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So I'm not a fan of having lots of software on my PC, and I was thinking: do I actually need to use DNSCrypt or can I just type in DNS address of one of those private DNS services which do not log your actions manually in the network config (or on my router for that matter)?

Do I really need that extra program, does it add any type of extra security/privacy, or is it pointless if I am able to enter 123.456.789.012 after looking for a decent DNS provider? And if I do need it, can you explain why?

Thanks.

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DNScrypt encrypts the communication between you and the DNS provider. It hides your DNS queries from anyone trying to wiretap your traffic, but it does not hide your queries from DNS provider itself. The primary benefits I see are in situations where you are on an untrusted network (e.g. public hotspot, censored connection, malicious ISP, etc.) and you suspect someone might try to tamper with DNS responses in attempts to redirect you to malicious webpages. This would provide pretty strong protection against that.

If it's privacy and not security you're looking for, then the main question is "Privacy from whom?" If it's privacy from the DNS provider you're looking for, DNScrypt won't help. If it's privacy from your ISP and other potential wiretappers, DNScrypt will protect your queries from being read or modified while traveling between you and the DNS provider.

  • @ting05 I think I remember writing another comment, but it's not here, so I must've not posted it... Anyway, amongst other things, I was asking what I should add to my router's DNS configuration then? Should I just let it get DNS automatically from my ISP, or should I use some special privacy-oriented DNS? Oh, and I wanted to make sure that I do need DNScrypt and cannot use anything else (or just enter DNS manually) to get the same privacy and security results that I get with DNScrypt. – Jack Jun 19 '16 at 13:09
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A privacy oriented DNS which doesn't use dnscrypt would at best have a feature that filters ads and prevents tracking by filtering slected domains. There are better ways to implement such privacy measures in my opinion and doing it at the DNS level can cause other problems.

Such a DNS would also not help you with DNS hijacking and allow anybody in the network or at the ISP to log the sites that you visit. This might or might not be a concern for you. But if it does matter then you should be using dnscrypt.

Another way to secure your DNS traffic would be to use a VPN and ensure there are no 'DNS leaks' when you are connected. i.e You are only using the DNS servers provided by your vpn which you will be connecting to over an encrypted connection.

My own reason for using dnscrypt is that I discovered my ISP has implemented a 'transparent DNS proxy'. This esentially forces everyone on the network to use ISP's DNS servers even when they have specifically configured other ones. This made me uneasy enough to want to look for a solution and dnscrypt fits the bill. My router that runs tomato firmware has this feature built in so I dont even have to install anything on my computer.

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