A look at AdGuard DNS
AdGuard unveiled the final version of the company's DNS provider service in December 2018 promising privacy, security, and high performance.
DNS is one of the cornerstones of the Internet. DNS, broken down to its core, is like a telephone directory for domains. Whenever servers are accessed, e.g. by clicking on a link in an email or on a website, DNS is used to look up the IP address of the server or device hosting the content.
In technical terms: domain names are send to a DNS resolver which returns the IP address required for the connection to the device that wants to make the request.
For many Internet users, it is their ISP that handles DNS automatically. Usually, that is not the fastest nor best option; some ISPs collect the data and sell it.
Third-party DNS services promise a lot: faster performance, better privacy and security, and add-on features such as filtering options to block unwanted content like advertisement or non-child friendly content automatically.
AdGuard DNS is not a new service but it has been released as a final version in December 2018. The service features two different DNS server pairs that users may add to their device:
- Standard: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199
- Family protection: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206
AdGuard DNS supports DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS next to that which encrypt DNS queries.
- DNS-over-TLS: dns.adguard.com (Default) or dns-family.adguard.com (Family Protection)
- DNS-over-HTTPS: https://dns.adguard.com/dns-query (Default) or https://dns-family.adguard.com/dns-query (Family Protection)
Sign-up or registration is not required; users who require detailed instructions can open the help page on the Adguard website. There you find IPv6 addresses as well.
AdGuard DNS blocks requests to "known" tracking or advertisement domains automatically. The main difference between the Standard and Family Protection servers is that the latter blocks content inappropriate to minors as well.
These built-in protections are never 100% but they block a good share of content automatically.
Russian company AdGuard is best known for its (paid) ad-blocking solution. The DNS server is free of charge and can be used by anyone.
Some users may not want to send their entire DNS traffic to a Russian company; others may distrust Google or Cloudflare, or their ISP. Those who want to be in control may want to take a look at Pi Hole instead, a local solution based on Raspberry Pi devices.
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