Pi-hole and other reasons to get a Pi?

So even though I pay in a number of places to get rid of ads, the idea of a Pi-hole type device to keep bad ads off my network and offer further protection is appealing.

So, home network setup of cable modem plus Asus mesh router/satellite. For those of you who’ve messed with this sorta thing, what would be a good setup to ad to this to add some security and privacy to the network, and maybe even get some other bonus stuff form having a Pi setup on my network?

Would love to hear from those of you who’ve messed with this stuff.

I haven’t messed with this specifically, but I do have a Pi 4b hooked up to the tv for emulation.

I think these days the Raspberry has fallen out of favor a bit, given availability issues and the high price of the 5 once you get all the required bits.

Common recommendation now is to go for one of the cheaper mini PCs (like Minisforum, Beelink, GMKtec, etc), which gives you an all-in-one, similar priced, but more capable and easier to set up machine that even comes with Windows 11 license pre-installed.

For Pi-hole you could probably either get it running under WSL2, via a Docker container, or even just put Linux on it.

I’ve been using a distro called DietPi which is a pretty easy way to get a bunch of services like Pi.hole running on an SBC or mini-PC. I use a N9095 powered mini-PC I bought for like $70 on Amazon and run Jellyfin for media, pi.hole, Kavita for my digital comics collection. It’s really easy to manage as a headless device remotely.

I have a PiHole on my network and it’s the only thing I use it for. Was relatively easy to setup.

My only warning is that I get occasional complaints from others in my household. Sometimes sites and apps won’t work properly with the PH blocking stuff. It’s easy to test on a phone when you can turn off WiFi, but there are times when I have to add exceptions to the config or temporarily disable blocking. For example, sometimes the Paramount+ app will refuse to load until I disable the PH. After I do that once, I can turn blocking back on and it’s fine generally until the next app update.

I agree, it’s mostly the increased cost and sometimes lower availability for people wanting the newest models. If you just need a low-end one for hobby or simple automation tinkering, you can get a Zero 2W or secondhand Pi3 for $20 and add a SD card and power wart and be ready to go. But getting a Pi 5 setup will probably cost more than a low-end SBC, or a secondhand TinyMiniMicro (TM Servethehome) and many people would rather work with an up-gradable small x64 PC.

I have two Pi’s.

I have two services running on the one.One is a chat server on my home network using OpenFire and Spark IM clients. The other service is a local FireFox setting/bookmarks sync service.

The other Pi runs my Bitwarden server that I use as my password manager.

I tried to use my Pi w/ Samba as secondary AD server, but I couldn’t get it work properly. So I ended up using a micro desktops (like this) as my primary and secondary AD servers instead.

I tried Pi-Hole briefly, but it blocked to much stuff that my family was trying to watch so I turned it off.

I use a Pi to add AirPrint to my color laser printer. Now I can print from my iPhone and didn’t have to buy a whole new printer.

A Pi 5 is way overkill for Pi-hole. I have it running on a 3B+, and it barely registers on the CPU utilization meter.

If I had to buy a new one, and I was just going to run Pi-hole, I’d look at the new Pi Zero. Only downside is no built-in ethernet port.

Yeah, I recall folk running Pihole on RPI Zero and Zero W’s years ago. Those things run about AUD$30. and peeps run them with blocklists of 2million entries without too much drama, apparently.

I stopped using Pihole for the time being when I set up Adguard (same same but different) as a container service running on my NAS.

That’s true and is what silhouette also recommended above, but there was the possibility of other stuff maybe running on it also:

maybe even get some other bonus stuff form having a Pi setup on my network?

The pi5 doesn’t make a ton of sense these days when Intel mini computers with the n100 are readily available quite cheaply. Once you add a case, psu, and storage to a pi5 you really aren’t saving very much. Of course you can run pihole on a rpi4 or even 3 which would make sense and work perfectly fine.

Note it doesn’t work on YouTube ads and is overall much less effective than ublock origin in the browser-- which you should still use. Its primary value is blocking ads inside apps and on your TV streamer.