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Threat protection / DNS filtering / Router security (on home network)

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Hi Everybody,

It’s my first post and I hope to get some advice on a couple of beginner questions I have regarding my home network.

I currently have Malwarebytes Premium security as well as windows defender on my PC and my PC is connected via ethernet to my ISP provided router. In addition I use the NordVPN service on the PC.

Q1. In the Malwarebytes software there are four real-time protection options (Web protection / Malware Protection / Ransomware Protection / Exploit Protection) which are all enabled. In the NordVPN software there are also threat protection options (web protection – against malware, trackers and ads, and file protection – against malicious downloads).

MWB / NordVPN:


At the moment I rely on the malwarebytes real-time protection and have the threat protection options in NordVPN disabled.

Can I use both? Is there any advantage or disadvantage of doing so?

Q2. In the NordVPN settings, there is also an option to set custom DNS IP addresses where I can change them away from NordVPN DNS servers to a choice of my own.


After reading up on custom DNS, it seems like there are possible advantages to using an alternative DNS provider such as (possibly) faster DNS speeds, and the ability to use custom DNS filtering (3rd party filtering lists etc) to block malware and ads etc.

From my understanding, NordVPN already provides DNS filtering when using their threat / web protection service.

So my question is, should I enable the NordVPN protection service (either instead of, or in addition to Malwarebytes threat protection) to take advantage of the DNS filtering they provide (and the other threat protections offered), or should I enter custom DNS IP addresses to use an alternative DNS service which enables me to use DNS filtering (for example NextDNS or Cloudflare or Quad9 etc). How will I be able to tell which configuration offers the best protection and speeds?

Q3. Should I consider changing my ISP provided router for a different one (maybe a third party such as Netgear / Asus / Other) to improve my home network security? What would be the advantages of doing that?

I’ve read that having additional hardware security set up in the router provides extra security over software programs alone (windows firewall / defender / Malwarebytes) because those can be more easily thwarted by malware etc. I know my ISP router already uses NAT, but are there additional security benefits if I were to use a third party router?

I’d be most grateful for any advice regarding these questions 👍

Your public NordVPN service is unrelated to your security benefits questions. Multiple threads around on the topic why public VPNs don't enhance the security/privacy and only create various issues. I would use none of the above and perhaps malware/phishing filtering DNS service only + built-in Windows Security. You can keep your NordVPN account for other purposes and use it when needed. Most folks prefer own router, but it's not necessary if your ISP provided one works well for you. ISP gateways are secure enough for home use and contrary to popular belief some newer ones have excellent Wi-Fi.

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