100 Days to Privacy Online: Day 9 – Blocking Ads on Entire Network with Pi-Hole

Everyone nowadays uses some sort of ad-blocking plugin in their browser. But the issue with many is they use up local system resources blocking the ads. Making everything slower, which is counterproductive. A more efficient and cleaner way is to get yourself a Raspberry Pi and install Pi-Hole on it.

A Raspberry Pi is a small very affordable computer sold for hobbyist, teaching, and projects. There are a lot of fun projects that can be done with them.

What you’ll need for this project:

For this project I suggest installing Raspian Lite as the base OS.

How to get Raspian on your Micro-SD card

Now that you have your card loaded you can enter the boot partition of the card and add an empty file named “ssh” (no extension). This will enable SSH when you boot the card in the Raspberry Pi. Once done with this step eject your card and insert it in the Raspberry Pi. Plug in the Cat-5 cable to your router and plug in the power (micro-usb) cable last. You will see it booting up with lights flashing. After a few minutes check your router to see what IP address the Raspberry Pi listed in the web interface. Everyone’s routers are different so going into that is beyond the realm of this howto. Searching should get you any info you need on this.

Once you have the IP of the Raspberry Pi open your terminal (putty for Windows users) and SSH to the Raspberry Pi. For this example the Raspberry Pi IP is 192.168.1.250

$ ssh pi@192.168.1.250
pi@192.168.1.250's password:

You will enter the default password: raspberry

Once you have logged in change the password to whatever you like by typing: passwd

You will then follow prompts and change to something more secure. Once done you can now install Pi-Hole.

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

Then follow the prompts to finish install.

Once you have it installed and you are using it for DNS you can login to the interface at http://pi.hole/admin

Pi-Hole web interface

Once you install Pi-Hole I recommend using the OpenNIC DNS servers for your upstream providers (as covered in previous post). You can do this by logging into the web interface and go to Settings page. There you can set the upstream DNS servers.

Now you can save it and enjoy ad free eb browsing on all your devices. Also be sure under tools make sure to occasionally run the “Update Lists” to get the latest updates on URLs to block.

Some other helpful things:

To change the web interface password run: pihole -a -p <newpassword>

To update to latest version of Pi-Hole run: pihole -up

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