Four Raspberry Pi advertisingand tracking blockers

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© Lead Image © Vitaliy Gaydukov, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Vitaliy Gaydukov, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 269/2023
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A Raspberry Pi with the right software filters out annoying ads and nasty trackers for end devices on your local network.

Advertising on the Internet can be intrusive and annoying, often with trackers that spy on web browsing behavior. For standalone workstations, such unwanted content can be easily restricted or blocked by browser extensions. However, if you want to configure several workstations, setting up the extensions can take a great deal of time. Luckily, special appliances can block unwanted content centrally before it reaches the intranet. I looked at different strategies and their implementations for blocking ads and trackers on websites.

Functionality

The solutions presented in this article can be integrated directly downstream of the router on the local network so that all incoming and outgoing data traffic runs through the tools. These appliances act as DNS servers in this process, except upribox, which sets up a wireless network you can use to access the Internet securely. Some of the solutions also offer integrated VPN servers and anonymize IP addresses. From outside the VPN, the workstations on the internal network can no longer be identified by their IP addresses. All of the solutions discussed are also free software, and the hardware usually is based on a Raspberry Pi.

One of the main advantages of centralized appliances is that you only need to connect and configure them once on the local network. For the most part, the systems automatically update during operation, which avoids additional overhead for customization and regular updates. Manual configuration of the clients is also largely eliminated. The tools support a wide variety of devices. In addition to computers, smartphones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are automatically protected.

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