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Re: Orbi and OpenDNS


Orbi and OpenDNS

I have xfinity internet service.  Their DNS are hard coded into their devices, cannot be changed (that I'm aware of).  I used Netgear with OpenDNS a number of years ago and REALLY liked it.  I thought it required use of specific DNS settings that directed traffic back to OpenDNS to allow for proper monitoring & filtering.  Still the same?


Given that xfinity does not allow changing DNS settings, can OpenDNS work properly if it requires the use of their DNS settings to properly filter?  Or, is there a way that OpenDNS can work even if xfinity does not allow changing DNS?


Thank you,


Message 1 of 3

Re: Orbi and OpenDNS

You can change DNS settting on the Orbi RBR and it will use those DNS addresses. 

What is the Mfr and model# of the Internet Service Providers modem/ONT the NG router is connected too? Built in router here by chance? If so, This would be a double NAT (two router) condition which isn't recommended. https://kb.netgear.com/30186/What-is-Double-NAT
Couple of options,
1. Configure the modem for transparent bridge or modem only mode. Then use the Orbi router in router mode. You'll need to contact the ISP for help and information in regards to the modem being bridged correctly.
2. If you can't bridge the modem, disable ALL wifi radios on the modem, configure the modems DMZ/ExposedHost or IP Pass-Through for the IP address the Orbi router gets from the modem. Then you can use the Orbi router in Router mode.
3. Or disable all wifi radios on the modem and connect the Orbi router to the modem, configure AP mode on the Orbi router. https://kb.netgear.com/31218/How-do-I-configure-my-Orbi-router-to-act-as-an-access-point and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7LOcJ8GdDo&app=desktop 



My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CAX30 Gateway Mode | Wifi Router and RBK853 | Switches NG GS105/8, GS308v3, GS110MX and XS505M | 

Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK40, CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: MK63, R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, R8500, RAXE500, RAX50v2, XR450/500/700/1000, EX7500/EX7700

Message 2 of 3

Re: Orbi and OpenDNS

@mkonoff wrote:

Given that xfinity does not allow changing DNS settings, can OpenDNS work properly if it requires the use of their DNS settings to properly filter?  Or, is there a way that OpenDNS can work even if xfinity does not allow changing DNS?

Yes, you can set the Orbi to use any DNS server you want.  Any device on your network can be set up to use any DNS.


Every networked device needs to know four items to work properly:

  • Its own network address (such as
  • A "subnet mask" which indicates that other addresses similar to it are "on the same subnet" and can be addressed directly.
    The typical subnet mask is which means that any address that starts with 192.168.1 is "local"
  • The gateway address.  Any address that is not "local" can be reached only by asking the gateway to forward packets to that address, which might be in a different part of the world.
  • The address of a Domain Name Server (DNS) which can translate human readable names into network numbers.
    When I open a browser and ask for "netgear.com", the browser sends a request to a DNS server to translate that into an IP address.

Devices can get this information two ways:

  • The user can enter it manually (all four items).  This is really tedious and any mistake renders the device inoperable.
  • The device can issue a request to the network asking for the information.  This is called DHCP.
    This is vastly more convenient because I do not have to enter anything to add a new device to the network.  Just plug it in, and it learns all it needs to know automatically.

All devices do not have to be the same.  Some can use DHCP while others are set up manually.  Not all "fields" have to be the same.  The network address might be learned using DHCP, but the DNS address might be entered manually.


So, when Orbi boots up, Xfinity will tell it the required four items.  But, the user can set up Orbi to ignore the DNS information from Xfinity and use any DNS servers.  Some people pick OpenDNS, some CloundFlare, some Google.


And any device on the network can do the same.  You can have most of your devices get their DNS setup from the Orbi, while some of them use other DNS services.  There are programs that are used to see which DNS servers respond the quickest to requests from your location.  Check out the one from Gibson Research https://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm 

I love my Orbi.
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