family” does not necessarily refer only to security threats. An equally serious problem is online censorship.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not just a problem that affects authoritarian countries. The UK has undergone an endless debate over blocked sites in certain categories, while the US quickly blocked access to many of the world’s major cryptocurrency exchanges. And that’s before considering more common themes like accessing Netflix and sporting events.
OpenNIC is the solution to many of these problems. The company takes pride in providing access to sites that your ISP has restricted and prevents an ISP from getting their hands on your DNS history.
The whole service is a non-profit organization run by volunteers, so there is no cost for using the app. You can choose from over 30 servers to connect to. Each is displayed with information like log retention, DNS over HTTP availability, DNS over TLS, etc.
Yandex is a well-known Russian search engine provider that is widely regarded as a competitor to Google. While some might wince at the idea of using a Russian DNS service, the product is surprisingly robust and will do a great job of preventing young eyes from seeing inappropriate content.
It has over 80 servers in different cities around the world and will automatically block network access to adult sites when family mode is enabled.
There is also a safe mode that you can turn on and off. When activated, Yandex.DNS will block access to potentially dangerous sites and prevent you from downloading files flagged as malware, ransomware and others.
You can use Yandex.DNS on your devices (such as laptops and phones) as well as at the router level. If you want to protect an entire network, the router approach is the way to go.
Ads are another serious issue when it comes to the online safety of your family and the safety of your network.
While networks like Google Ads do everything in their power to prevent the display of dangerous ads, there will always be times when something crosses the net. And that still doesn’t take into consideration all the other less scrupulous ad networks, many of which specialize in adult themes and even spreading malware and other viruses.
AdGuard aims to block ads at the DNS level. This means that you can install this DNS on your home’s Wi-Fi router and block ads across the network. A family protection mode will also allow you to block sites offering various forms of adult content, making it a unique option.
AdGuard has servers in the United States, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
OpenDNS, owned by Cisco, is one of the most well-known names in the DNS industry. Available at the router and device level, it offers preconfigured protection that will protect your family from adult content, viruses, malware, ransomware, and other forms of online threats.
Especially for a DNS provider, uptime is flawless. Indeed, it has achieved a barely believable 100% uptime since 2006. Over 60,000 new malicious destinations are added to the database every day, and the network processes 620 billion DNS requests every 24 hours.
Use DNS service today and stay safe online
All the services we have talked about in this article will keep you safe. For maximum protection, you should run them on your router rather than on a device-by-device basis. This will ensure that your family will not be accidentally exposed to dangerous content while using other gadgets.
Cloudflare has released a new free security tool. Here’s how Cloudflare DNS helps improve security, privacy, and even speed.
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