Stop the Ads @ Home – Pi-Hole
Advertising, love it or hate it, truly drives the internet. It is scary the amount of data companies skim about you from the ads that get served to and what you click onto. But with the right tools, you can do a lot to protect your privacy. One of the best thing you can do at home to protect your privacy and those stop unwanted ads, is to deploy Pi-hole.
As described on their homepage Pi-hole is “A black hole for Internet ads”, that is “Easy-to-install”, and “is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content”. All of which can be done in a one-time setup, usually on a RaspberryPi, without installing any software on your devices.
Pi-hole acts upon your network. It takes on the role of serving as the DNS on your network, and optionally role of a DHCP server.
In most homes today, both of these roles are usually preform by your router/wifi access point. DNS, in its’ most simplistic terms, acts as the whitepages that helps your devices translate a URL to an IP addresses. DHCP allows your device to get a ‘dynamically’ assigned address on the network so that it can communicate with everythign else. So by utilizing some whitelists and blacklists, the PiHole can simply not serve the address to known advertising URLs. Cutting the ads off before the request ever leaves your house.
I’ve been using it at home for about 3 years now and absolutely love it. There are some ads that still come thru, and sometimes if I click on an ad, I’ll get a “page can’t be reached” message. It was different at first to get used to, but now… I would trade it for the world!
Another great piece of software to install on you RPi is PiVPN. It’s an easy and secure way to create a VPN (a private tunnel) to your home when you are out and about. The best part about it is that it can allow you to use Pi-Hole when your not at home. Check out my article here.