Pi-Hole: The sentry at your doorstep

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Sorry for writing after such a long time. My R&D pipeline almost dried at the right end while the left end is overflowing. The backlog is getting longer. I promise to start improving my presence over time.

So, won't you like to have sentry at your doorstep to shoo away the bad elements or the unwanted guests? Definitely yes. This is equally important for your digital doorway as well. This is even more relevant as you have started working from home. Everyone at home are now working online and a whole lot of browsing and a whole lot of extra traffic. I know you are putting so many plugins to the browser to keep yourself safe.

Imagine you be able to filter out lots of traffic that are not only unsafe but also  eats into your traffic flow. And something that sits next to your router and keeps this traffic filtered for all devices in your home network. I see this more important when I browse from my mobile. The desktop browser has lots of plugins to keep it better, but I see far more additional content in the shape of advertisements.

Now, here is something I stumbled upon sometime ago and put it at the top priority of my backlog. A blackhole for such traffic! This is known as Pi Hole. 

How to put it to work? You need a compute unit that works as long as the router works. This is tricky, how to keep running a compute unit all the time? Here comes the Raspberry Pi to your rescue. If you are already using a RasPi, you need not even think twice. But if you are not having, I suggest you have one. It is just $35 and consumes hardly around 10-15 watts. Raspberyy Pi is also a great piece of technology to expand your horizon.

So, I logged in to my Pi and installed this piece of Hole and voila, it is so better now. See the dashboard and percentage of traffic that is getting blocked. Think how much extra unwanted traffic keeps making into your house all the time.




How you can get started as well:

If you do not have a Raspberry Pi, go get it. Setting up? visit https://www.raspberrypi.org/ and you will be able to follow it.

*I do not include technical steps here so that you keep being relevant whenever you do it. If I details out the steps, those may get stale anytime.


Installing Pi-Hole:

Visit https://pi-hole.net/ for the steps and documentation around managing it.


Some word of caution:

If you are already using a Pi and for other usage like some websites or your private cloud storage (NextCloud or OwnCloud), please be careful. You might have to take few extra steps to make it work correctly. Visit the Pi Hole documentation (https://pi-hole.net/). You may also refer to the Pi Hole forum.

Pi Hole comes with Lighttpd by default. If you are using a different webserver on your Pi, please check the installation documentation.


Enjoy the outcome

Once you are all set and configured your router to point to your Pi Hole, enjoy your browsing.


If you need any specific guidance, please put in your comment here.

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