Switching to NextDNS
I am far from an expert when it comes to setting up networks, managing DNS settings, monitoring traffic, and all that goes with that…but I do know I want to take as many sensible steps as possible to increase my family's online privacy and security.
Before I go further, let me qualify my choices by letting you know that it was important to me to maintain usability and convenience. In many circles, you may hear this referred to as passing the grandma test or girlfriend test.
My current router setup includes multiple Eero units. I've had them for a while, and when the time comes to upgrade, I plan to go in a different direction. But for now, that's what I have. Eero offers a paid plan with more features, but I don't see the value in that for me. Instead, I have always changed the settings to use OpenDNS or Cloudflare's 220.127.116.11.
Recently, I decided to reassess those. After going down way too many rabbit holes on Reddit, I eventually landed on NextDNS. It offers a plethora of security and privacy features (including ad blocking1).
Next I had to decide the best way to actually get everything working. They have apps/certificates for just about every device. While that would be fine if it was only my devices I needed to worry about, I knew that my wife and kids would never handle all that on their own. I also didn't want to handle every device individually for setup (and for any future changes). The obvious answer was to set it up directly in the Eero app like I've always done.
The entire process took me less than 10 minutes without issue. It was so easy, I switched my entire workplace to NextDNS the next day as well2.