Configure OpenDNS for EdgeRouter X

Recently I acquired an EdgeRouter X from Ubiquiti Networks to handle the routing and firewall functions of my home network.  This was prompted by a desire to separate each of my network functions to individual components and to get a better piece of equipment than the run-of-the-mill Comcast rental gear.

After configuring the equiment and updating to the latest firmware, I decided to also configure my network DNS to flow through OpenDNS instead of Comcast DNS.  This also allowed me to configure content filtering so that my grandchildren wouldn’t accidentally get shuffled into some crazy website instead of Disney Junior.

The steps to configure this are not quit as simple as on some other setups.  OpenDNS didn’t have any instructions on this and sent inquiring users to the Ubiquiti Community Forums.  Here is the method that I used:

Step One – Open main system configuration

In the main windows of the web interface for the EdgeRouter X, click on the System button towards the bottom left of the window. This will bring up the main system configuration screen.


Step Two – Configure the System Name Server values

Add the first OpenDNS IP address in the visible field.  Click the Add New button to add a second field, then enter the second OpenDNS IP address into that field.  Scroll down to the bottom of the System settings and click the Save button.

Step Three – Login to the command line interface

In the upper right section of the admin interface, click on the CLI button to open a window to the command line interface (aka cli).  When the window opens, login using the same username and password you use for the web interface (Security Tip: please take the time to change the password from the default…)

Step Four – Update the DNS Fowarding

After logging into the cli, you need to enter the following commands:

set service dns forwarding system

What this does is to alter the functionality of the built-in DNS forwarding service to use the system name server values instead of the values from your ISP source (in my case an Arris SB6190 cable modem connected to Comcast).

After you have completed the above steps, then you can easily control the content filtering on your network using the OpenDNS tools.

6 thoughts on “Configure OpenDNS for EdgeRouter X”

    • Sorry for not replying sooner, didn’t see the comment notification. The way I managed this after the fact was to simply use the GUI from then on. After I decided to stop using OpenDNS and switch to an internal caching/proxy server, for various reasons, I just swapped out the OpenDNS IP addresses for my own internal IP addresses. You could do the same but use any other accessible DNS IP addresses (Google Public DNS, ISP DNS, etc.).

  1. Thanks! I have found this post 2 times via Google search trying to configure two separate systems (both a non-profits!) over a period of months. Your post here continues to be helpful, thank you for taking the time to post it. I am certain there are many others that are benefiting from it that haven’t left notes, so I will leave one to let you know we are still out here!

  2. I too have found this multiple times over the years, thank you. One thing to note for step two. Make sure the configuration saves! With no other changes, mine did not because of an error elsewhere on the page for something I had not changed. I managed not to notice it fail **sigh**. It may have come with the recent firmware update I did or something. So step 4 for me just killed my DNS altogether until I started over and noticed the issue.


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