Replacing the factory-installed OS with an aftermarket ROM isn’t just limited to the Android ecosystem. People started modding Linux-powered wireless routers and access points long before the rise of Android smartphones in order to enable functionalities such as packet filtering, firewalls, or adblocking that aren’t otherwise present in the stock firmware. Unsurprisingly, such features are much requested in the world of Android as well. While it is possible to configure Private DNS (or DNS-over-HTTPS) and subsequently block ads on an Android device since Android Pie, end-users still need to rely on third-party apps to set up a proper firewall. If you are looking for an all-in-one app that can act as a firewall, adblocker, and even a DNS-over-HTTPS client, BraveDNS might interest you.
The name “BraveDNS” might sound like yet another DNS resolver service, but it is certainly more than that. This free and open-source app describes itself as “an OpenSnitch-inspired firewall and network monitor + a pi-hole-inspired DNS over HTTPS client with blocklists”. The DoH client module, which is mostly based on another popular open-source project named Intra, uses AdGuard DNS as the default endpoint with built-in adblocking support. The developer team also offers their own DNS resolver service as a paid option for those who need features like custom blocklists, allowlists, the ability to store DNS logs for later analysis, etc.
Below you can find a list of features that are currently offered by the app:
DNS over HTTPS (circumvent censorship and prevent surveillance of DNS logs by ISPs and everyone else).
View DNS logs.
Ad-block through Adguard DNS.
Firewall by app categories.
Firewall individual apps.
Firewall when apps are in the background (not-in-active-use).
Firewall when device is locked.
The initial version of BraveDNS requires at least Android Oreo, but the developers have plans to make it compatible all the way down to Android Marshmallow in the near future. Moreover, support for dual-mode DNS and firewall execution is promised to be backported to legacy Android versions.