Hello everyone and welcome back to another blog post. In this post I am going to be writing about a program that I currently have running on one of my raspberry PIs that blocks any advertisements on all of my devices. If you would like to see me write a guide about how to install pihole let me know and I will create one.
What is Pihole?
Pihole is a linux network tracker blocking software application which commonly gets used on a private network. Pihole acts as a blackhole dns. A blackhole DNS is a dns provider that gives systems looking for dns information false information so instead of the devices communicating with the googles dns it is communicating with pihole. Pihole can be run on any device that is running linux and has access to the network, the most common device that pihole is run on is the raspberry pi. Pihole has the ability to block advertisements and trackers, such as website advertisements, video advertisements and operating system advertisements. Pihole was designed in 2014 by Jacob Salmela as an alternative to the open source application AdTrap.
Pihole uses many different programs to block advertisements and trackers such as dnsmasq, cURL, lighttpd and PHP. Pihole comes preinstalled with already created lists of urls that are already known to be advertisements so when a device attempts to send a request to the url pihole will block the request.
Pihole has a nice admin dashboard that you can use to look at real time statistics such as total queries, how many queries have been blocked, the amount of websites that are on the blacklist and the % of queries that have been blocked. You are able to look at a query log that contains what url was requested, when the request was made, if the request was blocked and which device made the request.
I enjoy using pihole because it keeps me from getting advertisements, and I know when visitors are at my home using the wifi that the network is safe from any phishing advertisements as they are 99% of the time being blocked.
You can visit Piholes website Here
What is the difference between a normal ad blocker and pihole?
When you use a normal adblocker it only blocks advertisements on your device whereas with pihole it acts as a network firewall so it will block advertisements and trackers from any device on the network.