While my friends have been raving about Pi-hole for a long time, I’ve never actually started using it. This is for a variety of reasons mainly relating to how setup for my (semi-classic) router seems relatively sub-par. While I may not adopt it for my entire network, there’s a new player on the scene which covers all your devices, including mobile (without root), and it looks quite impressive: Adguard.

From their main site, you can get a lifetime license for your device, which helps guarantee I’m not wasting my precious data (Project Fi ftw!) on stupid ads as well as easy dns customization (I changed my name servers to OpenDNS and Quad9). You can also cleanly configure everything including notifications, block lists utilized, https filtering, and much more. Plus, you don’t need to root your phone and the filtering is system-wide.

Of course, you can also utilize their “Home” offering which is completely free and open source providing much the same ability as Pi-hole.

One of the cool services they rely on for this data is WhoTracks.Me which provides both a really nice interface to learn more about the website you use everyday as well as easy access to that data. I’m really glad some open-source and trustworthy services have broken out making it trivial to keep our online experiences as fruitful as possible.

I finally feel comfortable employing these services to help protect myself for all my devices. Happy browsing cleanly and safely!

PS: Here’s one of the many reasons I like OpenDNS!

Mario Loria is a builder of diverse infrastructure with modern workloads on both bare-metal and cloud platforms. He's traversed roles in system administration, network engineering, and DevOps. You can learn more about him here.