Fair enough. I’ve been managing large networks for so long I often forget that many don’t have the experience or vocabulary. Much like when Galen tries to explain his cable designs to lay people.
Network-wide ad blocking via your own Linux hardware
The Pi-hole® is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software.
Easy-to-install : our versatile installer walks you through the process, and takes less than ten minutes
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
In the context of Cloudflare’s new free offering. Their DNS service is fast, really fast and now includes blocking of malware and/or malware and adult DNS names helping prevent malicious code/programs from spreading across the internet.
The goal of all of this is to make your home network and the devices connected faster and to reduce ad-tracking and malware infections.
For example, I have 4 Amazon Echo devices, 2 Roku and 2 Apple TV, numerous cameras, outlets and other sensors. 42 devices in total. The Amazon and Roku devices ‘phone home’ with usage data and other device status info. This data is serving NOT you the owner of the device. This data is NOT required for the device to do everything you want it to do.
My old Pi now blocks 40% of the DNS requests and thus stops the data from ever being sent. Data that is used/sold to advertisers to target me and those in my household. I want the utility of the devices but I don’t want to fund an ad campaign.
I don’t know how many people created DietPi OS but the Pi-hole team is a small group of very talented folks. They do this in their spare time and only take donations to help defray the hosting/download costs.
Numerous others contribute by maintaining txt formatted lists of domains to be blocked. The lists are categorized by ‘disruption’ potential. Meaning, some wanted DNS requests will be inadvertently blocked or the list curator wanted them blocked but you chose not to…one can easily ‘whitelist’ blocked domains.
My setup is blocking 2.5+ million domain names. Domains I don’t want any of my devices resolving. I only found a few that I needed to whitelist and once it’s done, it’s done.
Hope this helps further the understanding of these tools’ value.