An alternate DNS solution to try if you were relying on Al-Azif’s DNS Servers
Al-Azif‘s DNS servers have been down for a while and there’s no guarantee they’re coming back. In the meantime, many of us have been using Nomadic’s DNS instead (18.104.22.168). In parallel, Al-Azif has also published details on a DYI solution using docker (here). I’m also providing alternate suggestions, as well as an explanation of what these DNS servers actually do and why they’re useful to you, if you’re running a Jailbreak on your PS4 or PS5.
The takeaway from the current situation is that having options is always good, and you should try and learn about why we use this or that service on the scene, to understand why it’s useful to you and what alternatives you have.
NextDNS: Free DNS Service with Denylist and Domain Rewrite
Today, fellow scene member Xer0 came to me with a new suggestion to replace your DNS server, which I think would work well for a lot of people. In particular if you don’t want to deal with a complicated setup on your end. Introducing: NextDNS.
Disclaimer: links to NextDNS in this article are affiliate links. But to be 100% clear I only get a commission if you subscribe to their paid service, which I don’t think you’ll need: their free service is more than enough for our use case IMO.
NextDNS is basically a DNS that you can setup quickly. It is free up to 300’000 requests per month, which will be way more than ok if you only use it for your PS4/PS5 hacking needs. The service offers redirection and denylist as well, which will basically let you enable the two most important features you want for your PS4/PS5 DNS: 1) redirect the user’s manual to your local exploit and 2) block Sony’s telemetry.
I still recommend learning how to self-host the exploit and make your own DNS locally (details here), however if you want to try a simple solution that works out of the box, check NextDNS.
How to set up NextDNS for your hacked PS4/PS5:
- Create a free account on NextDNS (note, there’s even a free “no sign-in” 7 day version if you don’t want to create an account there)
- in the Denylist section of NextDNS, add “playstation.com”. This will block most of the telemetry.
- In the “Settings” section of NextDNS, scroll down to “Rewrites”, and add a Rewrite entry for playstation.net to your local exploit host (this is to redirect the manual to your exploit)
- In your Internet settings on the PS4/PS5, set the DNS (primary and secondary) to the ones provided by NextDNS
You’re good to go!
- In my tests, the DNS from NextDNS worked as advertised. It is worth mentioning that the “Rewrite” only takes IPs or Domain names as input and output. Because of this, I wasn’t able to use any of the public hosts I know of as targets (they all require a redirect, not a simple domain swap), but I’m sure if this method becomes widely used, some solution will arise. In the meantime, using a local IP on my domain worked perfectly fine with a self hosted host.
- With a 30 minutes test drive on my PC, I performed about 400 DNS requests with just regular browsing (but with a lot of cache clearing, so there’s that…). Bottom line, I think the 300’000 request limit is more than fine if you simply use this for your hacked PS4/PS5.
If you have a solution that works for you when it comes to running the PS4/PS5 hacks and blocking telemetry, by all means, keep it. But if you’re looking for a simple solution that works reasonably well out of the box, NextDNS seems to be an ok solution!
Thanks to Xer0 for the tip!