Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Home Network Content Filter


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OBJECTIVE

Every device on your network is bombarded 24/7 with malware, banner ads, pop-ups, and activity-tracking scripts. All that extra cruft slows down your browsing. But with a bit of tinkering, you can program a tiny and cheap Raspberry Pi computer to block this noisome dross. Follow these instructions to install the free program Pi-hole, which checks all incoming data against blacklists of your choosing before deciding whether the packets should be passed on to your devices. It’s more efficient than a standard ad blocker; the filtering works across every device on your network, banishing ads, trackers, and malicious code from phones, iPads, PCs, game consoles, Rokus, and even smart TVs.


STEP BY STEP

What You’ll Need

  • Raspberry Pi ($35) with the free Raspberry Pi OS software installed
  • Home network router (either the one from your ISP or your own—we like the TP-Link AX6000)
  • Mac or Windows PC for installing and controlling Pi-hole
  • Comfort typing into a command-line interface (nothing too hairy, we promise)

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1. Get the Software

With the Pi and your computer on the same network, open a terminal window (use Terminal on Macs; Command Prompt on Windows) and connect to the Pi using SSH. The secure protocol sends commands from one computer to another; find instructions at Raspberrypi.org to help with this. Next, type the command below to install Pi-hole, selecting the default options and writing down any network info you see: curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

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