Learning has fun - @Xi Xiao

Pi-hole: Ads free home network


pi-hole is an open source network layer ad-blocking service. Many people install it onto a Raspberry Pi at home to block inbound ads traffice in the home network.

It is one of major things motivated me to purchase several Raspberry Pi and play them at home :).

How it works

The idea is very simple. It serves as the only DNS server for the home network, and observe the ongoing DNS requests. If any request matches its self maintained black-list, the requested DNS is replaced with an non-existing IP. In this case, the request will fail and the ads are not shown.

Why use it

Many people install ad-blocking browser extensions to block ads. The downsides are:

  1. it does not work in mobile browser
  2. it has to be installed in all machines

Pi-hole works in the network layer, thus it protects all machines in the home network automatically.

Pi-hole saves your network traffic, such as the screenshot (attached at the end) from my pi-hole admin page, over 20% traffic is saved from ads.

Pi-hole is usually utilized in combination with OpenVPN server. In this scenario, devices roam in the wild internet can establish a VPN channel into the home network for both security and ads-free purposes.

At last, Pi-hole is really newbie friendly. You do not need to be a geek to set it up in a raspberry pi.

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