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Network-level ad and tracker blocking

James Huang | 2021.06.29

There are many ways of blocking ads and trackers from your browser. These come mainly in the form of extensions, such as the popular Ad-Blocker in Google Chrome. But there is a better, more efficient, and more wide-ranging type of blocker and Pi-hole and AdGuard Home are some of them.

What is Pi-hole?

Pi-hole is a popular network-level ad and tracking blocker. Network-level refers to the fact that Pi-hole will block ads and trackers on any device connected to the same network. That way devices that otherwise wouldn’t support ad and tracker blockers, such as TVs, smartphones (Android and iOS without root or third-party app stores), tablets, and game consoles, will also benefit from Pi-hole’s blocking capabilities.

The application acts as a DNS server for a network. To enable it you will have to replace the pre-configured DNS server on your router. Pi-hole will then block known tracking and advertising domains.

Because Pi-hole blocks domains, ads and trackers won’t be downloaded in the first place.  If you want to block ads and tracking on your network Pi-hole will certainly do the job for you. It is easy to set up and has a web interface. To use Pi-hole outside your network you could set up a VPN server.

What is AdGuard Home?

AdGuard Home Network-wide ads & trackers blocking DNS server.  AdGuard Home is a network-wide software for blocking ads & tracking. After you set it up, it'll cover ALL your home devices, and you don't need any client-side software for that.

It operates as a DNS server that re-routes tracking domains to a "black hole," thus preventing your devices from connecting to those servers.

We have create one for our customer. https://ns.mtsoln.com/dns-query

Mac and iOS User

With iOS 14 (and macOS Big Sur) now natively supporting DoH, you can now force your device to use a custom DNS server - even while you’re using cellular data. You’re no longer stuck using whatever DNS server your cellular carrier maintains.

Previously, the only way around a cellular carrier’s hard-coded DNS settings was to use a VPN to tunnel your traffic - a massive hassle. VPN is tricky to set up correctly, can be somewhat flakey while using cellular data, and negatively impacts both device battery life and connection speed. DoH is a massive improvement.

You don’t even need to run your own DoH server to take advantage of this new feature; there are plenty of public DoH servers and websites with pre-built configuration profiles. However, if you value privacy and the ability to tweak exactly which blocklists are used, setting up your own DoH server is relatively painless with AdGuard Home.

Network-level ad and tracker blocking
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