I have written about Pi-Hole.net several times already, and yes, it is obvious that I love using it on my home network. Pi-Hole protects all my home devices from advertisements and adtech trackers. The Pi-Hole open source software maintainers just released version 5.0, with powerful new features, which made me re-think how I use the Pi-hole.
Since migrating the Pi-Hole to the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4b (RPi) with 4GB of RAM, I have plenty of spare compute power to allow Pi-Hole to handle more functions.
My default DHCP server is the broadband router – which gives IP addresses to all devices connecting to the network. This function sometimes provides me with inaccurate mapping of device names to IP on the Pi-Hole report. To solve these inaccuracies, I have moved the DHCP server to the Pi-Hole now, and the RPi did not even break a sweat.
Managing my block list (via the Blacklist management) is easier now – allowing me to easily enable and disable each URL. This is extremely useful when there are mobile applications or web sites that don’t work properly (because some URL was blocked unintentionally).
Finally, my new favorite is a new feature on Pi-Hole 5.0 called Groups. Right now, I have the Default group, where all devices belong to. The Default group contains all the URLs that are blocked. In addition, I created two new ones, Games and Facebook. Games contain URLs of known games that are just a waste of time — games that I block during set periods of time when the kids are expected to be studying. Facebook, for obvious reasons, I block this hate-for-profit company’s URLs for all but a select set of devices (none of which belongs to me or the kids).
I highly recommend that you get yourself a Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM, which is more than capable of handling Pi-Hole for your home network. Just to give you an idea, I have 84K domains being blocked, and with 37 clients currently onlne, the Pi-Hole gets 44K domain queries, of which 21.5% or 9K were blocked! Talk about saving that much data, and not to forget, protecting our data. So what are you waiting for?