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


Heather Bennett

Are you tired of seeing ads everywhere you go on the internet? Do you wish there was a way to block those pesky ads at the network level, so they don’t even make it to your devices? Well, look no further than Pi-Hole, a fantastic open-source software that acts as a local DNS server and ad blocker all in one!

What is Pi-Hole?

Pi-Hole is a network-wide ad blocker that operates by acting as a DNS sinkhole. In simple terms, it intercepts DNS requests made by devices on your network and blocks any requests to known advertising domains. This means that any device connected to your network will automatically have ads blocked without needing to install individual ad-blocking software.

Setting Up Pi-Hole

Setting up Pi-Hole is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Choose Your Hardware: You can install Pi-Hole on various hardware platforms such as Raspberry Pi or even a virtual machine running on your computer.
  2. Install the Operating System: If you’re using Raspberry Pi, download and install the Raspberry Pi OS onto an SD card. Alternatively, set up your virtual machine with an operating system of your choice.
  3. Install Pi-Hole: Once your hardware is ready, it’s time to install Pi-Hole.

    Open up a terminal or SSH into your device and run the installation command provided on the official Pi-Hole website.

  4. Follow the Setup Wizard: After installing Pi-Hole, follow the setup wizard prompts to configure your network settings and choose your upstream DNS provider.
  5. Configure Your Devices: To ensure all devices on your network use Pi-Hole as their DNS server, you’ll need to update the DNS settings on your router. Refer to your router’s manual or contact your ISP for instructions on how to do this.
  6. Enjoy Ad-Free Browsing: Once Pi-Hole is set up and configured, you can sit back and enjoy ad-free browsing across all devices connected to your network!

Customizing Pi-Hole

Pi-Hole offers a range of customization options to enhance your ad-blocking experience.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting

There may be times when Pi-Hole blocks a legitimate website or fails to block an annoying ad. In such cases, you can whitelist or blacklist specific domains manually. Whitelisting allows ads from a particular domain, while blacklisting blocks ads from that domain.

To add a domain to the whitelist or blacklist, simply navigate to the Pi-Hole admin interface in your web browser and go to the “Whitelist” or “Blacklist” tab. Enter the domain name and click “Add”.

Updating Block Lists

Pi-Hole relies on block lists which contain known advertising domains. These block lists are regularly updated by the Pi-Hole community. To ensure you have the latest block lists, you can set up automatic updates in the settings menu of the admin interface.


Pi-Hole is an excellent tool for blocking ads at the network level. By acting as a local DNS server, it prevents ads from reaching any device connected to your network. With its easy setup process and customization options, Pi-Hole provides an effective way to enjoy ad-free browsing across all devices.

So why wait? Give Pi-Hole a try and say goodbye to those annoying ads once and for all!

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