Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Home Network Content Filter

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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.


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 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 | bash