Raspberry Pi DNS-Over-HTTPS (DoH) for Pi-Hole?

Configure DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) on your Raspberry Pi to enhance privacy, security and performance with Pi-Hole ad blocking.

Raspberry Pi DNS-Over-HTTPS (DoH) for Pi-Hole?

Domain Name System (DNS) is an essential internet service that translates human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. However, standard DNS traffic is unencrypted and vulnerable to eavesdropping and manipulation.

DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) encrypts DNS queries to prevent snooping and improve privacy. Implementing DoH on your network with Pi-Hole ad blocking on a Raspberry Pi gives you more secure and faster DNS resolution.

Why Use DNS-Over-HTTPS?

Here are some key benefits of using DoH:

Privacy and Security

  • Encrypts DNS traffic between client and resolver to prevent eavesdropping and manipulation of DNS data.
  • Protects against man-in-the-middle attacks that could redirect you to phishing sites.
  • Bypasses region-based censorship and blocking of domains.

Faster Performance

  • Leverages performance optimizations in HTTPS and HTTP/2 protocols.
  • Overcomes limitations of DNS protocol that can affect speed.

Bypass Public DNS Filtering

  • Gets around content filtering and restrictions in public WiFi hotspots.
  • Avoids having your queries sent to unknown third-party DNS providers.

By implementing DNS-over-HTTPS with Pi-Hole, you prevent your DNS queries from being logged or analyzed by ISPs and increase browsing privacy.

Raspberry Pi Hardware Required

To set up DoH on Pi-Hole, you need:

  • Raspberry Pi– Any model from Pi 2 and up will work. The Pi 4 has the fastest performance.
  • MicroSD Card – 8 GB Class 10 card or better to store the operating system and cache.
  • Power Supply – Appropriate USB power adapter for your Pi model. A 3 amp 5-volt supply is recommended.
  • Network Cable – Ethernet cable to connect your Pi directly to the router.

Software Required

Along with the Pi hardware, you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi OS Operating System – The official Linux-based OS for all Pis.
  • Pi-Hole – Open source ad blocking DNS server software.
  • Pi-Hole FTL Engine – Optional module boosts Pi-Hole speed and capabilities.
  • Cloudflared DNS Resolver – Establishes the encrypted DoH connection from Pi-Hole to Cloudflare’s DNS.

Configuring Raspberry Pi for Pi-Hole

Follow these steps to get your Raspberry Pi ready to run Pi-Hole:

  1. Install Raspberry Pi OS on the microSD card. Use the Lite version without desktop for best performance.
  2. Optionally, enable SSH in raspi-config to access the Pi remotely over your network.
  3. Boot the Pi with the OS microSD card inserted and connect via monitor/keyboard or SSH.
  4. Set a new password for the default “pi” user with the passwd command.
  5. Update packages on the OS with sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade. Reboot.
  6. Configure the Pi with a static IP address (recommended). Edit /etc/dhcpcd.conf and add your desired IP below the interface section.

Your Pi is now ready for Pi-Hole installation.

Installing Pi-Hole on the Raspberry Pi

Pi-Hole has an automated installer that will download and configure everything you need.

To install Pi-Hole, login to your Pi via SSH or terminal and run:

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

The installer will prompt you to choose options like what upstream DNS providers to use. You can select defaults for now.

Once installed, take note of the randomly generated admin password provided. You will use this password later to access the Pi-Hole admin interface.

The installer adds Pi-Hole as a system service and automatically runs it on each boot.

Installing Cloudflared DNS Proxy

Cloudflared is command-line software from Cloudflare that establishes an encrypted tunnel from Pi-Hole to Cloudflare’s high-performance DoH resolver.

Run the following on your Pi to install Cloudflared:

wget https://github.com/cloudflare/cloudflared/releases/latest/download/cloudflared-linux-arm

sudo mv cloudflared-linux-arm /usr/local/bin/cloudflared

sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/cloudflared 

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/cloudflared

We now have Pi-Hole managing DNS filtering and Cloudflared ready to funnel the traffic securely over HTTPS.

Activating DNS-Over-HTTPS in Pi-Hole

Log into the Pi-Hole admin interface, go to Settings > DNS and scroll down to DNS over HTTPS. Select the radio button for Cloudflared DNS.

Under Upstream Servers select the Cloudflare option ending in 1.1.1.2#dns-query

Finally, click Save to apply the DNS over HTTPS settings.

This configures Pi-Hole to pass all DNS queries encrypted through Cloudflared to Cloudflare’s DoH resolver at 1.1.1.2.

Tuning Pi-Hole with pihole-FTL Engine

The FTL (Faster-Than-Light) Engine optimizes Pi-Hole to handle hundreds of thousands of queries without lagging. It tracks stats, speeds up block list processing, and enables advanced features.

Run the following commands on your Pi to install FTL:

pihole checkout ftl

sudo cp /etc/.pihole/automated\ install/basic-install.sh /usr/.pihole

sudo pihole -up

Select yes when prompted to install FTL. Your Pi-Hole is now supercharged!

Configure Your Devices to Use Pi-Hole DNS

With Pi-Hole now set up with DNS-over-HTTPS, all that remains is directing your devices to use it for DNS resolution.

