Amazon Firestick works when it shouldn't

Amazon Firestick works both when it should and when it shouldn't.

Normally, I run Amazon Firestick on an Internet of Things VLAN by itself with Pihole enabled on that VLAN. I use my router, a Pepwave Surf SOHO, as DHCP, and set Pihole's static IP on the router. It works and appears to be filtering properly.

Recently, however, I discovered that the Firestick was functioning properly even when Pihole was inactive. The Firestick works even when Raspberry Pi/Pihole was shut down - the static IP address on the router was unchanged but the Pihole device not available. Wondering if that hinted that the Firestick had a hidden DNS address in case of thumb-fingered router changes, I tested the VLAN with my MacBook Pro (MBP) against the Rasperry Pi/Pihole.

My MBP worked normally with Pihole functioning - I could reach the internet and there were filtering records for it. More importantly, MBP could not reach the internet when Raspberry Pi/Pihole was shut down.

Unless I'm missing something that indicates to me that this Firestick has a separate DNS available other than the one I assign to it. If this is true, I would appreciate learning if anyone can tell me how to test what DNS it might be using.

My device:
Firestick TV Home Verision: 6311085.1
Fire OS: 6.2.8.0(NS6280/3233)

It likely has a hard coded DNS server

Configure your router to block outgoing DNS requests at port 53 except from Pi-hole. See if your router can provide logs of failed/blocked outgoing requests.

Thanks. I'll do that and post results - may be a few days, though.

The last I checked the Fire TV stick uses Google DNS 8.8.8.8 by default. You should be able to change it in the advanced network settings on the Fire TV.

It seems to me the Fire TV settings are more restricted than they were when I last checked on them. Now, instructions say to "forget" a network to change it, and I don't want to do that right now. There's nothing I see in "Advanced" to determine a hidden DNS, however.

You probably need to forget the network so you can set it up again. Right after you enter the wifi password you can select advanced to set a static IP, gateway and custom DNS address.

** When you enter the wifi password don't connect but instead select advanced to setup IP, DNS etc.

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