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Privacy Cookbook - Chapter 3.2 - AdGuard Home

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AdGuard Home is the next step up when it comes to blocking ads, trackers and all the other nasty BS what haunts the interwebs!

We have nextDNS covered as a possible cloud solution, we have an in-house solution with Pi-hole and today we have a look at an open source solution that we use personally.

Why AdGuard Home over Pi-hole we hear you ask? Well there are a few things we will point out and cover in today's post.

Let's start with the setup!

First you need a Raspberry Pi
https://www.raspberrypi.org

Then you need the OS
https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/


Then go to https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdGuardHome

Chose the Raspberry Pi solution https://static.adguard.com/adguardhome/beta/AdGuardHome_linux_arm.tar.gz

(or any other solution if you don't have a Pi)

Getting Started: https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdGuardHome/wiki/Getting-Started

The guide is pretty easy to follow, therefore we've just linked it.

Once you have set up AdGuard Home the first thing you do after login in is go to Settings --> DNS settings

In the Upstream DNS servers you'll find Cloudflare servers predefined! Replace them with:

tls://dot-de.blahdns.com
tls://fdns1.dismail.de
tls://dot-jp.blahdns.com
sdns://AgMAAAAAAAAADjEwOC42MS4yMDEuMTE5ABJkb2gtanAuYmxhaGRucy5jb20KL2Rucy1xdWVyeQ


And use parallel queries to speed up resolving queries.

Note: You can use any other DNS server or Upstream DNS servers

As you see here, the 'out of the box' AdGuard Home gives you the option for DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS vs Pi-hole, which doesn't do 'out of the box'.

Bootstrap DNS servers also have Cloudflare servers as a fallback in case the encrypted servers don't work. Again replace these with any other trusted provider.

On the same page you can see the DNS rewrites

You can also redirect traffic to a different service here.
For example:  twitter.com --> nitter.net and YouTube.com --> invidio.us

Settings --> Client settings let you set blocking services on specific devices.

This means that when you have, for example,an iPad you like to use with YouTube and all other devices have YouTube blocked, you can make this service available for just that one device. Another unique feature vs Pi-hole.

Sticking with this feature you can also block Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and a few others just with one click!

As for filters, we've added every single filter listed on the hostfile list! Just because AdGuard Home is powerful enough to handle them all, and we can just whitelist in case we have blocked something that might be needed!
 

Custom Filter rules is a powerful rule what allows single domains or REGEX

The Query Log is just as powerful as on Pi-hole!

You can manually block or unblock requests on this page

If you decide to run AdGuard Home on the cloud, the setup is as easy as on the Raspberry-Pi. However, you can do something pretty powerful and unique by setting up your own encryption and domain. 

In other words, host your own DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS server. You can find and setup this feature on Settings --> Encryption Settings

Finally, if you click on the setup guide at the end of the navigation section, AdGuard Home guides you through a super easy 'how to' guide on connecting your router, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS or DNS Privacy setup.

We really enjoy AdGuard Home and can recommend it for use by anyone and everyone!

 

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