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Pi-Hole enforced internet

Using a Pi-hole unit in your network brings many advantages, key benefit is that all devices using your Pi-Hole for DNS server filtering will greatly reduce a massive amount of internet cruft with minimum effort.

Beyond browser add-ons

Using add-ons in browsers has been the default method of blocking out unwanted ads & other unwanted items, but the key drawback is you need a lot of different add-ons and these use browser resources. The solution is to add some filtering power in front of the browser, and optimally a solid way is to ensure that unwanted requests never passes your router.

Pi-Hole in action blocking internet cruft

Installing Pi-hole on a low end cheap computer running Linux is the solution, a Raspberry Pi is a quick solution.

However based on experience of using several such devices there are issues with SD cards giving up over time.

A simple solution is instead to run it on a compact computer.

An Intel NUC is a typical example, but I have found that second hand Apple Mac Mini's will both be a cheap and quiet solution. The key take away is that a harddrive will fail far less frequently than a SD card. What you need is an Intel based variant and ~2Gb of RAM to get things going, any disk these come with will be more than enough to get things going.

Old Apple Mac Mini's suffer the fate of many modern devices, the lack of vendor support with OS updates beyond a few years is the norm which means they are typically available at a decent price as the average fanboy has little clue that you can run Linux on them and breath new life into a solid piece of hardware.

Install Linux (a minimal Ubuntu setup works like a charm) on the computer + make sure to set a static IP that does not collide with your routers DHCP range. Then insall Pi-Hole as per the info you will find on that site (link below), once up and running make sure to point all devices behind your router to you new Pi-Hole as DNS.

Make sure to set your router IP as secondary DNS, should the Pi-Hole have any issues things will work but without proper DNS filtering until you get it back online.

The benefit of a DNS filter such as Pi-Hole is that no outward calls will be sent to any DNS entry that matches the filtering lists. It comes with a default set but can be extended to avoid much more. Consider whitelisting decent web analytics vendors, my Pi-Hole is open for Adobe Analytics tracking as they abide to GDPR and keep data in Europe. There is an obvious benefit with website owners who use digital analytics to optimize their sites.

The internet experience after Pi-Hole is set up will be quite an experience!

External link:

Pi-Hole - Internet DNS enforcer

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(c) Fulton Yancy 2022