Everything You Need to Know About ControlD: A VPN Without a VPN App


With secure DNS services, you can easily enhance your online privacy. However, some DNS services provide you with extra functionalities along with controls to customize your online experience.

ControlD is one such interesting DNS service that could replace a VPN for many use-cases. So what is ControlD? What does it offer?

What Is ControlD?

ControlD is a DNS service by the team behind Windscribe VPN that lets you customize many aspects of your online connections. It is similar to yet another privacy-focused DNS service, NextDNS.

You can use it to block a service, prevent tracking, and even bypass geolocation restrictions. Starting with legacy DNS servers to support DNS-Over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS, you get all the essentials to keep your browsing activity secure and private.

controld dns

It is available for free along with paid plans to unlock all the features.

ControlD can be configured on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon/Samsung/Apple TVs, so you can quickly secure a wide range of devices.

All you need to do is add ControlD’s DNS configurations in the custom DNS name field in your browser or smartphone to get started. Once configured, you can control every feature offered using its website or the app for your smartphone.

brave controld dns

Note that, at the time of writing, the iOS app is currently unavailable due to issues with Apple’s App Store policies.

How to Secure Your Online Experience With ControlD

ControlD offers a variety of benefits. While most of the customization settings will be limited to paid plans, you can still do many things for free.

Blocking or Unblocking a Service

Even though it lets you set custom rules to block and unblock an app, you get a vast list of services that you can quickly toggle.

controld dns blocking

You can choose to block, unblock, and redirect each to a proxy location. If you want to schedule blocking or unblocking something, you can do that as well. This should come in handy to improve productivity while avoiding specific social media sites, etc.


controlD filters

You do not need to manually block everything that you find harmful on the internet. With ControlD filters, you can choose to block all the crypto miners, trackers, adult content, malware, new domains, and so much more, in a single click.

There are some additional options to the filters available for more control as well.

Proxy Locations

controld proxy locations

Connecting through a specific location using a proxy is a valuable feature for many reasons.

Suppose you want to hide your IP address and location when connecting to websites; you can enable the global proxy. For many users, this can be an easy replacement for the VPN if you want to keep your identity secret.

The global proxy feature lets you manually select a location or enable automatic proxy location, which chooses the nearest server to your original location. It is worth noting that enabling the proxy may impact your internet speed depending on the location or type of content you access.

Query Log for Analysis

You can choose to enable storing the logs for all your connections. With this feature, you can keep track of the connections being blocked, bypassed, and allowed.

For many users, this can be overwhelming, but the logs provide good insights into what you interact with on your network.

ControlD: Pricing Plans

controld pricing

You can use the free DNS servers to secure your connection, but if you want access to proxy locations and more customization features, it will cost you $40 per year.

As of now, ControlD is adding more free features. To get started, you can opt for its 30-day premium trial to test all the features offered.

Can ControlD Replace a VPN?

ControlD may not be a complete VPN replacement when securing your network. But to enhance online privacy and bypass restrictions, ControlD can prove to be a viable alternative to many VPNs.

It all depends on what you find convenient and if you need the specific features offered by ControlD.


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