Can pfSense Act as DNS Server?


Angela Bailey

Can pfSense Act as DNS Server?

When it comes to network management and security, pfSense is a popular choice among IT professionals. This open-source firewall and router software offer various features that make it a versatile tool for managing network traffic. One of the key functionalities of pfSense is its ability to act as a DNS server.

What is DNS?

DNS, short for Domain Name System, is a vital component of the internet infrastructure. It translates human-readable domain names like into IP addresses that computers can understand. Without DNS, we would have to remember complex IP addresses instead of simple domain names.

Why Use pfSense as a DNS Server?

By using pfSense as a DNS server, you can have greater control over your network’s DNS resolution process. Here are some reasons why you might consider using pfSense as your primary DNS server:

  • Increased Performance: When you use pfSense as your local DNS server, it can cache frequently accessed domain names. This caching mechanism reduces the time required to resolve domain names and improves overall network performance.
  • Enhanced Security: With pfSense acting as your DNS server, you can implement additional security measures such as blocking access to malicious or unwanted websites by modifying the DNS records.
  • Better Network Monitoring: By configuring pfSense as your primary DNS server, you gain access to detailed logs and statistics about the queries made by devices on your network. This information can be valuable for troubleshooting or monitoring purposes.

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

To configure pfSense, you need to access its web interface. Open your preferred web browser and enter the IP address of your pfSense router in the address bar.

Step 2: Configure DNS Resolver

In the pfSense web interface, navigate to Services > DNS Resolver. Here, you can configure various settings related to DNS resolution.

Step 3: Enable DNS Resolver

To enable the DNS Resolver service, check the box labeled “Enable DNS Resolver”. This will activate pfSense’s built-in DNS server.

Step 4: Adjust DNS Resolution Settings

You can customize the behavior of the DNS resolver by modifying settings such as cache size, forwarding mode, logging options, and more. Explore these settings based on your specific requirements.

Step 5: Restart DNS Resolver

After making any changes to the DNS resolver settings, it is essential to restart the service for the changes to take effect. Click on the “Save” button and then click on “Apply Changes” to restart the resolver.


In conclusion, pfSense can indeed act as a powerful DNS server for your network. By leveraging its features and customizability, you can optimize network performance, enhance security measures, and gain valuable insights into your network’s DNS activity. Follow the steps outlined in this article to set up pfSense as your primary DNS server and enjoy these benefits.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy