I hear you right there.

I know you’ve got browser addons like uBlockOrigin, AdGuard and rest. I understand you might have moved to Brave/DuckDuckGo browser to get off Ads & trackers.

Congratulations! These are all great ways to convey trackers clearly to Follow me Not.

I wanted something more scalable and easily controlled through a single interface.

Here I’m going to walk you through my route, sharing the experience of the tools I used & ultimately why I’m thinking of shelling 20 precious Euros from my hard earned money to use NextDNS.

Using PiHole and enlightenment

PiHole is lovely!

Installed it in my home-network, delegated responsibility for DHCP server and Boom! Network-wide adblocking is set.

Ads gone, trackers done, analytics is awesome. Can spot that TP-Link smart socket trying to send telemetry data at rate of eye blinks.

How about when not at home?

PiHole can be used for DNS queries if I set up a VPN at my home. Unfortunately, my home connection’s upload rate is slow. Though DNS queries are light but I do feel the lag. I want my friends and family to use this PiHole but my experimentation rate using home raspberry pi is so high that I can’t break everyone’s DNS while performing a stupid change.

NextDNS, yes Next! Not sure if it has slightest relation with Nextcloud

My understanding of NextDNS is, it’s a SaaS version of PiHole. App is minimalistic, install it and no need to get your hands dirty with configuration. Super simple that friends & family might adopt.

The No Free Lunch though

If it’s free, consumer is the product.

It’s free upto 300,000 queries a month (works nicely for an individual on laptop+phone). You can always choose to go with the Pro pack which is €19.90/year. It allows Unlimited queries (ofcourse) along with ability to share it with your close family & friends.

Make sure to be transparent & explain your family & friends about your visibility of logs. I suggest to turn off logging for the sake of everyone’s privacy.

Extras

As it’s a DNS based ad cum analytics blocker, it provides some extra features like Parental Control, ability to add local DNS & analytics showing GAFAM dominance and country specific DNS Traffic Destinations.

So time to give NextDNS a try. Good luck & let me know your reviews about it :)