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nextdns vs pihole

NextDNS vs Pihole: Let’s Compare

January 16, 2024


Overview of NextDNS and Pihole

DNS security is an essential aspect of protecting your privacy and security online. But what exactly is a DNS? A DNS stands for "Domain Name System," meaning it's like a web phone book that organizes and identifies uniquely named domains by translating them into IP addresses your device can connect to.

However, because DNS queries are usually sent in plain text, anyone on the same network or your ISP can see what websites you visit and expose you to unwanted content and malicious actors.

Discover the latest DNS solutions like NextDNS and Pihole to find the ideal server to protect all your networked devices, blocking unnecessary and potentially dangerous content for a better online experience. Make more informed decisions with Stands AdBlocker!

Understanding NextDNS

What is NextDNS?

NextDNS is a custom DNS (domain name system) name server that can be used to ensure the security of your network by blocking potentially malicious domains, either in the form of advertisements or trackers.

Key Features of NextDNS 

NextDNS is a practical server that will provide another layer of security and privacy to your online experience. Whether you are a business looking to protect your network and data from cyber-attacks or an individual looking to restrict unwanted content on your home devices, NextDNS could be a good solution for your needs.

Pros and Cons of NextDNS 


  • You can choose from over 100 filters to block ads, trackers, malware, phishing, adult content, and more. 
  • NextDNS analyzes and logs your activity to identify potential threats and troubleshoot problems.
  • NextDNS respects your privacy and does not collect or sell personal data to third parties.
  • You can create multiple profiles with different NextDNS settings to personalize its features on every device, network, or application. 
  • NextDNS works with any device and is compatible with the most popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera.
  • It offers its SafeSearch feature, which filters explicit results on all search engines, including images and videos. 
  • NextDNS offers several paid subscriptions. However, its paid plans start at $20 per year.


  • Its pricing plans and subscriptions could use clarification.

Exploring Pihole

Pi-hole: The Advanced DNS Blocker

As a Linux-based DNS solution, Pi-hole blocks network advertising, trackers, and malware by intercepting DNS requests and filtering out all unwanted or known potentially dangerous domains. Pi-hole uses predefined lists of these domains and blocks them, enhancing your online protection.

Key Features of Pihole 

Since Pi-hole is a DNS server, you can add one more layer of security on all your devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and game consoles. In addition, it reduces bandwidth and data consumption, and according to user reviews, it is straightforward to use.

Pros and Cons of Pihole


  • Protects any connected device on your network.
  • It also blocks websites and ads on mobile apps and smart TVs, regardless of their operating system.
  • With Pi-hole, you can optimize bandwidth and data consumption on mobile devices.
  • This server allows you to customize which content you want to block according to your preferences.
  • Pi-hole is very easy to install and does not require advanced technical knowledge.


  • Pi-hole operates primarily at the DNS level, so its effectiveness may be limited on mobile devices and applications that bypass DNS filtering.
  • Pi-hole may inadvertently block legitimate content when using block lists, which could affect services or websites that are not intrusive. 
  • Pi-hole's configuration and maintenance may require ongoing attention. 

nextdns setup

Head-to-Head Comparison

  • NextDNS:

NextDNS is a custom DNS server that offers additional security and privacy to your online experience. It provides over 100 filters to block ads, trackers, malware, and unwanted content. While it's free to use up to a monthly limit of 300,000 queries, its paid plans start at $20 a year, making it an excellent, economical, and effective solution.

  • Pi-hole:

On the other hand, Pi-hole is an advanced Linux-based DNS management solution that protects any device connected to your network and blocks sites and ads, optimizing bandwidth consumption. It is effortless to use, customizable, and does not require advanced technical knowledge. However, it operates mainly at the DNS level, which may limit its effectiveness on mobile devices and apps.

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Performance and Effectiveness 


  • Blocks ads and trackers, improving the loading speed of web pages on your local network.
  • You can adjust blocking lists and permissions and access detailed reports on your network traffic.
  • Pi-hole allows users to examine and understand its inner workings, providing transparency and efficiency.


  • NextDNS blocks not only advertising but also threats in real-time.
  • You can adjust privacy and security settings, offering flexibility and online protection.
  • NextDNS facilitates real-time configuration and monitoring, contributing to overall efficiency.

Setup and Configuration 

Pi-hole: To install and configure Pi-hole, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a compatible Raspberry Pi. 
  2. Download the installation script and run it on your Raspberry Pi. 
  3. During the installation, choose the blocking lists and configuration. 
  4. Once the installation is finished, go to the Pi-hole web interface to monitor the blocking statistics. 
  5. Use the IP address of your Raspberry Pi as the primary DNS server by modifying your router.

NextDNS: To install and configure NextDNS, follow these steps:

  1. Please create an account on the NextDNS website to add it to your network. 
  2. Obtain a unique configuration code. 
  3. Select the specific platform or device on which you want to configure NextDNS.
  4. Use the configuration code obtained earlier. 
  5. In the NextDNS online control panel, you can customize block lists and adjust privacy settings. 
  6. The configuration is managed remotely through the NextDNS web interface.

