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Author Topic: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements and trackers  (Read 771 times)

Deozaan

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I just discovered pi-hole.net, which, with a single command, allows you to set up your Linux installation to block ads.

After that, you can configure your router to use Pi-hole as your DNS to block all ads on every device on your network. Combined with a VPN into your home network, this allows even your mobile device(s) to browse ad-free from anywhere.



I found it super simple to set up on my Odroid C1 (a Raspberry Pi 2-like device) and look forward to seeing it in practice more.

More details in the video above and at their website: https://pi-hole.net/
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 02:36 AM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 07:03 PM »
It's been running for about 10 minutes and it has already blocked some ads and even Microsoft's (or more specifically, Windows 10's) telemetry traffic. :Thmbsup:

cranioscopical

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 03:15 PM »
Thanks for sharing. Please keep us posted about any snags you might encounter.
 

Deozaan

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 03:37 PM »
It comes with a nice web admin console with some quick statistics. So here's a shot of statistics for the past ~20 hours:

Pi Hole Traffic.pngPi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements and trackers

The blue area on the graph represents the percentage of all DNS requests which were blocked by Pi Hole. As you can see from the large numbers at the top, about 75% of all requests are being blocked.

I had installed the pi hole software on my Odroid the night before I posted about it here, but hadn't yet configured my router to use it for DNS lookups. According to my previous post in this thread, it seems I hooked it up at around the 18:00 marker on the graph, so even though it says those are my 24 hour stats, as mentioned above, it's really only showing about 20 hours of actual usage.

Pi Hole blocks ads, trackers, telemetry, etc. No troubles so far. :Thmbsup: But I kind of wonder how badly my entire LAN will fail if my Odroid somehow goes down and thus my router can't connect to it for DNS lookups. :-\

antekgla

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 03:53 PM »
What about sites what detect ad-blockers and demand you disable your add-on blocker for access that sites.
It is easy to add sites to whitelist?
The sites detect Pi-Hole as their detect Adblocker or UBlock Origin?
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Deozaan

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 04:02 PM »
What about sites what detect ad-blockers and demand you disable your add-on blocker for access that sites.

Can you give me a link to a website that you know does that so I can test? I haven't encountered such a site since I started using Pi Hole.

It is easy to add sites to whitelist?

Yes. The web admin interface allows adding sites to a whitelist, and even comes with a few already added (as shown in the screenshot, these are added so the ad-lists don't unintentionally blacklist each other). It even has multiple one-click options to disable Pi Hole blocking for a short time (or permanently).

I've added an entry to my hosts file so I can access the web admin by simply typing pi.hole into my address bar and it points to my Odroid's LAN IP. :Thmbsup:

antekgla

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 05:33 PM »
Can you give me a link to a website that you know does that so I can test? I haven't encountered such a site since I started using Pi Hole.

I donĀ“t have right now because normally are sites what I go redirecting when I search certain donwload links.  :-[
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Deozaan

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 05:50 PM »
I feel I should clarify something: I already run an ad blocker (Ad Guard) on my main PC and I haven't disabled it since installing Pi Hole. So I can't say for sure how well Pi Hole works in comparison to other ad blockers because it's possible that Ad Guard is blocking ads that Pi Hole is missing.

Even so, the setup of Pi Hole was so easy that I feel it's probably worth it to block some ads on various devices that can't or don't normally use ad blockers (a smart TV, video game console browsers, Internet Explorer for Surface RT, etc.)

40hz

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 08:43 PM »
Nice one!  :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 08:48 PM »
It comes with a nice web admin console with some quick statistics. So here's a shot of statistics for the past ~20 hours:

[ Invalid Attachment ]

The blue area on the graph represents the percentage of all DNS requests which were blocked by Pi Hole. As you can see from the large numbers at the top, about 75% of all requests are being blocked.

I had installed the pi hole software on my Odroid the night before I posted about it here, but hadn't yet configured my router to use it for DNS lookups. According to my previous post in this thread, it seems I hooked it up at around the 18:00 marker on the graph, so even though it says those are my 24 hour stats, as mentioned above, it's really only showing about 20 hours of actual usage.

Pi Hole blocks ads, trackers, telemetry, etc. No troubles so far. :Thmbsup: But I kind of wonder how badly my entire LAN will fail if my Odroid somehow goes down and thus my router can't connect to it for DNS lookups. :-\

Most routers allow you to specify a second and often a third DNS server. Just set the secondary to your original DNS server address. If you start seeing ads down the road you'll know your Odroid isn't responding.

Tomato-lease_time.jpgPi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements and trackers
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 08:54 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements.
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 08:49 PM »
If anyone wants to try it and you don't have a RasPi you can download a DietPi VM and run it in Virtualbox, for example.

http://dietpi.com/

You can then just redirect your DNS queries and admin interface to the VM.  Took less than 10 minutes from downloading DietPi to getting it running.

Deozaan

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Re: Pi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements and trackers
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 01:45 PM »
So, I just encountered my first confirmed blocked ad from Pi Hole. I'm currently using a device I don't often use, and which currently doesn't run any ad blocking software. I loaded up YouTube's home page and saw this:

Pi Hole Youtube Ad Blocked.pngPi-hole - A black hole for internet advertisements and trackers

Obviously that's not quite as nice as the ad blocking software which completely removes the HTML elements which display ads, but it is what it is.