The name may sound like a joke but it it is a powerful tool. Out of the box DNS Server blocking ads even in apps. Preventing malicious sites. Even speeding up your internet. When set up right it can also provide parental controls, DNS over HTTPS (hiding lots of what you do online). It can be a great asset.
The Pi-hole® is a DNS Server sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software.
- Resolute: content is blocked in non-browser locations, such as ad-laden mobile apps and smart TVs
- Responsive: seamlessly speeds up the feel of everyday browsing by caching DNS queries
- Lightweight: runs smoothly with minimal hardware and software requirements
- Robust: a command line interface that is quality assured for interoperability
- Insightful: a beautiful responsive Web Interface dashboard to view and control your Pi-hole
- Versatile: can optionally function as a DHCP server, ensuring all your devices are protected automatically
- Scalable: capable of handling hundreds of millions of queries when installed on server-grade hardware
- Modern: blocks ads over both IPv4 and IPv6
- Free: open source software which helps ensure you are the sole person in control of your privacy
Some notable features include:
- Mobile friendly interface
- Password protection
- Detailed graphs and doughnut charts
- Top lists of domains and clients
- A filterable and sortable query log
- Long Term Statistics to view data over user-defined time ranges
- The ability to easily manage and configure Pi-hole features
Some of the statistics included:
- Total number of domains being blocked
- Total number of DNS queries today
- Total number of ads blocked today
- Percentage of ads blocked
- Unique domains
- Queries forwarded (to your chosen upstream DNS server)
- Queries cached
- Unique client
Why Use DNS-Over-HTTPS?
DNS-Over-HTTPS is a protocol for performing DNS lookups via the same protocol you use to browse the web securely: HTTPS.
With standard DNS Server, requests are sent in plain-text, with no method to detect tampering or misbehavior. This means that not only can a malicious actor look at all the DNS requests you are making (and therefore what websites you are visiting), they can also tamper with the response and redirect your device to resources in their control (such as a fake login page for internet banking).
DNS-Over-HTTPS prevents this by using standard HTTPS requests to retrieve DNS information. This means that the connection from the device to the DNS server is secure and can not easily be snooped, monitored, tampered with or blocked. It is worth noting, however, that the upstream DNS-Over-HTTPS provider will still have this ability.
DNS As Content Filter
If a Pi-Hole is paired with and inexpensive EdgeRouter like the ERX you can create a formattable and secure network. The ERX can provide stable internet advanced firewalls, VPN access, separate guest network, and can force all DNS though the Pi-hole even if they try to circumvent it. This lets you filter domains you don’t want or you could block all by default and only allow whitelisted.
Ad Blocking Network Wide
With appropriate block lists, Pi-Hole DNS Server can block most ads even in apps and across all devices. Normal Adblockers block at the browser level after an ad and its components have been downloaded. Since a Pi-Hole blocks the transfer before it starts, you save on that bandwidth. Many devices and software have unwanted background communication that bogs down your internet. since Pi-Holes way of blocking just makes the requester think the internet is down or target is offline, there are no software errors.
- Security Now Netcast: Pi-hole Oct 13, 2015
- TekThing: Raspberry Pi-Hole Makes Ads Disappear! Dec 18, 2015
- Foolish Tech Show Dec 23, 2015
- Digital Trends: 5 Fun, Easy Projects You Can Try With a $35 Raspberry Pi Mar 22, 2016
- Adafruit: Raspberry Pi Quick Look at Pi Hole ad blocking server with Tony D Jun 20, 2016
- The Defrag Show: Endoscope USB Camera, The Final [HoloLens] Vote, Adblock Pi and more Jan 27, 2016
- Know How 355: Killing ads with a Raspberry Pi-Hole! Nov 9, 2017
- Linus Tech Tips: Block EVERY Online Ad with THIS Aug 28, 201