In your router’s DHCP settings, set the default DNS server assigned to clients to the IP address of your Raspberry Pi running Pi-Hole. Any device that connects to your network will now have ads automatically blocked without any further configuration.

You can also manually set the DNS servers to your Pi-Hole’s IP address on each individual device. Configuring at the router level is the most convenient approach.

Monitoring and Managing Pi-Hole

Access the Pi-Hole admin dashboard by visiting your Pi’s IP address in a web browser. For example http://192.168.1.100/admin

Here you can view stats on number of domains being blocked, top clients, and percentage of traffic blocked. The audit log shows each domain blocked or allowed in real time.

You can tailor blocking by whitelisting or blacklisting specific domain names and clients. For example, you may need to whitelist your smart home controller. There are also handy tools to flush the DNS cache and test ad blocking with a domain.

Key Takeaways

  • Implement DNS-over-HTTPS with Cloudflared and Pi-Hole to encrypt DNS traffic for improved privacy and security.
  • Cloudflare’s fast DoH resolver boosts performance compared to standard unencrypted DNS.
  • Install Pi-Hole FTL engine on your Raspberry Pi for optimized ad blocking at higher throughputs.
  • Configure router DHCP or each device to use Pi-Hole for network-wide blocking without client software.
  • Manage block lists, view stats, and whitelist clients in the Pi-Hole administrative interface.

Conclusion

DNS-over-HTTPS on a Raspberry Pi with Pi-Hole is the ideal network-wide ad blocking DNS solution for improved privacy and faster speeds. Encrypting your DNS queries hardens browsing security so ISPs and attackers can’t snoop on activity or manipulate resolution.

Optimizing with Pi-Hole FTL allows efficient handling of all devices on your network hitting the Pi DNS server. The administrative interface lets you fine-tune allowed domains and view real-time traffic analytics.

Setting up DoH with Pi-Hole provides network-wide ad blocking that is secure, fast, inexpensive and easy to deploy even for DNS novices!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I enable DoH on Pi-Hole?
    In the Pi-Hole admin interface, go to Settings > DNS, scroll down to DNS over HTTPS, select Cloudflared DNS, choose Cloudflare in Upstream DNS Servers, and click Save.

  2. Does DoH use more data?
    No, the amount of actual DNS query data is the same. The traffic is just encrypted inside HTTPS packets instead of standard DNS traffic.

  3. Is Cloudflare free to use with Pi-Hole?
    Yes, Cloudflare operates a free public DNS resolver. There are no data limits when using their DoH service.

  4. What is the benefit of Pi-Hole FTL?
    The FTL engine speeds up Pi-Hole by improving blocklist processing, enables graphing/stats, and overall allows Pi-Hole to handle queries from more devices without slowing down.

  5. Does using Pi-Hole slow my internet speeds?
    No, in most scenarios Pi-Hole has minimal impact on bandwidth as only small DNS queries are sent to it rather than bulk traffic. DNS lookups are measured in milliseconds.

  6. Can using Cloudflared cause connectivity issues?
    Cloudlfared is very reliable. However, if you lose internet access, disabling DoH in Pi-hole settings can help determine if Cloudflared is the issue.

  7. Do I need to install Pi-Hole on my router?
    No. Any Raspberry Pi or Linux device on your network can run Pi-Hole. No access to the router needed.

  8. What hardware specifications does my Pi need?
    Any Raspberry Pi from the Pi 2 onward has enough performance for Pi-Hole. The Pi 4 handles the most queries and is recommended for best performance.

  9. Is Pi-Hole network hardware required?
    No, Pi-Hole software runs on the Raspberry Pi device itself. No router mods or additional network gear needed.

  10. Does Pi-Hole work with Chromecast/Smart TVs?
    Yes. Configure your router or each device to use the Raspberry Pi for DNS queries to block ads on Chromecasts, Smart TVs, streaming boxes, etc.

  11. Does Pi-Hole use a lot of electricity?
    No, the Raspberry Pi hardware uses about 5W of power. Much less than running a PC or laptop 24/7. Energy costs for year usually less than $5 USD.

  12. Can you whitelist or blacklist specific clients?
    Yes! The Pi-Hole admin interface makes it easy to permit or block individual devices by IP or hostname.

  13. Does Pi-Hole require port forwarding on router?
    No port forwarding needed as all traffic stays local. Optional if you want to access admin dashboard externally.

  14. Is Pi-Hole difficult for a beginner to set up?
    Pi-Hole is very user-friendly to install. The automated script handles most of the configuration with very little required input.

  15. Can I monitor Pi-Hole when away from home?
    The admin dashboard can be remotely accessed using OpenVPN or authentication with a password. There are also options for monitoring statistics via smartphone.

  16. Does Pi-Hole work with IoT devices?
    Yes! One benefit of Pi-Hole is it works great for blocking ads and protecting privacy on connected IoT devices like smart speakers.

  17. Can you install Pi-Hole on a virtual machine?
    Absolutely! Platforms like VirtualBox or VMware allow you to install Pi-Hole on a Linux virtual machine without needing physical Pi hardware.

  18. Does Pi-Hole reduce pop ups on Android devices?
    Yes, Pi-Hole blocks ad domains which prevents most pop up ads, notification spam, etc from ever reaching your Android device since it handles DNS resolution.

Leave a Comment