Sure ad blockers have been around for a long while now, but those are typically only available for your web browsers and not ever device allows you to install them such as cell phones, media players, smart TV’s, etc. I came across a neat project that allows you to block web ads on every device in your network, called Pi-Hole.
In a nutshell Pi-Hole was developed to run on a Raspberry Pi, but will run on most any Debian based distro, and will act as a DNS server to which you point your devices or router to use as the DNS server so that all requests are filtered through Pi-Hole. Pi-Hole then blocks 100’s of thousands ad domains. All without having to use a single browser extension and for FREE!
Below are the steps I performed to install Pi-Hole after I had Ubuntu installed on the VM.
How to install Pi-Hole on Ubuntu
- Lets start off making sure our Ubuntu install is updated so type in the following command:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
- Lets get the Pi-Hole script and save it as pihole-install.sh by typing the following:
sudo wget -O pihole-install.sh https://install.pi-hole.net
- It’s best practice not to blindly run any script you download from the internet and at least give it a quick look over, so lets open it in nano:
sudo nano pihole-install.sh
- After you’re done looking at pihole-install.sh simply press CTRL+X to exit nano.
- Now we need to make pihole-install.sh executable by typing:
sudo chmod +x pihole-install.sh
- Start the Pi-Hole installer:
- Press ENTER at the introduction screen.
- Press ENTER again to start configuring the network settings.
- Select the network adapter you want to use and press ENTER.
- Select which protocols you want to block ads.
- Next you can configure a static IP for Pi-Hole. I’ll use the current settings and select YES.
- Now select which upstream DNS service you want to use with Pi-Hole.
- Pi-Hole is now installed and ready for use. Either update all your devices DNS settings to your Pi-Hole IP or simply set your Router DNS to the Pi-Hole server IP.
Once you’ve changed your devices or router to use Pi-Hole as the primary DNS server you are essentially done and will no longer see any ads. If you want to enable/disable pi-hole ad blocking or whitelist certain ad domains then you can easily do so by accessing the Pi-Hole admin panel by going to: http://<PIHOLE_IP>/admin
They also give you a cool dashboard to see just how many ads Pi-Hole has been blocking for you and other stats – very neat stuff!
Check out the Pi-Hole website here and donate to help them out!