Can I Use pfSense as a DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

In this tutorial, we will explore the possibilities of using pfSense as a DNS server. pfSense is a powerful open-source firewall and routing platform that can also serve as a DNS server. By configuring pfSense to handle DNS queries, you can have better control over your network’s DNS resolution and potentially improve performance.

What is pfSense?

pfSense is an open-source firewall and routing software based on the FreeBSD operating system. It offers a wide range of features, including VPN support, traffic shaping, and captive portal functionality. One of its lesser-known capabilities is acting as a DNS server.

Why use pfSense as a DNS Server?

Using pfSense as your DNS server has several advantages. Firstly, it allows you to have more control over your network’s DNS resolution process.

You can configure specific domain overrides or block certain domains altogether. Additionally, by resolving DNS queries locally instead of relying on external DNS servers, you can potentially improve network performance by reducing latency.

Setting up pfSense as a DNS Server

To set up pfSense as a DNS server, follow these steps:

Step 1: Access the pfSense web interface

Open your web browser and enter the IP address of your pfSense router in the address bar. This will take you to the web interface.

Step 2: Navigate to Services > DNS Resolver

In the web interface menu, go to “Services” and then select “DNS Resolver.”

Step 3: Configure General Settings

In the General Settings section, make sure that “Enable” is checked to enable the DNS resolver. You can also adjust other settings such as the listening interfaces and port number if needed.

Step 4: Configure DNS Overrides (Optional)

If you want to set up specific domain overrides, navigate to the “DNS Overrides” section. Here, you can specify domain names and their corresponding IP addresses or hostnames.

Step 5: Save and Apply Changes

After making any necessary configurations, click on the “Save” button to save your changes. Then, click on the “Apply Changes” button to apply the new settings.

Testing the DNS Server

To ensure that pfSense is functioning correctly as a DNS server, you can perform a simple test. On a device connected to your network, open a web browser and try accessing a few websites. If the websites load without any issues, it means that pfSense is successfully resolving DNS queries.


Using pfSense as a DNS server can provide you with more control over your network’s DNS resolution process and potentially improve performance. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily configure pfSense as your DNS server and enjoy its benefits.

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