Pi-hole

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Pi-hole
Pi-hole vector logo.svg
Screenshot of the Pi-hole administrator web interface
Screenshot of the AdminLTE web interface for Pi-hole
Developer(s)Pi-hole, LLC[1]
Initial releaseJune 15, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-06-15)
Stable release
v4.1.1 / December 21, 2018; 30 days ago (2018-12-21)
Repositorygithub.com/pi-hole/pi-hole
Written inBash, PHP (Optional web server), C (Optional DNS server FTLDNS) and CSS
Operating systemLinux
LicenceEuropean Union Public Licence
Alexa rankIncrease 48,904 (May 2018)
Websitepi-hole.net

Pi-hole is a Linux network-level advertisement and internet tracker blocking application[2][3][4][5] which acts as a DNS sinkhole[6] (And optionally a DHCP server), intended for use on a private network.[1] It is designed for use on embedded devices with network capability, such as the Raspberry Pi,[3][7] but can be used on other machines running Linux and cloud implementations.[6][8][9][10]

Pi-hole has the ability to block traditional website adverts as well as adverts in unconventional places, such as smart TVs and mobile operating system adverts.[11][12]

History[edit]

The Pi-hole project was created by Jacob Salmela as an open source alternative to the AdTrap[13][14] in 2014[15] and was hosted on GitHub.[16] Since then, several contributors have joined the project, most notably (based on the number of commits as of May 2018) dschaper, PromoFaux and DL6ER.[15]

Features[edit]

The Pi-hole makes use of dnsmasq, cURL, lighttpd, PHP and the AdminLTE Dashboard[17] to block DNS requests for known tracking and advertising domains. The application serves as a DNS server for a private network (Replacing any pre-existing DNS server provided by another device or the ISP), with the ability to block advertisements and tracking domains for users' devices.[2] It obtains lists of advert and tracking domains from predefined sources (Which can be modified by the user) that the Pi-hole uses to compare DNS queries to. If a match is found within any of the lists, or the user blacklist, the Pi-hole will refuse to resolve the requested domain and respond to the requesting device with a blank webpage.[18]

Because Pi-hole blocks domains at network level, it is able to block advertisements, such as banner adverts on a webpage, but it can also block adverts in unconventional positions, such as on Android, iOS and smart TVs.[9][11]

The nature of Pi-hole allows it to also block website domains in general by manually blacklisting the domain name. Likewise, domains can be whitelisted manually should a website's function be impaired by domains being blocked. Pi-hole can also function as a network monitoring tool,[19] which can aid in troubleshooting DNS requests and faulty networking troubleshooting.[9]

Difference from traditional advertisement blockers[edit]

Pi-hole functions similarly to a network firewall, meaning that adverts and tracking domains are blocked for all devices behind it, whereas traditional advertisement blockers only run in a user's browser, and remove adverts only on the same machine.[9][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ a b "Pi-hole is a black hole for internet ads #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi". Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!. 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  3. ^ a b "Turn A Raspberry Pi Into An Ad Blocker With A Single Command". Lifehacker Australia. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  4. ^ Leathern, Rob (2015-12-23). "Block Ads on All Home Devices for $53.18". Rob Leathern. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  5. ^ "Adblock Everywhere: The Raspberry Pi-Hole Way". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  6. ^ a b "pi-hole/pi-hole". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  7. ^ "Pi-hole hardware kit". Pi-hole hardware kit. 2018-05-07. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  8. ^ "Pi-Hole in the cloud · Cody Bunch". blog.codybunch.com. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  9. ^ a b c d "Seven Things You May Not Know About Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  10. ^ "AdBlocking with Pi-Hole and Ubuntu 14.04 on VirtualBox". hbalagtas.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  11. ^ a b "Ad-Blocking on Apple iOS9: Valuing End User Experiences - Catchpoint Blog". Catchpoint's Blog - Web Performance Monitoring. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  12. ^ "Running a Network-wide Ad-blocker, and a Whole Lot More". CryptoAUSTRALIA Blog. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  13. ^ "Block Millions Of Ads Network-wide With A Raspberry Pi-hole 2.0". Jacob Salmela. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  14. ^ "Pi-hole: A Raspberry Pi Ad-Blocker with DNS Caching (Ultra-fast)". Jacob Salmela. 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  15. ^ a b "pi-hole/pi-hole; Contributors". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  16. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (2018-05-10). "Inside the Brotherhood of the Ad Blockers". Bloomberg.
  17. ^ "pi-hole/pi-hole; The Origin Of Pi-hole". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  18. ^ "How does Pi-hole work?". Pi-hole Userspace. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  19. ^ "What Really Happens On Your Network? Find Out With Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  20. ^ "Enjoy The Rio Olympics Ad-free With Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2018-05-06.