By Trevor McIntyre
Have you ever been online searching or shopping for something and every website you click on has a million banner ads and popups? Well with a Raspberry Pi and Pi-Hole, a good bit of frustration, and perseverance, you can create a home based DNS that can also function as a DHCP server that filters out advertisements, malware, and any other unwanted internet annoyances. The system requirements are also very low so it can run on even almost any generation of Raspberry Pi.
In order to set up your homemade Pi-Hole ad blocker, you need a Raspberry Pi, wired ethernet connection to your router, and an SD card with Raspberry Pi OS installed. Mouse, keyboard, and monitor are optional but it’s very helpful to be able to see what you are doing. I am very new to learning how networks function and how each device communicates with each other so I needed more help than what pi-hole.net had to offer. After searching around on YouTube, “World’s Greatest Pi-hole Tutorial – Easy Raspberry Pi Project” by Crosstalk Solutions was the most helpful tutorial. He walked me through just about every step, and what he didn’t cover was solved by a simple search or two on github.
After everything was setup and I had all of my devices routed through the Pi-hole, I fired it up for the first time and made a search
I was amazed at how many queries were blocked after one single search. I was also surprised that it didn’t affect the speed of videos or web pages downloading. So far, I was very impressed but if I was still getting ads, I can add new lists of domains that I know are potentially harmful.
For the cheap cost and knowledge I gained from this project, I would definitely recommend others to give it a shot. I did struggle for a while trying to set a static IP on the Raspberry Pi and then removing that IP from the IP pool so it didn’t get taken by another device. I also had an issue logging into the Pi-hole admin page, but after uninstalling and reinstalling Pi-hole (which was actually very fast and easy to do if any issues arise), my problems were solved and it worked flawlessly.