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Pi Hole - Ad blocking (Turbocharged!)

The entire internet is now made up of ads. To easily navigate it and find the information you are looking for, most people use ad blocking software. It improves page loading times and also uses less data (sometimes by up to 10 times!)

Google Chrome is the de facto browser of choice for most people. Google's main business is advertising. So you can see how ad-blocking software collides with Google's business objectives. When Chrome was trying to be popular, it started allowing plugins like AdBlock Plus etc. Then slowly it started partnering with them for "Acceptable Ads Program" for a lot of money. Now after cementing its position as the most popular browser, Google is now coming down hard on ad blocking software. It is turning off a Chrome API (webRequest API) which most ad blocking plug-ins use to block ads.

Enter Pi Hole. This is an amazing use of Raspberry Pi which blocks ads before they enter your network. It keeps a blacklist of most popular ad serving domains and blocks any requests sent to them.

Things you will need:

1. Raspberry Pi 3B+ Combo

That's it! Once you get your Pi, install Raspbian on it. There are tons of tutorial for doing that. After you are booted and SSHed into your Pi, just run this command:

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

After a series of questions, Pi Hole will now be installed on your Pi and you will be presented with a slick web UI.


Next step would be to go into your router's settings and turn off DHCP. Now head over to your Pi Hole and make that your DHCP server.

This will not only make your Pi Hole the DHCP server for your network but while handing out IPs to clients it will also ask them to route all their DNS requests through it. Voila! Ad blocking for your entire home without any plugins or software on each device!

As you can see from the screen shot above, Pi Hole is currently blocking more than 40% of DNS requests from my home network. This means that more than 40% of traffic is just ads! This is insane. 

Pi Hole is an amazing little device which provided free of cost. So if you like it, consider supporting it. Happy ad-blocking!

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