Guide | How To How to get Mullvad VPN work with NextDNS with a custom profile

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SerialCart

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Mullvad VPN is famous to be one of the most private and secure VPN providers. They are offering advanced functions within their VPN app including split-tunneling, WireGuard, custom ports and more. Mullvad is offering their own DNS service which comes with some basic tracking and advertisement blocking functions. However, the features which NextDNS is offering and the customization tools which they offer is unbeatable.

Here in this article we will guide you to privately setting your Mullvad VPN to use NextDNS with your custom configurations with no DNS leaks.



Before we go into details, please note that you should already have a NextDNS (free or paid) account and also a Mullvad subscription (you can get Mullvad VPN with discount from our partner SerialCart with discount here).



On desktop apps (Windows, MacOS, Linux)​


1- First login to your NextDNS account: https://my.nextdns.io

2- Then from this page under the “Setup” tab you will see your custom DNS details. We will need your custom IPv6 values from this page as you can see in the image below:

Make NextDNS to work with Mullvad VPN




1621-make-nextdns-to-work-with-mullvad-vpn-1024x495-png-webp






3- Then go to your Mullvad app settings (see the image below)





Then go to the “VPN Settings”:







4- Then make sure that all the built-in Mullvad tracking and ad-blocking functions are disabled:







5- Then at the bottom of the settings page, enable the “Use Custom DNS Server” option and add your IPv6 values there:






Now everything should be set. You can check your NextDNS logs to see if your DNS traffic is being routed through NextDNS.
 

Jonny Quest

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So someone please help me to understand, we have the privacy of using Mullvad VPN, but now we are going to be logged (contrary to Mullvad) by NextDNS in which we have to create an account? Why not just enable the VPN settings that are disabled and be more private, yet have the security of our AV browser extensions, Mullvad and uBlock?

edit: and I'm not trying to be contrary to your wonderful post @SerialCart but I've never really grasped the idea of using both a VPN and DNS with my AV extension and uBlock.
 
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SpiderWeb

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So someone please help me to understand, we have the privacy of using Mullvad VPN, but now we are going to be logged (contrary to Mullvad) by NextDNS in which we have to create an account? Why not just enable the VPN settings that are disabled and be more private, yet have the security of our AV browser extensions, Mullvad and uBlock?

edit: and I'm not trying to be contrary to your wonderful post @SerialCart but I've never really grasped the idea of using both a VPN and DNS with my AV extension and uBlock.
VPN only gives you some degree of privacy. Trackers still know who you are using device identifiers other than IP. So many of Mullvads VPN servers have already been blacklisted, NextDNS might help get around all the blockades at least for resolving domains.
 

Jonny Quest

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VPN only gives you some degree of privacy. Trackers still know who you are using device identifiers other than IP. So many of Mullvads VPN servers have already been blacklisted, NextDNS might help get around all the blockades at least for resolving domains.
Thank you, SpiderWeb, as @Shadowra has mentioned that one before, as far as Mullvad and blacklisted sites.
 

Shadowra

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Thank you, SpiderWeb, as @Shadowra has mentioned that one before, as far as Mullvad and blacklisted sites.

It's mostly on streaming sites or Twitch where you'll get these blocks...
You can bypass it if the IPs haven't been blocked, but Mullvad remains an excellent VPN ;)
 

Jonny Quest

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It's mostly on streaming sites or Twitch where you'll get these blocks...
You can bypass it if the IPs haven't been blocked, but Mullvad remains an excellent VPN ;)
I really like using Mullvad. It's so easy to use and glitch-free. The only issue is as times during a PC restart, it can take about 8-10 seconds to reconnect. Other than that, great speeds and is pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it VPN :)
 

SerialCart

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VPN only gives you some degree of privacy. Trackers still know who you are using device identifiers other than IP. So many of Mullvads VPN servers have already been blacklisted, NextDNS might help get around all the blockades at least for resolving domains.
That is not totally correct, I had a talk with Mullvad team some time ago, and they mentioned that they are also using private IPs to unlock streaming services on some of their servers as well. But since this is a constant fight between streaming services and VPN providers, they prefer not to officially market this. Mullvad's main goal is privacy and not data-collection or unlocking streaming services.

I personally can watch Netflix and Twitch while using Mullvad. Sometimes I notice couple of servers which are blocked and after reconnecting to an another one the problem is solved.
 

