Remote Server Upgraded

I’m very happy to announce that my remote server has been upgraded by quite a lot. Originally the humble little Dell R210 box was perfect for what I wanted but as I started loading it over time with more VM’s it was starting to creak. An absolute bargain on eBay saw my way to a bigger brother in the family. A Dell R410 which has twin hex core CPU’s and 24GB of RAM. A decent upgrade from the dual core from previously.

Installation wasn’t straight forward and I did have to fully re-install ESXi to get it up and running again but thankfully I’m now back up and running at six times the performance level of before!

Adblocking done well with Pi Hole on Ubuntu Server 16

Adblocking is a bit of a love or hate thing on the internet. Ads do drive some companies and make websites viable and as users most prefer not to be bombarded by adverts for thing you’ll never use. Pi Hole is a brilliant little piece of software designed for blocking those aggravating adverts at DNS level so they never actually download to your PC. This is marketed as making your network faster but in all honesty, it just makes for a cleaner browsing experience.

I installed Pi Hole onto both my actual Ubuntu Server as well as my Virtual server so I have both DNS 1 & 2 running an adblocking service, I can tell you, it helps immensely on certain websites that have lots of pop ups.

Installation is ridiculously easy to do however just in case it’s detailed below, please note this is for a Ubuntu Server installation, mine being the 16.04.1 flavour;

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

How difficult was that? You will need to make some more minor adjustments though;

Password to the web admin page;

pihole -a -p yourpasswordhere

Log into the web admin page at http://PIHOLE.IP.ADDRESS.HERE/admin and choose your DNS servers, I am using my ISP’s for mine as they are naturally the fastest to respond but you can use any of the preset options such as Google or OpenDNS or use your own custom option.

Change your DNS options, this can be done either at router level so all of your DNS traffic goes here or alternatively you can specify it manually from each device you want to have an ad free experience on. I’ve personally gone down the DHCP option as this gave the most hands free approach to deploying this.

Updating Pi Hole is also a nice easy 1 liner at the command line;

pihole -up

I’ve also taken this 1 step further by adding it to crontab to be run weekly;

sudo crontab -e

@weekly pihole -g

A clean and ad free internet experience without any serious tinkering, also a snazzy web interface to view your statistics.