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DHCP: possibility to add DNS

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Intrepid2007

Regular Contributor
Hi there,

Last week a collegue from work borrowed me his RT-AC5300 to test it (the router has merlin firmware).

At home I use (all WIFI):
- 1 'dumb' TV (with Chromecast dongle)
- 1 Panasonic SmartTV (also Chromecast)
- 1 PC and 1 laptop
- smartphones

I use the following setup:
- 1x VPN connection to the Netherlands
- 1x VPN connection to the USA
- WAN connection, directly to my ISP provider

Internet line speed (VDSL) 110/30.

Until now I used OpnSense on a mini-pc, which worked more or less.
In the 2 years I have used it, it always gave me issues and now I am at a point I want to change this setup for something more simpler and 'user friendly' ...

The Asus Merlin firmware is user friendly and it appears to support exactly what I need:

It can run multiple VPN connections simultaneously; with policy routing enabled you can route internet traffic per client from/to any VPN/WAN you want. It also prevents DNS leaks, which is handy when you want to bypass geo-blocking (it works!)

My compliments to the developer, fine job!!


Now I am considering to buy an Asus RT-AX88U. This is a new-generation router (WIFI-6) and it has enough CPU power to handle a lot of VPN traffic (AES hardware acceleration).
I want to 'upgrade' the stock firmware with the Merlin firmware .


One little note:
In the LAN DHCP setup I would expect to find settings to specify DNS servers per client.
But if routing really works well (and DNS requests are sent to the appropriate DNS/WAN gateway + no leaks), it should not be necessary.

However, in some situations it may be handy to have this option. For example, Chromecast dongles are only setup by DHCP, static IP configuration is not possible (at least, not that I am aware of).

Just curious, are there plans in the (near) future to add the possibility to specifiy DNS server per client in the LAN DHCP setup?

many thanks!
 
Hi there,

Last week a collegue from work borrowed me his RT-AC5300 to test it (the router has merlin firmware).

At home I use (all WIFI):
- 1 'dumb' TV (with Chromecast dongle)
- 1 Panasonic SmartTV (also Chromecast)
- 1 PC and 1 laptop
- smartphones

I use the following setup:
- 1x VPN connection to the Netherlands
- 1x VPN connection to the USA
- WAN connection, directly to my ISP provider

Internet line speed (VDSL) 110/30.

Until now I used OpnSense on a mini-pc, which worked more or less.
In the 2 years I have used it, it always gave me issues and now I am at a point I want to change this setup for something more simpler and 'user friendly' ...

The Asus Merlin firmware is user friendly and it appears to support exactly what I need:

It can run multiple VPN connections simultaneously; with policy routing enabled you can route internet traffic per client from/to any VPN/WAN you want. It also prevents DNS leaks, which is handy when you want to bypass geo-blocking (it works!)

My compliments to the developer, fine job!!


Now I am considering to buy an Asus RT-AX88U. This is a new-generation router (WIFI-6) and it has enough CPU power to handle a lot of VPN traffic (AES hardware acceleration).
I want to 'upgrade' the stock firmware with the Merlin firmware .


One little note:
In the LAN DHCP setup I would expect to find settings to specify DNS servers per client.
But if routing really works well (and DNS requests are sent to the appropriate DNS/WAN gateway + no leaks), it should not be necessary.

However, in some situations it may be handy to have this option. For example, Chromecast dongles are only setup by DHCP, static IP configuration is not possible (at least, not that I am aware of).

Just curious, are there plans in the (near) future to add the possibility to specifiy DNS server per client in the LAN DHCP setup?

many thanks!
You can set a static IP address within Merlin for any MAC address on your network. I do that for a bunch of devices since it makes management of the addresses easier.
 
You can set a static IP address within Merlin for any MAC address on your network. I do that for a bunch of devices since it makes management of the addresses easier.

Hi Tony,

Thank you, I was already aware of that :) !

Indeed you can assign a specific IP address to a device, based upon it's MAC address... And yes, this makes it a lot more easier to manage...

It would be nice if it was possible to specify one (or more) DNS addresses for the device's assignment.
 
Have you looked at DNSFilter on the LAN page?

I have seen that page but I do not know exactly what it does. I borrowed the AC5300 from my collegue and today I had to return it... I can't experiment with it now.

Just a guess: do the settings in DNS Filter let you re-direct DNS requests to other DNS servers??

Example:
A client is configured in such a way it uses DNS server at 8.8.8.8 (Google) to resolve addresses.

If you add an entry in DNS Filter for this client, can you redirect DNS requests to another DNS server (redirect to 1.1.1.1 instead of 8.8.8.8) ? Does it work like that ?
 
In the LAN DHCP setup I would expect to find settings to specify DNS servers per client.
I'm not sure why you would expect that. These are just basic settings for the LAN/DHCP as a whole. You'd have to redesign the entire page logic to allow per client DNS servers. Then why stop with DNS servers, why not every other possible DHCP option? Once you go down that route you're talking about a full blown DHCP server. As Merlin says, "If you are looking for a slew of advanced features, then this project is not for you.".

But if routing really works well (and DNS requests are sent to the appropriate DNS/WAN gateway + no leaks), it should not be necessary.
It seems to work well for most people.

Just a guess: do the settings in DNS Filter let you re-direct DNS requests to other DNS servers??

Example:
A client is configured in such a way it uses DNS server at 8.8.8.8 (Google) to resolve addresses.

If you add an entry in DNS Filter for this client, can you redirect DNS requests to another DNS server (redirect to 1.1.1.1 instead of 8.8.8.8) ? Does it work like that ?
That is correct. Whether it works with VPN clients I don't know.

At the end of the day the goals of this firmware are "to fix bugs, add a few basic features and tweaks to the original firmware". That said, it's always possible to write user scripts and custom config files to do almost anything you want (including client-specific DHCP options).:)
 
Last week I received my RT-AX88U, I flashed the custom firmware and after experimenting with, it it all seems to work fine now :)

During the experiments I noticed that one of the VPN client configurations appeared to be corrupted (I was using 3 VPN clients). Client #3 did not want to connect and in the logs I saw strange characters/symbols... Re-uploading the ovpn did not work and as a last resort I restored the factory default settings and did a 'Format JFFS partition at next boot'. That fixed it (this issue happened twice last week)

Now I am using 2 VPN connections, policy rules work fine and no DNS leaks :) Super!!

Thank you Merlin for your fine work, next week I will donate to support/encourage your work..
 

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