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My network setup

I have written about my DNS setup in the past, but that setup is a bit outdated that I wanted to write a new post. I continue to use NextDNS as my primary DNS service. On the VPN side of things, I have switched from NordVPN to Mullvad.

I have stopped using Cloudflare Warp as well. It’s not a VPN; they disclose IP to websites hosted on Cloudflare. They do claim it’s not a VPN, and I appreciate that transparency.

Android

On Android, I use NextDNS’ DNS-over-TLS (DOT) address on Android’s private DNS setting. That setting is available on Android 9 and above. Marking my private, secure, encrypted resolver as such ensures that it works even when I am connected to Mullvad.

I use Wireguard Android client to use Mullvad, as I have noticed Mullvad’s official app to disconnect often.

Mac

Since I switched from NordVPN (they announced a Wireguard-based implementation as well!) to Mullvad, I started using Mullvad’s Wireguard implementation. It’s as simple as downloading the Wireguard configuration file from their website, and adding it to the Wireguard client app.

Since I run NextDNS CLI, I setup that local resolver address 127.0.0.1 as my choice of DNS on the Wireguard config.

As an additional measure, I use 127.0.0.1 as my resolver on Mac’s network settings as well. This ensures that NextDNS continues to be used when disconnected from Mullvad.

Taking this one step further, I have a Keyboard Maestro macro that periodically ensures that 127.0.0.1 is my Mac’s DNS resolver. This is not a great way to implement DNS leak checks, but it works for me.

Windows

Windows was an issue when I was using NordVPN. I could define NextDNS’ IPv4 addresses, but that’s not encrypted DNS. I wanted both encrypted DNS and VPN at the same time, which is when I learned about YogaDNS. It’s network interface-independent and works great with Mullvad. As usual, I use Wireguard Windows client for Mullvad.

iOS

iOS is an issue at this time. I can either use NextDNS or Mullvad. The problem is, DNS implementation is done as VPN tunnels, and when NextDNS tunnel is active, Mullvad VPN cannot be. This is changing with iOS 14!

Pi-hole

I haven’t shut down my Pi-hole yet. It’s active and running, and serves all guests that connect to my home WiFi.