Get rid of all the ads using your Raspberry Pi

Pi-hole is the best way to get rid of all the ads on all of your devices on your local network. You set it up as your DNS server and it blackholes all the requests for ad servers. No more ads on your network!

I’ve used different ad blocking plugins and while they do work I also tend to use different devices and different browsers and therefore I’d have to install ad blockers on all of them. Not ideal.

So, at least for me, what ends up happening is that on some browsers I  have the ad blockers running and on some I do not, especially on iPad or phone.

Now there’s also the view that you should not block the ads as this is how web sites make money, to this my answer is that I’d gladly pay for the few sites that I read regularly, however, the problem is that on some sites you still see ads (New York Times as an example) even though you pay for a subscription.

What’s more, if the advertisers find that you are a paying subscriber, they are even more motivated to sell stuff to you, as you’ve already demonstrated willingness to spend money.

But what’s the most efficient way to block ads?

If you happen to have any spare Raspberry Pi’s lying around (or any other linux box), and if you don’t necessarily enjoy looking at all the ads on web pages, there is an excellent use case for your raspberry – Pi-hole.

Pi-hole web dashboard

It literally takes a few minutes to install and then the only remaining thing is to configure it as your DNS server. I did that on my home router and the added benefit is that when I VPN home from a remote location I will get to enjoy ad free browsing as well.

Another excellent aspect of this way of blocking ads is that most (if not all) pages cannot detect that you are blocking them, whereas with browser plugins they mostly can.

And lastly, there’s a great Web UI on the Pi-hole, that lets you see how many DSN requests it has blocked and it also allows to easily configure additional blocking rules or whitelists.

I learned about Pi-hole’s existence a while ago, and now that I’ve been using it I cannot imagine going back.

It’s free and works wonderfully well, this is a project worth donating money to!