Q&A Windscribe ControlID - has anyone used it, if so what do you think of it?

n8chavez

Level 2
Feb 26, 2021
69
I'm not sure I like the all-or-nothing blocking approach used by ControlD. (I need to test it more.) If I block google, which is needed to block google analytics, I also block things like the google play store on my android. It seems like with ControlD you cannot block the bad without also blocking the necessary, unless you want to spend a lot of time whitelisting. The same is true with espn; I cannot block their analytics without also preventing me from watching videos are their site. I wish there was some distinction there between bad versus necessary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nevi

blackice

Level 33
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,204
I'm not sure I like the all-or-nothing blocking approach used by ControlD. (I need to test it more.) If I block google, which is needed to block google analytics, I also block things like the google play store on my android. It seems like with ControlD you cannot block the bad without also blocking the necessary, unless you want to spend a lot of time whitelisting. The same is true with espn; I cannot block their analytics without also preventing me from watching videos are their site. I wish there was some distinction there between bad versus necessary.
Which is one of the bigger drawbacks for DNS level blocking. We almost used it for our router, but a few streaming apps make chasing down the correct things to whitelist just a little more work than I feel is worth it.
 

windscribe

From Windscribe
Verified
Developer
Dec 28, 2016
90
I'm not sure I like the all-or-nothing blocking approach used by ControlD. (I need to test it more.) If I block google, which is needed to block google analytics, I also block things like the google play store on my android. It seems like with ControlD you cannot block the bad without also blocking the necessary, unless you want to spend a lot of time whitelisting. The same is true with espn; I cannot block their analytics without also preventing me from watching videos are their site. I wish there was some distinction there between bad versus necessary.

You may be inventing scenarios that are non-existent. If you enable the Ads/trackers Filter, it will block Google Analytics/Firebase and other tracking specific domains. This will have no impact on Google Play services. Or you can block the whole "Google" service, which will block everything, and then you can manually create custom rules to bypass/redirect specific domains you still wish to work. Most specific rule wins if there is a conflict (*.google.com is blocked but you still wish for good-subdomain.google.com to load)

As for the sites that force you to enable certain trackers, this is indeed a limitation of doing it through DNS. The DNS server doesn't know what you're on ESPN.com right now and wish for it to work there, but nowhere else. There are ways to do this, but it will be very brittle and require to store a lot of state. This is unadvisable.
 

n8chavez

Level 2
Feb 26, 2021
69
You may be inventing scenarios that are non-existent. If you enable the Ads/trackers Filter, it will block Google Analytics/Firebase and other tracking specific domains. This will have no impact on Google Play services. Or you can block the whole "Google" service, which will block everything, and then you can manually create custom rules to bypass/redirect specific domains you still wish to work. Most specific rule wins if there is a conflict (*.google.com is blocked but you still wish for good-subdomain.google.com to load)

As for the sites that force you to enable certain trackers, this is indeed a limitation of doing it through DNS. The DNS server doesn't know what you're on ESPN.com right now and wish for it to work there, but nowhere else. There are ways to do this, but it will be very brittle and require to store a lot of state. This is unadvisable.

Apparently I need to preface everthing I say on this thread "because it's not an issue with NextDNS." I bring issues up that I experience here but not with NextDNS, because those are the two I pitting against each other to see which works best for me and which one wantes my business. You can dismiss whatever you want to as naivety or plain stupidity, I don't care, it doesn't change the facts of my experiences with ControlD. If I bring up a situation it's because I just tried it and that was my experience.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nevi and roger_m

nishaddesilva

Level 3
Aug 26, 2012
242
Quick question: For free users who don't create an account, if they use the free dns servers will all the affiliate tracking links be blocked by default? Should they purchase a subscription in order to unblock affiliate tracking links?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nevi and Stopspying

n8chavez

Level 2
Feb 26, 2021
69
Quick question: For free users who don't create an account, if they use the free dns servers will all the affiliate tracking links be blocked by default? Should they purchase a subscription in order to unblock affiliate tracking links?
I assume you would need an account in order to block affiliate links because you need an account in order to access the control panel, and you need to access the control panel in order to toggle that protection. I could be wrong, but I don't see that listed anywhere.
 

Moonhorse

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
1,907
Contacted their customer support email because of sites broken, got problem solved & personal opinion of helper was great

Screenshot_20210519-175431.jpg



Installed their free android app wich offers DOH for their dns + also for quad9, google, cloudflare
Screenshot_20210519-212659.jpg
 

windscribe

From Windscribe
Verified
Developer
Dec 28, 2016
90
Contacted their customer support email because of sites broken, got problem solved & personal opinion of helper was great

View attachment 258246


Installed their free android app wich offers DOH for their dns + also for quad9, google, cloudflare
View attachment 258247

You don't really need the app unless you want to change DNS servers constantly, or using Android 8 or lower. Private DNS is built into Android, and it's far better to use that instead of the app. No app = nothing to install, or update. No chance of bugs or battery drain.

Everything is an app these days, and everyone is obsessed with apps and the need to collect them like pokemon. Major point of ControlD is LACK of required apps. :)
 

n8chavez

Level 2
Feb 26, 2021
69
What do you do when the ControlD server you've been assigned to is no where near your real location, and is slowing down your browser speeds dramatically? Has anyone had that one the pay version, or is it just me?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nevi and blackice

xoxo

New Member
Jul 15, 2021
1
I normally use Windscribe VPN, but decided to I try out ControlID for a month on Apple TV.

Netflix USA - the picture quality is sometimes clear, then it breaks up and becomes a muddy quality. Is this normal?
 
  • Like
Reactions: CyberTech

blackice

Level 33
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,204
I normally use Windscribe VPN, but decided to I try out ControlID for a month on Apple TV.

Netflix USA - the picture quality is sometimes clear, then it breaks up and becomes a muddy quality. Is this normal?
Most likely, depending on where in the world you are, you are streaming from CDNs that are pretty far away.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: roger_m

windscribe

From Windscribe
Verified
Developer
Dec 28, 2016
90
I normally use Windscribe VPN, but decided to I try out ControlID for a month on Apple TV.

Netflix USA - the picture quality is sometimes clear, then it breaks up and becomes a muddy quality. Is this normal?
Its possible. Try redirecting via "Res Chicago" location. It uses a different method of unblocking which is faster.
 
Top