PiHole – Stopping ads at the DNS layer
Are you tired of seeing ads everywhere when you browse the net? What about all those annoying ads in the games you play on your phone? I know I hate them. Good news! The internet community agrees with you and has come together to build a pretty cool open-source solution to shut those ads down!
There are 2 ways to deploy this solution to your network. First, and easiest, is to deploy it directly to a Raspberry Pi or Linux Distribution (Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Centos). The Pi option is a very cost effective and lightweight solution. You can get a complete starter kit here for under 100.00. (Note: Not a referral link. We don’t get paid for you clicking that). The second option is via Docker Container. I’m going to cover the first option. @mloretitsch, our Containers expert, may cover the container version at a later date.
In my example, I deployed directly to 2 Ubuntu VMs. My prerequisites:
– 2 Ubuntu 16.04 VMs
– Static IP Addresses (Do NOT use DHCP assigned IPs for these)
Installation is one simple command!
sudo curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash
Then, follow the prompts. It’s that simple. At the end of the installation, it will give you a randomly generated password. If you would like to change that password, you can do so by running the following command
sudo pihole -a -p
Ok. It’s installed. Now what?
Well, this is setup for you out of box. It’s immediately ready for use. All you need to do is set your DNS Server to the IP Address of your pi.hole. How you do this on your network will be different and depends on what devices is your DHCP server. If you’re a home user, this is probably your router. Consult your router’s manual for help with that.
Is it really that good? What does it block?
It really is! It gives you great visibility into what traffic is on your network and how many ad requests are made. Here’s some statistics from my deployment: