NextDNS vs Competition? Who's pulling ahead?
I've been with NextDNS since the beginning, including Beta testing, and I've always been excited to see what they do next. And this isn't a diss post about NextDNS, but it seems their competition is ramping up as more and more 'Pi-hole'-like services are popping up with a lot of bells and whistles.
I'm more focused on functionality over flash, but at the same time it seems like NextDNS is slow to implement on certain competitive features such as Geo-blocking or even things like adding more (active) block lists or even a dark theme.
I guess I'm more curious from a consumer standpoint, what's cooking up at NextDNS, and what are other people's thoughts if they've tried the other services out there as they compare to NextDNS?
There are so many simple features that could be added (just look at the feature requests), but haven’t been. I’m still hanging with NextDNS because the speed and reliability are top notch. I’ll be quick to reconsider if a competitor can offer a similar service with a few simple updates to improve usability. Like temporary disable and ability to add entries to block/allow lists from the logs. NX Enhanced is nice, but can’t work on iOS
I've tried basically every other DNS service, all the services that offer control over your DNS or general services that have filtering things that are freely avaliable without limits.
I'm nearly always praising them but, NextDNS is different from everyone else because it's the simplest. It's the Apple of DNS services, they don't add all the new things quickly but when they do add a function like AI, DDNS Hosts and the new Allow Affiliate Tracking option with Proxying.
Everything just works. I've been here from the initial stages as well, at the time I was searching for a DNS service to block ads but some would break sites, Anti-Adblock measures would annoy me and I was generally frustrated at not finding a perfect service.
I have a family where I got a dad that uses a bit of online services for work, a sister in Uni and another sister that's young with my mom using social media and visiting random sites.
I basically have the whole spectrum on the profile. I setup OISD with all the other security features turned on, they don't complain about a single issue, we don't get any downtime or issues.
All the new functionality that are added also are simple turn on/off options, and are nearly always extremely polished, the AI alone is as good as the Enterprise Level competition.
I do see the appeal of new changes but from my Android Rom experience, it's fun to have new things and it's great to have a ton of options, but I always went back to Stock or Lineage OS. Reason being everything was perfect and I didn't do anything, I could forget that I was on a different Software.
That's why I'd say NextDNS is still the best.
They have a far better DNS Infrastructure than the competition, they might not offer as many features but the level of Threat Defense is on-par with Enterprise grade services so there isn't much competition coming from NextDNS like services in terms of raw security,
I've personally done a lot of testing as well as others, tests that include lists of known malicious domains and going onto fishy "Free" sites for content, games and more that rely on Phishing and Malicious Advertising to stay afloat as real world basis of how someone can be infected.
Other services are still great don't get me wrong, it's just they either cost more or generally have unappealing parts that for me and I don't want to deal with that.
I want to turn something on and it should be so good that I don't notice its presence, it should do the job without annoying or bothering me it should simply work.
Adguard DNS has limits for Devices/Queries and comes with their full fledged Adblocker app, I find both of those annoying especially the bundling part, it's like why make your already existing customer annoyed by trials and expiration dates with locking down functionality in your apps when they are already paying it doesn't impact the DNS service but it's still in your face telling you hey buy this as well for their full fledged Adblocker. I really dislike that sort of behavior since the user is already paying.
ControlD has cool functions yeah but until a few months ago you had to manually remove the IPs one by one when it filled to 100 IPs and from what I know, you still have to maintain the IPs but you have the ability to delete more than one at a time, still extremely annoying but hey, at least not one by one. This might not impact Static IP users but with Carriers and Dynamic IPs from ISP's its not too fun.
They both lack the level of security NextDNS gives and the server sizes to ensure smooth sailing. The larger the network, the smoother the service as it can handle more requests and random surges in users that tend to take down most DNS services, the Facebook issue is a good example.
So to finish everything off, yeah NextDNS hasn't gotten killer changes or a new special sauce that's going to change everything. But it does one thing right, ensuring that the user doesn't have any issues and having everything simply work, that's why I switched to NextDNS in the first place, to run away from the annoyances of maintaining every device in the family with Adguard/Blockada, a person shouldn't need to deal with any configuring or problems, with NextDNS for basically anyone, I'd say turn on OISD and every Security toggles with Allow Affiliate tracking and they'd have an amazing time removing most of the annoyances online without ever needing to go and change anything again.
1) The below discussion can be of interest for you:
CleanBrowsing dns vs Nextdns vs ControlD dns
2) NextDNS can learn a lot from competitors how to communicate with clients.
a) ControlD has an excellent blog. They inform clients about new features and plans:
b) ControlD and DNSFilter manage their forums much better than NextDNS. Employees from both companies are very often involved in conversations and requested features get statuses:
- available statuses: Planned, Started, Completed, Declined.
- available statuses: Under Review, In Progress, Complete
Nice blog and better managed forum can compensate to some extent for the lack of customer service.