Shut Your Pi-Hole

Adverts. Whilst probably being a necessary evil in a world that expects more for free, for the most part they are also intrusive, loud, garish and a waste of processing time and memory. Some places allow you to pay a subscription, to enjoy an ad free experience. Which is certainly something I do if it’s an application I use often and has usefulness to me. The less said about places that charge a subscription and still show garish ads the better. And there are some sites that have unintrusive ads that may actually be relevant to the person viewing them. They’re okay (should I ever allow ads on this site that’s the sort of route I’ll go down) but, personally, I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything that I’ve seen on a web page as (I’m just as bad with TV ads too), and I’ve never once clicked on one. So I’d rather minimise the wastefulness on my household systems, make my eyes happier and my brain less cluttered. Whilst you can use extensions for your browser, there is a network-wide solution which will cover every device entering your home network, including in-app ads on mobile devices. Say hello to Pi-Hole.

Hello, Pi-Hole

On most websites, the ads that you see have been loaded from a different server than the page itself. Because of this, the traffic coming from those sites can be filtered out, causing them to not shown. Pi-Hole acts as a DNS provider on your network, yet it isn’t a complete solution; it still goes off to the likes of Cloudflare to resolve domain name requests. What it does is blacklists the ad server domains so that they can’t get through. Due to this, Pi-Hole doesn’t need to be a fully fledged DNS and exists as a counterpart to your usual one, so it doesn’t need to be constantly updated. With that overview out the way let’s get stuck in.

2 thoughts on “Shut Your Pi-Hole”

  1. Thanks Simon for sharing the Pi-hole goodness. One concern that comes to mind is now that we work from home, as a developer, you mind need access to those “ads”. To test sites.

    How easy it is to turn off an on the domain filtering from the admin interface?

    And second question, are you still using it after a year since you wrote the post?


    1. Hi Richard, I believe there is a switch in the admin interface to enable or disable Pi-Hole. Alternatively there is a command line option.
      I’m not using Pi-Hole at the moment. It was a side project I was trying out for a colleague and, at the time, I was low on ethernet ports, and electricity plugs. But I recently purchased a 20 port switch, so I may consider putting it back in to the network eco-system.

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