We now offer support for custom DNS server configuration on the desktop and Android versions of the Mullvad VPN app. We haven’t yet evaluated this option for iOS.
How to use custom DNS
To use this setting in the app, open Settings > Advanced, then enable Use custom DNS server.
Using a public server?
If you add a public DNS server, you’ll get a pop-up that says, “Currently we only support local DNS servers.” Simply ignore the message and click “Add anyway”. This outdated message is hard-coded into the app and will remain there until we release new app versions.
How do I know it’s working?
To verify that your custom DNS server is being used, go to our connection check page. An indication that it’s working is if the DNS box is red and says “Leaking DNS servers”. If you know the public IP address of your custom DNS server, you can expand the box to verify that it’s listed.
It’s not working. Now what?
Generate a new WireGuard® key for your device: Settings > Advanced > WireGuard key > Regenerate key.
Privacy and the role of DNS servers
Using a custom DNS server can have potential downsides to your privacy. So why do we, as a privacy-focused VPN, offer the option?
(Read more: Why DNS servers are important from a privacy perspective)
While we strive to make privacy accessible to all, we know that everyone has different needs. Many of our customers have requested custom DNS and their reasons might be just as diverse, such as for filtering services, ad blocking, or better performance.
Even though using a custom DNS server can potentially decrease privacy, doing so with a VPN is better from a privacy perspective than without. We therefore choose to offer options that allow people to find a privacy solution that best fits them. That is, until we create even better alternatives.
What about encrypted DNS?
Encrypted DNS is something entirely different and isn’t supported in the app. If you’re still curious, then check out the beta version of our new public DNS service which utilizes encrypted DNS and offers DoH and DoT.
"WireGuard" is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.