Dustin Wheeler

Dustin Wheeler
Dustin is a technology-driven CPA in Orem, Utah.

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I blocked ads on my home network and it was easy as Pi

Good riddance, “one weird trick” and other annoying forms of clickbait advertising (you know who you are).  I installed Pi-Hole on my Raspberry Pi and it’s made a world of difference in my web browsing experience.  It doesn’t block every ad – I still get ads on YouTube and sponsored posts on Facebook – but it blocks practically all the ads on the news sites and blogs I read.  It also seems to be very effective eliminating in-app ads on mobile devices.

I discovered Pi-Hole on Twitter, where I try to follow and learn from people who are tech-savvier than I:

So, do you want to do this too?  This post isn’t a tutorial. You can find several walk-throughs on Google and YouTube. I’ll explain some of the basics though.

First, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi. No, that’s not mispelled, and it’s not the delicious desert you had too much of last night. A Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive and versatile computer the size of a credit card. I bought a kit on Amazon with a case and power supply for around $50.  In the picture below, my Raspberry Pi is in the clear case to the right.  It’s connected to my router through an Ethernet cable.

Raspberry Pi

After setting up the Raspberry Pi and giving it a static IP address, you can install Pi-Hole with one line of code from https://pi-hole.net.  Pi-Hole becomes your DNS server, in other words, it directs your Internet traffic as long as you tell your connected devices to go through it.  The Raspberry Pi’s IP address is important to remember.  For each connected device you want to block ads on, you’ll need to modify the network settings and change the DNS server to the Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

The only downside I’ve heard of is that some sites seem to require ads to appear, in which case you just need to temporarily change the DNS settings to visit that site.

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