I am looking for a very customizable DNS server/filter, with caching, to protect my family from malicious content.

I already have:

  • a pfSense firewall (Version 2.2.2-RELEASE (i386), which uses the "DNS Resolver"
  • Some very basic blacklist configured in the "DNS Resolver"
  • A free account on OpenDNS, with some basic rules and some specific blacklist entries.


  • the solution is quite inflexible overall:
  • the pfSense/Unbound configuration is clumsy and hardly maintainable (See the this article, showing a similar situation, using dnsMasq)
  • OpenDns does not allow many specific rules and only blacklisting, even with the paid subscription

What I would like:

  • a GUI that lists past received DNS queries and allows them to get blocked or whitelisted for the future
  • does some local caching
  • is cheap in hardware and/or software
  • ideally pfSense plugin or a simple hardware (e.g. Raspberry PI)
  • a trustworthy public DNS service with a flexible configuration, as above, would be considered

What I do not want:

  • traffic/content analysis (this renders Squid and Dansguardian out).
  • spend much money (although a moderate fee would be OK)
  • use much hardware

1 Answer 1


Run a local DNS server of your choice and use OpenDNS as the forwarder. Then you can set custom rules locally and get the reporting of external requests via OpenDNS.

In terms of specific recommendations around what DNS server to run, my recommendation is to use whatever you're comfortable with or would like to learn. Any DNS server (e.g. BIND or Microsoft DNS) will allow the creation of custom rules. Thus it comes down finding a balance between the cost of hardware and also the cost of your time to install and maintain it. Hardware costs for a Raspberry PI will be inexpensive but if you're new to the platform it may take significant time to install and maintain.

There is a very thorough list of DNS server software on Wikipedia.

  • 3
    Yes, but since this is "Software Recommendations", do you recommend one specifically. It should be cheap (hardware and software-wise). I have no specific performance requirements as this is for home use only.
    – Marcel
    Jun 14, 2015 at 18:13
  • I ended up using NxFilter as a DNS server. I have successfully installed it on a raspberry pi. See qrys.ch/?p=7
    – Marcel
    May 12, 2016 at 11:02

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