Soemarko Ridwan

iOS & Web Developer ⟡ Coffee Addict ⟡ Scuba Diver

Network Wide Ad-block

As the tagline said, blackhole for internet ads. Ever since the day of the original Adblock (even before ABP), I no longer able to browse the internet without some kind of ad blocking. But today, where most things turn into some kind of app, ad blocker doesn’t really work outside of browser. And that is where pi-hole comes in.

I never really took to Raspberry Pi, unlike Arduino, Pi doesn’t really inspire me to do anything with it. But I bought a couple of Zero W, cause it was dirt cheap, and they sit on my shelf for a year or so. Until I came across dietpi, a super lightweight, extremely minimal version of the OS. And it is designed to work headless right off the bat. I literally look for things to do with my Pi. Again, uninspiring. So I just install CUPS, and turn my USB printer into wifi printer. That’s it. These days, we hardly print anything anyway.

Until I came across pi-hole in one of the list of supported software in dietpi. Seriously, dietpi is a brilliant OS. literally just hit a checkbox, and you have pi-hole installed. Make sure you have static IP for the Pi device, and set your router DNS to the pi-hole, BAM! You’re done. Most ads are gone. Even the one in your apps. Since pi-hole is blocking on the network level, it won’t be as clean as a browser extension blocker. The boxes will still be there, but they are just empty boxes or a placeholder messages.

After using pi-hole for 3 days, turns out 30% of my queries are blocked. OMFG! a third of my internet queries are either ads or trackers. Seriously, pi-hole is so good that it’ll be worth it for you to get a $10 Raspberry Pi just for running it. Think about it, it’s like having $10 once for a lifetime service of ad blocking within your network.

A little caveat when running pi-hole under dietpi, it’s a bit tricky if you want to run dnscrypt as well (still way easier than compiling and installing everything on your own), personally, I just wait until dietpi added dnscrypt to their supported software list. Up until a few days a go, I was running nothing other than pointing my DNS to CloudFlare’s Pi-hole is a huge step-up. I can wait a bit for dnscrypt.