Installing Pi-hole
with PiVPN

20th March 2019

While ad blockers remain highly effective within browsers, advertisements and trackers remain largely intact outside, whether it is computers, phones, televisions and other connected objects.

Pi-hole is an application that allows you to block ads and trackers by acting directly at the DNS resolution level. In general, it provides relatively comprehensive information on a large number of connections that pass through your network.

Combined with PiVPN, it becomes possible to use Pi-hole when roaming, from your phone or on a public network, while encrypting all your connections.

PiHole

Installation of Pi-hole

This article assumes that you have a Raspberry Pi ready to use! If not, you can take a look at how to install Raspbian ou Archlinux on your Raspberry Pi.

It is also important that your router assigns a fixed IP address to the Raspberry Pi, so that it can be declared as a DNS host from your devices.

The installation of Pi-hole is done simply with a single command:

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

On a personal note, I chose Quad9’s DNS servers (9.9.9.9).

Once the installation is complete, you can change the password:

sudo pihole -a -p

There are three ways to ensure that your computer is using your Raspberry Pi to resolve DNS.

The easiest way is to activate the Pi-Hole DHCP server: from the web server, you go to Settings, then DHCP, before selecting DHCP server enabled; then you have to go to the administration interface of your router or your box to disable DHCP.

Another solution is, in the configuration interface of your router or internet box, to declare the IP of your Raspberry Pi as a DNS server field.

If none of these solutions are possible, it is necessary to declare your Raspberry Pi as a DNS server in the network settings of all your devices.

Redémarrez votre connexion au réseau : l’interface d’administration de Pi-hole devrait désormais être disponible depuis http://pi.hole/.

VYou can then declare the blocking lists there to start blocking ads. As an individual, I use the sources of wally3k and tspprs. You can also block particular sites!

Installation of PiVPN

The installation is done again with a single command line:

curl -L https://install.pivpn.io | bash

When asked which DNS server to choose, select Custom, then indicate the IP of the Raspberry Pi.

Once the installation is done, let’s go back to the administration interface of Pi-hole, to go to Settings, DNS, and Interface listening behavior: we use Listen on all interfaces to make sure that PiVPN is communicating with Pi-hole.

You can simply create a new VPN profile with:

pivpn add

To retrieve the profile, we use locally:

scp pi:/home/pi/ovpns/<your-profile>.ovpn .

It is now possible to connect, from an OpenVPN client, to a computer or a phone, to benefit from the filtering of Pi-hole.

Make sure your client does not have an option to use other DNS (the client for iOS, for example, automatically switches to Google’s DNS servers).


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