ControlD is a new DNS service by the makers of Windscribe VPN

Remember Windscript VPN? We reviewed the free version of the VPN service in 2017 and liked it a lot. Many things have changed since then, and it is now possible to subscribe to a Pro plan to unlock unlimited data and locations, and use extra features such as a blocker for advertisement, tracker and malware.

ControlD is the company’s new service; it is a DNS service that is also available as a free and paid option. The main difference between the free and paid versions of ControlD is that the latter offer customization options while the former only preset options.

Free users may select between four preset DNS servers that are available as legacy DNS and the encrypted versions DNS-over-HTTPs and DNS-over-TLS.

Here is an overview of what is provided:

Legacy DNS DNS-over-HTTPS DNS-over-TLS
Block Malware
Block Malware, Ads
Block Malware, Ads and Social

Unfiltered does not block any traffic, and the three presets that block will block IP addresses associated with the types listed.

Advanced users may use the addresses right away to set up the service, new users get configuration instructions on the ControlD site for all major operating systems and many other device types.

controld dns benchmark

I ran a benchmark for all four legacy DNS services, and they performed fine, but were not the fastest available options. Speed is but one of the requirements. The privacy policy reveals that the service is logging the timestamp of the last activity and the source IP address. The latter is required as it is used to known if a user has a paid account or not. The company states that it does not log user activity.

Since ControlD does not keep logs of which proxy server IPs were used by which user, nor do we even have access to this data, we have no way to trace any activity to any individual account.

ControlD Paid plans

Paid plans introduce new customization options to the service. Customers may select between 14 categories to block, use proxy servers in 60 countries to tunnel some browsing activity (and access geo-restricted content), and maintain a remote hosts file for IP spoofing.

Some features, like the ability to create custom block profiles, are known from other advanced DNS services. The ability to use proxy servers for SMART DNS functionality is an interesting addition, especially since it can be used for specific sites, e.g. Netflix, HBO or BBC.

The scheduling option works like a temporary blocker, e.g. to block social media access while working or studying.

The two paid plans, Some Control and Full Control, are available for $20 and $40 per year. The only distinguishing factor is that the full control plan includes proxy server access while the some control plan does not.

Closing Words

The free version of ControlD is an alternative to established solutions such as OpenDNS. The paid versions support several interesting features, such as the scheduling option or proxy server support, that set it apart from most solutions.

Now you: which DNS service do you use, and why?

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post ControlD is a new DNS service by the makers of Windscribe VPN appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

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