How to protect your network with AdGuard Home

Learn how to protect your network remotely by using AdGuard Home as your DNS server over Meshnet.


AdGuard Home is a free and open-source tool for network protection. It can help you protect your devices from advertisements, malicious URLs, and dangerous websites. AdGuard Home is highly customizable and works network wide. However, without exposing the server device to the outside internet, you cannot use your AdGuard Home instance from a remote device or another location.

With the help of Meshnet, you can connect your AdGuard Home server and devices from anywhere in the world into a single virtual network. This technology allows you to use self-hosted LAN services, such as AdGuard Home, remotely without compromising on security.

This guide outlines the steps to install AdGuard Home on Windows, macOS, and Linux and explains how to change your DNS addresses to use it remotely.


Changing DNS addresses while using cellular data and keeping the Meshnet connection active is not possible. If you are using a mobile device with a cellular connection, you will need to use AdGuard Home with a VPN connection.

Install AdGuard Home

Begin by downloading and installing AdGuard Home on your device.

To install AdGuard Home on Windows:

  1. Download the AdGuard Home package for Windows from GitHub.

  2. Extract the downloaded .zip file.

  3. Navigate to the extracted AdGuard Home folder location using the cd command. Example

    cd "C:\Users\secretmeerkat\Downloads\AdGuardHome_windows_amd64\AdGuardHome"

  4. Run the following command to install and start AdGuard Home:

    AdGuardHome.exe -s install

  5. Check if the service status is running by using this command:

    AdGuardHome.exe -s status

AdGuard Home is now installed and active on your device.

Configure AdGuard Home settings

After you install AdGuard Home, its web interface is created. By default, the interface listens on port 3000. All of the settings are configured via the web interface.

Set up your account

To set up your AdGuard Home account, take the following steps:

  1. Open your internet browser and enter the following URL: localhost:3000/

  2. Click Get started.

  3. In the Admin web interface section, select the port number. The default port is 80, but if it is already occupied, you can change it to another one, such as port 81. If the selected port is already in use, an error message will appear:

  4. Under DNS server, make sure that the All interfaces option is selected. This option allows you to use AdGuard Home locally and remotely over Meshnet.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your account and finish the setup procedure.

Select your upstream DNS

With AdGuard Home, you can select from a wide range of upstream DNS addresses. In addition to standard DNS, you can also choose:

To configure your upstream DNS:

  1. Access your AdGuard Home dashboard at http://localhost:<port>, replacing <port> with the previously selected port number. To open the dashboard from a Meshnet peer device, substitute localhost with the server device’s Nord name or Meshnet IP.

  2. Log in to your account.

  3. From the dashboard, click Settings > DNS settings.

  4. In the Upstream DNS servers field, enter your preferred DNS servers. You can choose from the list of known DNS providers.

  5. Click Test upstreams to check if the DNS servers are working correctly and click Apply.

Now your selected upstream DNS servers are used for hostname resolution.

Choose your blocklists

To enhance your network security, you have the option of adding DNS blocklists to your dashboard. You can choose from the built-in list or add your custom blocklist URLs.

  1. From your AdGuard Home dashboard, select Filters > DNS blocklists.

  2. Click the Add blocklist button at the bottom and select Choose from the list.

  3. Check the blocklists that you want to include and click Save.

You will see the chosen blocklists added to the DNS blocklist table.

Use AdGuard Home DNS over Meshnet

Now that you've completed all the necessary steps, your AdGuard Home is fully set up. To make use of its features, you need to change your device’s DNS address to the Meshnet IP of the AdGuard Home device.

Without a VPN connection

Windows 11

  1. Choose the network type your device is using (Wi-Fi or Ethernet).

  2. Find the DNS server assignment option and click Edit.

  3. Choose Manual from the dropdown list and enable IPv4.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Under Preferred DNS, enter the Meshnet IP of the AdGuard Home server.

    • Under Alternate DNS, enter the DNS address of another provider.

  5. Click Save.

Windows 10

  1. Select Change adapter options.

  2. Right-click your current network adapter (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) and select Properties.

  3. In the new window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.

  4. Select Use the following DNS server addresses.

  5. Enter the following information:

    • In the Preferred DNS server field, enter the Meshnet IP of the AdGuard Home server.

    • In the Alternate DNS server field, enter the DNS address of another provider.

  6. Click OK twice to apply the changes.

With a VPN connection

Meshnet allows you to use your custom, self-hosted DNS server alongside a VPN connection via the NordVPN app. Follow these steps to use your AdGuard Home DNS when connected to a VPN server:

  1. Open the NordVPN app.

  2. Select the Connection section.

  3. Enable the Use custom DNS toggle and click the dropdown arrow.

  4. In the first field, paste the copied Meshnet IP address.

Now, when you establish a VPN connection to a NordVPN server, the DNS address that you specified will be used for the connection.


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