Pi-Hole - A Really Useful Project

About 8 years ago, I bought an early version of the Raspberry Pi - a tiny single board computer which at the time cost about £35. So excited was the market about this new product that I had to wait 3 months before it was delivered.

I enjoyed tinkering around with it and doing some basic programming but I never managed to get it to do anything useful. So early in its life there wasn't much of a user community and the small number of projects were fairly basic. The Pi was a learning environment and whilst I learned a bit (especially about the Linux operating system) I simply out-grew it and in the end I popped it in a drawer.

Fast forward to 2020 and I'm looking for projects to keep me interested during the Coronavirus lockdown. I saw a mention of the Raspberry Pi (now version 4) and how many fully documented projects there are on the internet. I also noticed that more recent versions of the Pi have far more impressive specifications including a quad-core processor, wifi and numerous other things which make it into a 'proper' computer. And still £35, or even as low as £5 for less capable models.

But the biggest change since 2012 is the sheer number of tried and tested projects which are now available, complete with clear, detailed instructions. One that caught my eye is called Pi-Hole, an ad-blocker which works across an entire network. With this device installed, the annoying banner adverts which seem to be on just about every website simply disappear. As well as being distracting, adverts can be slow to load making the whole 'high speed internet' experience decidedly clunky. Removing them makes websites load more quickly and smoothly.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
The aluminium case looks good and keeps it cool
I bought myself a new Pi, a smart aluminium case and a few bits and pieces and got to work. No programming this time, I just followed some very clear instructions and about an hour later I was ready to try it out. And it worked flawlessly.
Ookla's Speedtest website, complete with five separate adverts
The same website after processing through the Pi-Hole
So our internet browsing experience is now free of adverts and I've done something new to keep my brain working during lockdown.