Skip to main content

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!

Comments

Post a Comment

As far as possible, please refrain from posting Anonymous comments. I would really love to know who is interested in my blog! Also check out the FAQs section for the comment policy followed on this site.

Popular posts from this blog

Integrating React with SonarQube using Azure DevOps Pipelines

In the world of automation, code quality is of paramount importance. SonarQube and Azure DevOps are two tools which solve this problem in a continuous and automated way. They play well for a majority of languages and frameworks. However, to make the integration work for React applications still remains a challenge. In this post we will explore how we can integrate a React application to SonarQube using Azure DevOps pipelines to continuously build and assess code quality. Creating the React Application Let's start at the beginning. We will use npx to create a Typescript based React app. Why Typescript? I find it easier to work and more maintainable owing to its strongly-typed behavior. You can very well follow this guide for jsx based applications too. We will use the fantastic Create-React-App (CRA) tool to create a React application called ' sonar-azuredevops-app '. > npx create-react-app sonar-azuredevops-app --template typescript Once the project creation is done, we

Proud to be a Bihari?

After nearly an year, this December I had a chance to visit Bihar. My visits normally consist of resting in my home in Patna and occasional visits to my uncle's place. But this time it was different. I had to go to Gaya to attend my cousin sister's marriage ceremony. Stepping out of Patna made me question - Am I really proud to be a Bihari? Patna is like any other city in India, struggling with pollution, traffic jams, crime, etc. Being snuggled in my bed in Patna had made me forget the reality of what Bihar really is; after all its been nearly 10 years since I had traveled to any town outside of Patna in Bihar. So, the illusion was broken the moment my uncle's brand new Maruti A-Star moved out of outskirts of Patna, to what is supposedly the "National Highway". If you haven't guessed it already, its an apology of a road.

Centralized Configuration for .NET Core using Azure Cosmos DB and Narad

We are living in a micro services world. All these services are generally hosted in Docker container which are ephemeral. Moreover these service need to start themselves up, talk to each other, etc. All this needs configuration and there are many commercially available configuration providers like Spring Cloud Config Server, Consul etc. These are excellent tools which provide a lot more functionality than just storing configuration data. However all these have a weakness - they have a single point of failure - their storage mechanism be it a file system, database etc. There are ways to work around those but if you want a really simple place to store configuration values and at the same time make it highly available, with guaranteed global availability and millisecond reads, what can be a better tool than Azure Cosmos DB! So I set forth on this journey for ASP.NET Core projects to talk to Cosmos DB to retrieve their configuration data. For inspiration I looked at Steeltoe Con