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AdGuard vs. Pihole

October 24, 2023

In recent years, the amount of intrusive advertising on the Internet has reached a level that makes using many familiar sites very uncomfortable. In addition, the pages with ads also track your personal information, and it is not always obvious what kind of data is being collected. That is the reason why ad-blocking solutions are gaining popularity.

So, AdGuard vs. Pihole is one of the most pressing issues today. In this article, we will look at both options and tell you which one is better. By the way, you can also choose another reliable Free Ad Blocker.

Device Compatibility

While Pi-hole's compatibility is more limited to Linux-based systems, AdGuard Home offers broader platform support, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Your choice may depend on the hardware and operating systems you have available for network-level ad blocking.

Now, let's take a closer look at the device compatibility of AdGuard Home vs. Pi-hole.

AdGuard Home

It is designed to work as a network-level ad and tracker blocker. You can install AdGuard Home on Windows devices, which is convenient if you want to run it on a dedicated computer or server. It can also be used on MacOS devices for network-wide ad filtering.

It is compatible with several Linux distributions, making it suitable for those who prefer to run it on Linux servers or single-board computers such as Raspberry Pi. The software can be run in a Docker container for more advanced users, providing flexibility and compatibility with a wide range of systems.

Additionally, you can use AdGuard Home and configure it on some routers to enable ad blocking for all devices connected to the network. Some NAS devices may also support the installation of this product.


This product is often associated with Raspberry Pi and works exceptionally well on it. There are special images and scripts available for easy installation on such devices. At the same time, this software can be installed on various Linux servers. Also, users with Docker knowledge can deploy Pi-hole in a container, allowing it to run on systems that support this platform.

In addition, it installs in a virtual machine on systems that support virtualization, providing flexibility for users who prefer VM-based setups.

Distinguishing Features of Pi-Hole and AdGuard Home

Now, we are talking about both powerful network-level ad and tracker blockers, but they have distinguishing features that cater to various preferences and needs:

  • AdGuard Home comes with native support for DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS, ensuring secure and encrypted communication by default. Conversely, Pi-Hole may need extra configuration or another software to enable encrypted DNS upstream servers.
  • AdGuard Home offers a number of advanced parental control features that exceed the capabilities of Pi-Hole in this regard. It includes more granular control over content filtering and access restrictions.
  • AdGuard Home tends to be more efficient in its use of system resources. This makes it a perfect option for devices with limited computing power, such as the Raspberry Pi.

But there is one more thing. Pi-hole is open-source software, which means it's freely available for anyone to use and modify. It fosters a strong community of users and contributors. Nevertheless, ease of use is often the deciding factor when choosing a program to block ads. AdGuard Home's user-friendly web-based design simplifies the setup and configuration process. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer a graphical interface.

By the way, there's another excellent solution with no downsides. Ad Blocker for Google Chrome is a tool designed to optimize browsing efficiency by removing intrusive ads, providing protection from potential malware, and creating a more focused and secure online environment. Just try it!

Ad-Blocking Capabilities

Ad blocking capabilities are a crucial consideration when discussing Pihole vs. AdGuard. These products implement a DNS sinkhole that effectively blocks unwanted domains, enhancing network security. So, both solutions are highly effective in preventing ads and trackers from cluttering your web browsing experience, but they have some specific differences in this regard.

AdGuard Home

It has advanced filtering capabilities that allow users to create custom ad-blocking rules and filters. This flexibility means you have a higher level of control over what is blocked and what is allowed. It is especially useful for those who want to fine-tune their ad-blocking preferences to filter only specific items.

In addition, AdGuard Home's easy-to-use web-based interface simplifies the management of all settings, making it accessible to users who may not have extensive technical expertise.

Furthermore, it provides an efficient mechanism for both whitelist and blacklist custom filtering rules of specific domains or websites. This feature is beneficial for users who want to have precise control over the pages and content they wish to access or block.

Today, AdGuard is an effective tool for improving online security and ad-blocking across your entire home network.


It is known for its network-wide ad-blocking capabilities. Filing ads and trackers at the DNS level ensures that all devices connected to your network receive the benefits of advertising control without the need for individual device configuration. This feature is powerful, especially for households or organizations with multiple devices. Pi-hole can also filter and modify responses from the upstream DNS server to block advertisements and malicious content.

