Scott Helme has a detailed procedure of how to configure Raspberry PI to act as a DNS resolver with DNS-level “content-blocking” for a network. It is a great weekend project, fun and useful. The hardware cost is around 100 CAD on Amazon.
- Content filter on DNS level, including ads and known nasty sites.
- Reduced web traffic. Depends on sites you visit, but 40% is a reasonable expectation.
- Upstream DNS queries are directed over https, so you get some extra privacy.
- Pages load faster, take a look at the example.
- Pi-Hole has a nice admin interface, so you get insight into DNS chatter on the network.
Here are network requests for a home page of a popular news site using default (no filtering) DNS resolver. In total it took 395 requests, 5.3 MB and six minutes to load.
Now if I switch to the DNS resolver on Raspberry PI:
Total of 143 request, 2.7MB to load, and 20.75 seconds. Take a look at all the lines in red with failed status, this is where the domain got blocked by the pi-hole on the Raspberry.
That’s ~ 50% less data and 17 times faster.