User Interface and Ease of Use

Regarding ease of use, Pi-hole and NextDNS offer slightly different approaches. Pi-hole is known for its simplicity and intuitive user interface, especially for Linux. In comparison, NextDNS provides a cloud-based configuration with a more accessible user interface. Both solutions allow users to customize configurations according to their needs, although some may find Pi-hole's local installation more straightforward.

pihole requirements

Additional Considerations

Integration with Home Assistant 


  • Pi-hole blocks ads and trackers on the network before they reach individual devices, improving the loading speed of ad-free web pages.
  • With Pi-hole, you can monitor network activity, identify problems, and understand which ads and trackers are blocked.


  • NextDNS can block unwanted content before it reaches your devices.
  • NextDNS blocks malicious websites, improving the security of your network and devices.

Community Support and Resources


  • Pi-hole's online forum is helpful for troubleshooting, getting tips, and staying current.
  • Pi-hole offers several online tutorials if you want to perform advanced configurations or better understand its inner workings.


  • The NextDNS community is active and seeks to share its experiences and solutions for enhancing NextDNS.
  • Users with a paid subscription can contact the support team and receive personalized assistance.

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pihole home assistant

Stands Adblocker: Free Adblocker

Why Choose Stands Adblocker?

Choosing an adblocker or a domain name server (DNS) system to manage online advertising involves considering different approaches and features. For example, while a custom DNS, such as NextDNS, blocks potentially malicious domains, adblockers, such as Stands Adblocker, go further, intercepting specific requests for ads, trackers, and unwanted content at the network level.

Opting for an adblocker provides much more specific control over your browsing experience, improving the loading speed of web pages and offering greater personalization by preventing unwanted content.

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Advantages of Using Stands Adblocker

Stands AdBlocker will offer everything you need to control your online privacy and remove all kinds of ads and unwanted content. Moreover, it is a 100% free solution with all these advantages:

  • Protection against all online threats: Ad blockers can block annoying and malicious ads, protecting your privacy and security.
  • Smoother browsing: You can enjoy an uninterrupted and efficient browsing experience without annoying ads. Get the best Pop-Up Blocker for smooth browsing.
  • Optimized loading speed and performance: Stands Adblocker improves your Internet experience 100% by limiting data usage and helping pages load more efficiently.
  • Easy to use and configure: Web-based ad blocking is more complex to configure and understand. In contrast, ad blockers such as Stands are much simpler to use.
  • Protecting your children online: Stands Adblocker also protects your children online by hiding all inappropriate and adult content.

User Experiences and Reviews


NextDNS is an excellent solution if you prioritize your privacy, as it offers high security on your network, blocks ads effectively, is customizable, and offers excellent features for a reasonable price. However, according to user reviews on the Internet, NextDNS only provides email support, making it less desirable, challenging to configure, and occasionally has speed issues.


Pi-hole offers broad ad-blocking capabilities, enhancing online privacy, optimizing network performance, and providing cleaner browsing. On the other hand, its effectiveness may be limited on mobile devices and applications that can bypass DNS filtering.

what is nextdns


Final Thoughts on NextDNS vs Pihole

In conclusion, both NextDNS and Pi-hole offer practical solutions to improve online security and privacy, but have significant differences. NextDNS stands out for its ability to encrypt DNS queries, providing an additional layer of protection. It blocks real-time ads, trackers, and threats, offering flexibility and online safety. On the other hand, Pi-hole stands out for its simplicity of use and configuration. Working at the DNS level, it blocks ads and trackers, improving the loading speed on the local network and allowing the customization of blocking lists.

The choice between NextDNS and Pi-hole will depend on individual preferences and your privacy priorities. However, Stands Adblocker is a valuable alternative when managing unwanted online advertising, and the best adblock free. Unlike DNS-based solutions such as NextDNS and Pi-hole, Stands Adblocker operates at the network level, intercepting specific requests for ads, trackers, and unwanted content, providing more targeted control over the browsing experience. Upgrade your online experience with Stands Adblocker!

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How to Optimize NextDNS for Maximum Performance? 

To optimize NextDNS for maximum performance, follow these steps:

  • Select nearby DNS servers: Choose NextDNS DNS servers that are geographically close to your location to reduce latency and improve response time.
  • Customize block lists and permissions: Adjust block lists and permissions according to your needs to optimize performance and reduce network load by removing or allowing the content you want.
  • Enable cache and monitor statistics: Enable the cache feature to improve speed by storing previous DNS queries. Regularly monitor statistics in the NextDNS control panel to identify potential problems and adjust settings as needed.

What Are the Hardware Requirements for Pi-hole? 

Some basic hardware requirements for Pi-hole are:

  • Pi-hole is compatible with most Raspberry Pi models, such as Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 3, and this will depend on the traffic load on your network and your needs.
  • Pi-hole only requires a little storage space. Even an 8 GB microSD card is sufficient for installation and operation.
  • Pi-hole needs a network connection to work correctly via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.