SerialCart

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Oct 27, 2019
501
So someone please help me to understand, we have the privacy of using Mullvad VPN, but now we are going to be logged (contrary to Mullvad) by NextDNS in which we have to create an account? Why not just enable the VPN settings that are disabled and be more private, yet have the security of our AV browser extensions, Mullvad and uBlock?

edit: and I'm not trying to be contrary to your wonderful post @SerialCart but I've never really grasped the idea of using both a VPN and DNS with my AV extension and uBlock.
I completely understand your point, but the reason that many users and companies are using NextDNS is their custom profiles. Unfortunately at this moment (04.01.2024) Mullvad does not offer a service at the level of NextDNS.

NextDNS allows you to fine-tune your internet access and also easily without any specific knowledge monitor your network. I really wish that Mullvad also offers a service like this.

Mullvad comes with a bascis DNS blocking functionality and uBlock is only for your browser (obviously the best browser would be FireFox or LibreWolf based on FireFox for uBlock). But uBlock in any case does not protect your whole network.

With NextDNS you can set your personal DNS settings in your router and apply your firewall for all devices which connect to your network.

Of course some one case say what about Piehole ?
PieHole is great but again very limited. If you have a high speed internet it will reduce your speed (because of limited RasberryPie CPU and RAM) and also you won't be able to use it while you are on the go with your Mobile phone. With NextDNS you can set your DNS settings in your Mullvad VPN and apply your firewall even on the go.

BUT!
All in all you are making a comprimise by trusting NextDNS accessing your browsing data!

Maybe if you are a Mullvad user, you can contact their support and ask them to develope a service like NextDNS. I have already done it :D
 

Jonny Quest

Level 16
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Mar 2, 2023
784
I completely understand your point, but the reason that many users and companies are using NextDNS is their custom profiles. Unfortunately at this moment (04.01.2024) Mullvad does not offer a service at the level of NextDNS.

NextDNS allows you to fine-tune your internet access and also easily without any specific knowledge monitor your network. I really wish that Mullvad also offers a service like this.

Mullvad comes with a bascis DNS blocking functionality and uBlock is only for your browser (obviously the best browser would be FireFox or LibreWolf based on FireFox for uBlock). But uBlock in any case does not protect your whole network.

With NextDNS you can set your personal DNS settings in your router and apply your firewall for all devices which connect to your network.

Of course some one case say what about Piehole ?
PieHole is great but again very limited. If you have a high speed internet it will reduce your speed (because of limited RasberryPie CPU and RAM) and also you won't be able to use it while you are on the go with your Mobile phone. With NextDNS you can set your DNS settings in your Mullvad VPN and apply your firewall even on the go.

BUT!
All in all you are making a comprimise by trusting NextDNS accessing your browsing data!

Maybe if you are a Mullvad user, you can contact their support and ask them to develope a service like NextDNS. I have already done it :D

A very helpful and informative post SerialCart, I appreciate it :)
 
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TairikuOkami

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All in all you are making a comprimise by trusting NextDNS accessing your browsing data!
NextDNS is run by 2 unknown people, who can not be contacted and never reply to any comments, but they provide a superb free service, surely they can be trusted unconditionally.
 
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LennyFox

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Jan 18, 2024
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NextDNS is run by 2 unknown people, who can not be contacted and never reply to any comments, but they provide a superb free service, surely they can be trusted unconditionally.
Olivier Poitrey and Romain Cointepas are behind NextDNS. Olivier Poitrey is working for Netflix (link1) as technical director and Romain Cointepas is now director of DNS0.eu (link2).

They have a trustworthy reputation in the tech industry.
 
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TairikuOkami

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They have a trustworthy reputation in the tech industry.
Not anymore thanks to NextDNS. Providing such a huge service with virtually zero support speaks for itself. It is like being a chef in a restaurant and ignoring customer reviews.
 

LennyFox

Level 6
Jan 18, 2024
284
Not anymore thanks to NextDNS. Providing such a huge service with virtually zero support speaks for itself. It is like being a chef in a restaurant and ignoring customer reviews.
According to the NextDNS website they don't provide support for paying home users. Only for customers on a business or education plan have email support. I can imagine paid home users are disappointed about that (paying for a service without support).

On the other hand the lack of active monitoring also has it advantages. It makes it easy to circumvent the 300.000 lookup limitation of the free plan. The only thing you need for the free plan of NextDNS is an email account. At our household we use 3 free accounts: 1 for my router,1 for my wife's tablet and 1 for my laptop . I don't know whether it was you (TairikiOkami) or Sempei Nikira (on WS), who inspired me to setup my router's NextDNS account to only allow a few trusted TLD's. (y)
 

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