How to Set Up Pi-hole on Raspberry Pi to Block Ads and Trackers

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While online advertising is a major source of revenue for many of your favorite websites, some people want to avoid it for a variety of reasons, including performance and privacy concerns. You can install ad blocking software on each of your devices or use other more efficient methods like pi-hole. Pi-hole is a universal network-wide ad blocker that can be installed on a Linux-based device to set up a server that filters all your web traffic at the local network level and blocks ads on any device connected to your home network. . Protect your network from ads and trackers without requiring individual device settings. Pi-hole can block ads on any network device (eg smart devices) and, unlike browser plugins, can block ads on any software. In this Raspberry Pi Zero series tutorial, we’ll walk you through setting up a Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. But before we go any further, let’s understand what a Pi-Hole is and how it blocks ads.

Pi-hole is a network wide advertising filter based on Raspberry Pi. It can be easily installed on Raspberry Pi Zero by running a few installation commands on a Raspberry Pi running Raspberry Pi OS. Once installed, you can configure your devices to use their IP address so that all traffic on those devices is routed through Pi-Hole. This way, when a website (serving ads) requests your ad server’s domain to get an ad, Pi-hole checks your domain name against their blacklisted ad serving registry.

Install Pi-hole on Raspberry Pi

  • First, connect the Raspberry Pi to your home Wi-Fi network and open Terminal. Then run the following command. It will start to install Pi-hole on your Raspberry Pi.
  • If you are using Putty or VNC to remotely access the Raspberry Pi, you can run the same command in the Terminal window. For example, here I am using Putty to install Pi-hole via the Raspberry Pi console.
  • Once you’ve done the initial steps, Pi-hole will take you through the setup screen. Press “Enter” as it shows information about Pi-hole. Please note that you can only navigate the user interface via the keyboard. Use the arrow keys and “Tab” to jump between the options. And press the “Space bar” if you want to select an option.
  • After a couple of dialogs, it will tell you that Pi-hole needs a static IP address. Press “Enter” again.
  • Next, choose “wlan0” if the Raspberry Pi is connected via Wi-Fi. And select “eth0” if you are using a wired Ethernet connection.
  • Then it will ask you to choose the DNS provider. I usually go with Google’s DNS server, but you are free to choose your own.
  • Previously, there were multiple 3rd party host files, but now Pi-hole uses a unified list to reduce mismatch.
  • After that choose IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. You can press the space bar to check both options.
  • Next, press “Yes” to set a static IP address on your Raspberry Pi. These steps are important to ensure that the IP address does not keep changing.

Set up your router

  • Enter 192.168.0.1 into a web browser on any device on your home network and press enter. As we all know, it opens the router settings page. Now, enter the default credentials for your router and login.
  • Next, you need to find the “DHCP Server” configuration option. I am using a TP-Link Archer C6 router and it is available under Advanced -> Network. For other routers it may be present on a different page so please search for it and find the settings page.
  • Once you’re here, enter your Raspberry Pi’s IP address in both Primary DNS and Secondary DNS. The IPv4 address you noted earlier in step 16 is the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. After that, click “Save”. Now this will redirect all traffic to Pi-hole on Raspberry Pi to filter out all ads and trackers. In the future, if you want to remove the Pi-hole configuration from your router, simply remove both DNS and you will have your connection as before.
  • ext, scroll down and move to the “Address Reservation” section. For other routers, you will need to look for this option on different configuration pages. We need to perform this step to avoid any IP conflict issues. Basically, you can reserve the IP address of the Raspberry Pi so that it is not assigned to any other device on your home network.
  • Click “Add” and enter the IP address of the Raspberry Pi in the “Reserved IP Address” field. You can find the MAC address of RPi in the client list mentioned below on the same page. Next, provide a name in the “Description” field and check the “Enable this entry” checkbox. Finally, click “Save”. It will reserve the IP address of the Raspberry Pi.
  • If you can’t find the MAC address of your Raspberry Pi, open Terminal on RPi and run ifconfig. On “wlan0”, check the value of “ether”. That is the MAC address of your RPi.
  • Finally, reboot your router and the changes will be applied.

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