Setting up custom DNS servers with eero

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What is DNS?

DNS (Domain Name System) is the service that allows you to use domain names like ‘eero.com’ instead of having to rely on IP addresses for accessing resources on the internet. Domain names are easier for us to remember and allow for more flexibility when hosting web sites on the internet.


DNS works by keeping an automatically-updated system of ‘records’ of each domain name and the related IP addresses. These are stored in various servers, which are then accessed by your computer any time you need to reach a particular website. 

By default, eero will use the DNS servers provided by your internet service provider. However, some users may desire to use specific DNS servers for additional reliability or more advanced features. 

How do I set up custom DNS servers with eero?

You can use the eero App to set custom DNS servers for IPv4 and IPv6. Please use the following instructions to change your DNS settings:

  1. Open the eero App
  2. Tap on ‘Settings’, then Network Settings’
  3. Tap on ‘DNS’
  4. From the DNS screen, tap on ‘Custom DNS’ down below instead of ‘ISP DNS (Default)’
  5. Input your desired IPv4 and/or IPv6 nameserver Addresses
  6. Tap ‘Save’ in the top right corner of the screen
  7. This will reboot your network in order to propagate the settings across your devices

Why are my DNS settings greyed out? 

If you are an eero Secure user, this is expected behavior when eero Secure is enabled. eero Secure works by filtering DNS requests from devices, which means that any DNS server settings may not work as expected. 

Your devices may still show that they are using either your ISP DNS servers or any custom DNS servers you set previously via DHCP. However, eero Secure works by filtering all DNS requests on the network, which means that users on the network will not be able to bypass eero Secure just by changing DNS servers on their devices.

If you still want to change your DNS settings, you will need to first disable each eero Secure filter that’s enabled. You can do this in the eero App under ‘Discover’ > ‘eero Secure’, then toggle off Advanced Security, Block Ads, and any Content Filters enabled on any Profiles.

Once all of these features are disabled, you will then be able to follow the instructions above for changing your DNS settings. 

How does custom DNS work with other features? 

Local DNS Caching

Local DNS caching works by storing DNS information locally, which can help speed up the time it takes to load webpages or reach other resources on the internet. 

When this feature is enabled, you will notice that, instead of your ISP or custom DNS settings, you will see the IP address of your gateway eero provided to your devices. This is required for this feature to work, as devices will need to be able to query the cached DNS information on the gateway eero. 

From there, the gateway eero will then send any DNS messages out to either your ISP DNS servers by default, or to your custom DNS servers for any DNS resolution. 

For more information about Local DNS Caching and other eero Labs features, please visit this article

HomeKit 

When the HomeKit feature is enabled, your devices will receive the IP address of your gateway eero as their DNS server instead of either your ISP DNS servers or custom DNS servers, as this is required in order for the HomeKit feature to function.

From there, the gateway eero will then send any DNS messages out to either your ISP DNS servers by default, or to your custom DNS servers for any DNS resolution. 

 

For more information on HomeKit, please visit this article

Using local DNS servers like RaspberryPi’s with HomeKit or Local DNS Caching

When either HomeKit or Local DNS Caching are enabled, devices will send their DNS requests to the gateway eero first. From there, the gateway eero will then send DNS requests to your DNS server(s) for resolution.

If you’re using a local DNS server, this may result in some lost or disrupted functionality depending on what your local DNS server supports.

Some commonly used local DNS servers may have features that allow the user to gain insight into DNS requests by device or have other features that rely on DNS traffic being directly sent from devices on the network.

Since DNS traffic will be arriving from the gateway eero instead of the devices themselves, most or all DNS traffic on your network will show as originating from the gateway eero. This means that your local DNS server may not be able to detect which device each DNS request is actually coming from.

This behavior cannot be adjusted, as both HomeKit and Local DNS Caching require this behavior in order to function properly. As a result, you may find that your local DNS server may not be fully compatible with these features. 

 

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