Pi-Hole Is Kinda Working?


#1

So I have my Pi-Hole setup in a manual setup: I haven’t touched any settings on my router, I’m simply having some devices opt into Pi-Hole using my Raspi’s IP address for DNS. It’s a clean install on the Raspi with 8.8.8.8 used for DNS on the raspi.

What I’m seeing on my test device (Android phone):

  • I am seeing some ad’s blocked (as per the PiHole adblock test page)
  • Most ads seem to be slowed, but blocked on the test sites provided on that page
  • My PiHole admin is seeing a connected client
  • As I browser I’m seeing total queries and queries blocked go up
  • my blocked queries setting is only 6.5%, which seems very low given I’m testing on mainstream news sites
  • My device will NOT navigate to pi.hole or pi.hole/admin

Any thoughts? Anything I should check?

Thanks!!


#2

An Android phone would not be my first choice for a test platform. These have been difficult in some cases to get on a Pi-Hole. Google is in the ad-selling business. If you have a laptop or computer you can use, typically you can control their settings more easily.

That said, things to look at (all hard to do on a phone screen):

  1. I would connect a single client to the Pi-Hole for this testing (then you don’t have to filter through DNS requests for multiple devices). Disconnect all the others (turn off wireless, etc.).

  2. When you have that one client connected, look through this guide which will help you determine where ads are coming from and if they are blocked. In particular, the Chrome extension DNSThingy is very helpful.

  1. The count of blocks and percentages isn’t as important as the output from the admin GUI query log, which tells you every request and how it was resolved by Pi-Hole.

  2. If you can’t navigate to pi.hole/admin now (we can fix that later if needed), use “IP address of the Pi”/admin and that gets you to the same place.

  3. Work with one connected client only until you have the Pi-Hole working, then add clients one at a time to ensure they can shift their DNS to the Pi-Hole.


#3

OK thanks, that was super helpful. Some feedback if anyone lands on this:

  • That guide is very good. That was helpful to work with. The query log is not very intuitive (it updates with a bit of lag) but it works well.
  • Next, I’m pretty sure I had some caching going on. The behavior after testing for an hour or two was noticeable different on some sites. I’m not sure what else it could be, but something improved, so probably browser caching.
  • The Raspi web admin has some lag. I guess this should be obvious, but I’m used to working with much more powerful machines. So often things were happening, I just wasn’t seeing them immediately.
  • I realize block percentage isn’t a great metric, but now it’s up in the 33% range, which is more what I’d expect.
  • The blocking results aren’t too different from uBlock Origin. I guess I had expected something more stringent. (This is fine with me.

Lastly, I took my inability to navigate to pi.hole/admin to mean there was some sort of issue, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Can you tell me why everything might be working fine and that feature still might not work?


#4

pi.hole can only be used if your device can contact Pi-hole to resolve that name. No other DNS server knows that domain so if you had a different or additional DNS server, it couldn’t resolve that name.


#5

So in my situation you’d assume I had a different DNS server running? Like my router’s DHCP might cause this? Sorry, I’m not good at networking stuff. Not a big deal but I’m curious what’s happening here if everything else seems to be working.

Update: pi.hole/admin works with my iPhone. I’m going to chalk much of this up to Android being questionable to work with for a tool like this.


#6

That is not quite accurate - you aren’t running any DNS servers other than Pi-Hole. Something was likely pointing to another third party DNS server, bypassing the Pi-Hole.

There could be a number of reasons for a DNS path around the Pi-Hole. It could be your router, it could be the cache in the clients, it could be an IPV6 path, etc. That’s why you work on one client at a time. I suspect that since your iPhone is able to connect to Pi-Hole, it’s not the router (since the phone is going through the router), but client specific.

Read through some of the FAQs here, they have a lot of good information. One example:


#7

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