PiHole - How to block ads across your entire network
It runs on home-based techs, like the inexpensive and energy-efficient Raspberry Pi, to protect all of the devices on your home network from unwanted content. For parents, Pi-Hole can be used to block certain domains at router level to ensure any children using devices in the home aren’t accessing unsuitable material. But for network admins, PiHole can be used as a network monitoring tool. By default, PiHole records all DNS queries sent to it so it is possible using the web interface to analyze and review traffic. This can be particularly helpful during any network investigation and it is also possible for PiHole to increase network speed. As PiHole is open source, there is a thriving community ranging from multiple operating system forums to a community on Discourse, Reddit, Twitter, and GitHub.
You can show support to the PiHole community by donating via:
How does PiHole increase network speed?
Unlike traditional, browser-based ad blockers, Pi-Hole works at the DNS level. So when an ad is blocked, it’s actually prevented from being downloaded in the first place because the DNS query is intercepted. Since these ad images, videos, and sounds are not being downloaded, your network will perform better. This also means, for example, domains trying to spread malware through bogus ‘Adobe Flash’ updates can be blocked at Network level. For devices such as Smart TVs which don’t use a browser but still feature ads, these can also be blocked using Pi-Hole. So when viewing Youtube videos on mobile phones, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, all ads will be blocked.
Now that you know PiHole prevents undesired digital assets from being downloaded, it’s not a far reach to conclude that you are using less bandwidth. This is useful for high-latency networks or even for cellular data plans with limited data; you get more bandwidth for your money! So for countries where data is limited, it is essential to have PiHole working as you can get more out of your data by focusing your network on processing traffic that is important.
What operating systems does PiHole work on?
Install Pi Hole with:
curl -SSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash
Follow the entire Pi Hole setup process (it will ask you to confirm settings at a few different points). Upon completion, you will be able to access the web console using the local host IP address.