A hardware ad-blocker!

My friend (and ex-housemate, at The Reef) Giovanni has dreamed up a hardware ad blocker. The idea is to install the ad blocker not in your browser, but directly in your home’s router. It uses a Raspberry Pi and an Inky-Phat display, 35 EUR in total.

Almost 50% of the traffic web you generate is dedicated to funneling ads to your devices. These ads follow you around, and can encourage reckless or compulsive buying. Apparently, we are exposed to 5,000 ads a day. As far as I am concerned, enough is enough.

The full article (in Italian) is here: https://calia.me/ho-costruito-un-ad-blocker-hardware-b7fd2f4112c4. Let’s make one for The Reef!


Very cool!

Really cool indeed! Other than with in-browser ad-blockers, will websites tell you to turn off your ad blocker, or wont they be able to detect it like this?

I am not subscribed to medium, so I can’t read the whole thread, but I’d be interested in the way it interacts with the network - not sure if that’s explained in the article? Does it slow down the connection, did it cause any trouble, interfere with anything?

if you try it @alberto, I hope you will share with us some news about it as well :slight_smile:

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It speeds up the connection, because it simply does not accept connections from blacklisted servers (doubleclick, etc.). An open source application called Pi-hole keeps the blacklist updated.


I am sorry you can’t read it in Italian, but it doesn’t matter. This Ad-Block project is just one of the many you can find online by using Raspberry PI and Pi-Hole.

So here is the project and how to replicate it:


To have an ad-free internet experience, I’m using the Pi Hole with an Inky Phat by Pimoroni.

InkPhat displays the number of blocked requests, and filtered traffic.


Setup Pi-Hole, InkyPhat and clone this repo on your Raspberry Pi Zero W.

Enjoy :slight_smile:


in-browser ad-blockers are blocking only the traffic on that specific browser. To be precise, they don’t show the ad, which is different from “they block” because most of the time with the browser ad-blocker the ad is downloaded anyway. With this hardware ad-blocker we can tell the router to forget about serving advertising requests. So no more downloads, no more weird scripts, no more noise when you are reading something.
And everything is automatic: once installed you don’t have to do nothing else and it will work for all the devices connected to that network (smartphone, smart tv, PC, and all the smart stuff you can possibly have). The browser will just be unable to serve the ad, so it will show nothing or an error message where the ad was supposed to be.
But because with pi-hole you can add more website to block, next to ad-servers you can block adults content if you have kids around or anything else you might find useful.

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another question (sorry!), but some websites have regular content that’s detected by ad blocker (like login forms, etc), so if I want to “unblock” for a specific page because their site is build badly, but I still want to access it, do I have any options for that?

No need to be sorry. :slight_smile:
Pi-Hole is able to specify any single website you want to block/unblock. So if you have a specific need and the website doesn’t work properly, you can unblock that specific URL even though it looks weird if a login form is blocked by an ad-block. Be careful, because your privacy might be at risk.


this is a friendly link: you can access the article on medium even if you are not registered.


Ciao! long time no hear, hope all is well with you <3

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… Welcome, @estragon! :slight_smile:

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Nadia, “time is just an illusion that helps things make sense”. :stuck_out_tongue:
I am fine and I hope you’re fine as well.