How Do I Use Pi-Hole as a DNS Server?


Larry Thompson

Are you tired of seeing annoying ads popping up every time you browse the internet? Do you want to enhance your online privacy and security?

If so, Pi-Hole can be a game-changer for you. In this tutorial, we will learn how to use Pi-Hole as a DNS server and block ads network-wide.

What is Pi-Hole?

Pi-Hole is an open-source network-wide ad blocker that acts as a DNS sinkhole. It functions by blocking requests to ad-serving domains, thus preventing ads from being displayed on devices connected to your network. Unlike traditional ad blockers that need to be installed on individual devices, Pi-Hole blocks ads at the network level, making it an efficient solution for all devices on your home or office network.

Setting Up Pi-Hole

To use Pi-Hole as a DNS server, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Obtain a Raspberry Pi or any other device running a Linux distribution.
  • Step 2: Install the operating system of your choice.
  • Step 3: Update the system by running sudo apt-get update.
  • Step 4: Install Pi-Hole by running the command curl -sSL | bash.

Configuring Pi-Hole

Note: Make sure to configure your router’s DHCP settings to assign the IP address of your Raspberry Pi as the primary DNS server for your network.

  • Step 5: Access the web interface of Pi-Hole by entering the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in a web browser.
  • Step 6: Follow the on-screen instructions to configure Pi-Hole. You can customize various settings, such as upstream DNS servers and blocklists.
  • Step 7: Once the configuration is complete, Pi-Hole will start blocking ads network-wide.

Monitoring Pi-Hole

Pi-Hole provides a convenient web interface for monitoring its performance and managing various aspects. To access the web interface, simply enter the IP address of your Raspberry Pi followed by /admin in a web browser.

Web Interface Features

The Pi-Hole web interface offers several useful features:

  • Dashboard: Provides an overview of blocked queries, percentage of blocked ads, and more.
  • Query Log: Displays a log of all DNS queries made by devices on your network.
  • Whitelist/Blacklist: Allows you to add domains to whitelist or blacklist, overriding Pi-Hole’s default blocking behavior for specific websites.
  • Settings: Provides options to customize various aspects of Pi-Hole’s functionality.


You have successfully set up Pi-Hole as a DNS server and can now enjoy ad-free browsing across all devices on your network. Say goodbye to those annoying ads and enhance your online privacy!

If you ever want to disable Pi-Hole temporarily, simply change the DNS settings on your devices back to their original values or disable it through the web interface. Happy browsing!

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