I've been trying for months to get Pihole to run smoothly on my home network. But it always comes down to the same thing.
There is a place on my router to configure the DNS server(s). The second I put in the IP for the Raspberry Pi running Pihole (192.168.0.8), the network comes down. I've gone through multiple reinstalls of the software, both on Raspbian and (currently) UBuntu server, and it's always the same result. Because I've been trying this for so long, Pihole itself has moved through a few versions. I'm running latest everything.
If I leave this setting to use ISP DNS servers, or manually configure to 22.214.171.124, etc.., then the network returns to normal, but of course nobody is using the Pihole.
At first I thought that for some reason the router just could not also remain the DHCP server (though I could think of no technical reason why), so a couple of months ago I made the Pihole the DHCP server (turning it off on the router, obviously). I can see that all devices on the network are indeed getting their addresses from the Pihole. But this did not fix the problem.
If I specifically configure a device to use 192.168.0.8 for DNS, then ad blocking might or might not work. I've done this with my own devices. Some days the dashboard says it's blocking some queries, other days nothing happens. After awhile, I decide to try setting the DNS in the router again, the network comes down, and family members storm into home office saying "Did you plug in the Pihole again??".
I just wonder if the router is doing something like hijacking all traffic on port 53 and if the DNS is the PiHole, it starts an endless loop of going back and forth with a query. I see this in the log, which makes me think this might be the case:
Aug 1 14:23:11 dnsmasq: Maximum number of concurrent DNS queries reached (max: 150)
I've done a lot of googling, and I did find a few hits on Reddit where people had problems getting this to work with NetGear routers. One guy rolled his router firm ware back one version, and that worked for a while. Another ended up getting a new router.
Is it possible that this router will just not play nice with the PiHole?