5 April 2020

Installing Pi-Hole

Installing Pi-Hole is really simple. In fact it only takes entering one line to setup.

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

By running the above command essentially piping the curl command to bash, the RPi will automatically download and run PiVPN.

A cautionary note about piping curl to bash – Basically, be sure you trust the source, because you’re essentially letting them run whatever they want on your device!

You’ll see it start to load

Then you’ll have a few informational screens to click “Ok” through.

Note: Consider donating to Pi-Hole to keep the Pi-Hole project going – https://pi-hole.net/donate/


On this screen you choose the upstream DNS provider we want to use.
I’m going with Cisco’s OpenDNS, but can choose which ever you want.

Any of them are better then using your default ISP’s DNS. Regardless of what anyone tells you, none of them on this list are really that much better than any other. Yes, they each have a few different features that you’ll need to look into. But, let me be truthful with you, whichever one you do decide to choose it really just boils down to your personal preference. And… the best part is that you can easily change it anytime you want to use a different upstream DNS provider in the admin console, post-install.

Come back revisit this after you’ve gotten Pi-Hole up and running:
When you are ready to dive deeper down into the DNS hole, take a look at Steve Gibson’s DNS benchmark. Apparently one of the biggest considerations to take into account when choosing “the best” DNS is speed, and that is a metric which IS totally location dependent. He has an interesting tool that can help you run benchmarks against multiple DNS providers to see whom is “the best” for you.

Select the block lists you want to use.
I’m just leaving it default with all of the lists selected. These can all be changed (enabled/disable) later in the web admin interface.

Select which protocols (IPv4 and/or IPv6) that you wish to block ads on.
I’m leaving them both selected, which is the defaulted selection. These values can be changes later.

The next screen shows the RPi’s current IP address.
Mine is currently using a DHCP IP address, but we want set it to a static address. So I am going to click “No” here.

This screen is where the desired static IP address, and subnet mask (in CIDR format) gets set.
Your network will likely be different than mine, I’m setting mine to use the IP address
As for the subnet mask, in most scenarios you can just use “/24”. That is CIDR shorthand for and is basically saying that this subnet has 256 addresses in it; to

On this screen we enter the gateway.
This will most likely be your router’s IP address.
Mine is

This screen shows us our updated settings.
Click “Yes” to accept the values you have entered.

Yes, we wish to install the web admin interface.

Yes, we wish for the web server to be installed and enabled.

Yes, we wish to log queries.

I want to see EVERYTHING!
You can change this to what you prefer. These will be the statistics you can see on the web admin interface. This value can get changed later from the web admin interface.
More info about this at: https://docs.pi-hole.net/ftldns/privacylevels

Pi-Hole will finish applying all of the settings it’s collected…

And then you are done. You did it!

The last screen of the Pi-Hole setup will show you the IP address and the URL for the web admin interface, as well as the admin password.

Press “Enter” to exit the installer and return to the command line.

Make your Pi-Hole the DNS of your network

Log into your router.

Navigate to it’s settings and clear any values that are currently set as it’s DNS.

Now enter the IP address of your Pi-Hole.

That’s it. Your network is now using Pi-Hole for all of it’s DNS queries.

Viewing your Network DNS Queries

Open a web browser and go to either the IP address of your RPi, or enter “pi.hole” as the URL.
In my example, I am either going to enter either “” or “pi.hole/admin”

That will load the Pi-Hole Web Admin Interface. Go ahead and click that login button. You’ll get even more details about what devices are doing on your network.

Pi-Hole does have some more advances features available in it that can allow it to act as your network’s DHCP server, on top of already serving up DNS. However I’ll save that for another time though…. For now, just sit back and enjoy fewer ads.

If you happened to this post by following my series about PiVPN, then click the following link to go to the next step: Part 3: Installing PiVPN

30 November 2019

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.