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Pi-hole - The perfect ad blocker

Do you know that, too? You are looking for something specific on the internet and your first click on the Google search page will take you to a homepage on which you will see more advertising than content. So suddenly you can't see the forest for the trees! A nice example of such a page that is certainly well known to many is the "wetter.com" homepage! All around there are many small boxes with unnecessary and distracting advertising and in the middle you can find the weather forecast.

Either you just accept that and always look for that little bit of content between all the advertising on websites, or you just do something about it.

The easiest way is to install an ad blocker locally on your computer. There are well-known “suspects” like AdGuard or uBlock. It's totally simple and straightforward. The big disadvantage of such a solution, however, is that it is only software that runs locally on your computer and therefore theoretically has to be installed separately on each of your devices and in each browser. This is a lot of effort at the beginning during installation and also later during maintenance. And another disadvantage is that for some devices, such as smartphones, there are no solutions in this form at all.

A much more elegant solution to this advertising problem for all your devices in the local network is "Pi-hole".


WHAT IS PI-HOLE?

“Pi-hole” is a tracking and advertising blocker that can also take over the DHCP service in the network at the same time. Basically “Pi-hole” is just software, but the great thing is that it is an “open source” software!

The whole thing is based on a so-called mini-Linux and was developed for the small computer “Raspberry Pi”! They are also the namesake for the tool.

The system has been available since 2015 and has been continuously developed since then. You can currently find it on the “Pi-hole” page in version 5.3.1 for download.


HOW DOES IT WORK?

Pi-hole is simply integrated into an existing network as a DNS server and thus resolves the domain inquiries of all clients and converts them into the corresponding IP addresses. The filtering of advertising is based on so-called filter lists with known advertising and tracking domains or user-defined IPs. These are then simply rerouted into a so-called DNS sink ”hole” and thus the client cannot access the domain or retrieve the advertising! Voila. And then you are completely relaxed and rid of all advertising!


BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES

Basically, advertising is just annoying and makes pages load significantly slower and, above all, more confusing. But not only that, above all I don't want my behavior to be tracked in the browser. And compared to the simple ad blockers that you install as a plug-in in a browser, the “Pi-hole” has the advantage that it applies to all devices in the network. And above all, in addition to computers, also for all tablets and smartphones. The central care and maintenance of just one tool on the Raspberry Pi, including the care of just one filter list, is another great advantage that should not be underestimated.


SUMMARY

So if you have successfully set up a Raspberry Pi and installed and set up Pi-hole, "wetter.com" is suddenly so empty ;-)

No fun ... from now on you can finally surf the Internet without advertising and unobserved! I have been using “Pi-hole” here at rurton in my network for about a year and I am more than satisfied with it and can only recommend it to you. The investment in the purchase and the work involved in installing it more than pay off.

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