Pi-hole's approach also includes support for community-maintained blocklists. Such lists are particularly effective for preventing ads, trackers, and other unwanted content on a global scale. They provide a pre-defined set of rules that can be easily configured to block common ad-serving domains, significantly reducing the volume of unwanted content across all network-connected devices.

So, configuring a Pi-hole on your home server enables network-wide ad-blocking, enhancing your privacy and security.

Utilizing Local DNS Servers

Using local DNS servers, such as AdGuard Home or Pi-hole, effectively improves your online experience. They intercept and filter DNS requests from all devices on your network, blocking ads and trackers at the DNS level. It has several benefits:

  • Ad-blocking lists are applied to DNS requests, ensuring that ads and trackers are blocked across all devices on your network, regardless of the web browser or application being used.
  • By preventing your devices from connecting to tracking domains, local DNS servers help protect your online privacy by preventing data from being sent to advertisers and third-party tracking companies.
  • Blocking ads and trackers can speed up your web browsing experience because your device doesn't have to download and render as much content, which is especially noticeable on slower connections.
  • Blocking ads and trackers reduces the amount of data transferred over your network, which can benefit households with limited bandwidth.

You can configure your ad-blocking rules by adding or removing specific domain names from block lists and creating custom rules for precise control. Just customize these settings at the router or device level by setting your home DNS server as the primary in your network settings.

Performance Metrics

Both products are designed to be efficient and resource-efficient, with the specific choice often depending on factors such as your hardware, preferred user interface, and required customization level. But when it comes to the performance metrics of Adguard or Pi-hole, precisely speed and efficiency, there are some key considerations to keep in mind.

Although there are no specified hardware recommendations, AdGuard Home can operate efficiently on modest hardware. It requires access to just one CPU thread and a minimum of 256 MB of RAM, with 512 MB recommended for optimal performance.

Regarding Pi-hole, hardware demands are also exceptionally modest, even when managing numerous simultaneous requests. It only necessitates access to a single CPU thread, 2 GB of disk space (with 4 GB recommended), and 512 MB of RAM.

AdGuard Home vs. Pi-hole: Speed & Efficiency

AdGuard Home is exceptionally efficient in terms of system resource usage. It is known for its low resource footprint, making it suitable for running on various platforms without straining the hardware. This efficiency ensures that the ad-blocking process doesn't bog down your network and devices.

Also, AdGuard Home offers advanced filtering capabilities that give you fine-grained control over ad and tracker blocking. While it's efficient in terms of resource usage, you can customize it to block what you want, providing an optimal balance between blocking and speed.

Like AdGuard Home, Pi-hole is designed to be resource efficient, especially on hardware such as Raspberry Pi. It consumes minimal power and system resources, making it an excellent choice for those who want to maintain a green, eco-friendly network setup.

At the same time, Pi-hole is widely supported by the community. This approach is efficient for blocking ads and trackers because the community continually updates the lists, ensuring that you have access to an extensive and evolving set of ad-blocking rules.

It's also worth noting that AdGuard Home typically uses fewer system resources than Pi-Hole, making it a superior option for devices like the Raspberry Pi. However, it's worth noting that both solutions can work fast and efficiently on various hardware setups.

Encrypted DNS Protocols

Both AdGuard Home and Pi-hole may support various encrypted DNS protocols, including DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS. Such a solution allows you to add an extra layer of security and privacy to your DNS resolution processes.


DNS-over-TLS encrypts DNS traffic using TLS, the same protocol that secures web traffic (HTTPS). This encryption ensures that DNS queries and responses are private and protected from eavesdropping.

AdGuard Home supports DNS-over-TLS. With this protocol, you can configure your devices to use this software as a DNS resolver. It encrypts DNS requests and responses, enhancing your privacy and security.

Pi-hole can also be configured to work with DNS-over-TLS, but it typically requires additional software, such as Stubby, to make the connection. This setup ensures that your DNS queries are encrypted when using Pi-hole as your DNS server.


DNS-over-HTTPS encrypts DNS traffic using the HTTPS protocol, securing DNS requests and responses. This approach relies on the existing infrastructure of web servers and browsers.

AdGuard Home provides native support for DNS-over-HTTPS. You can enable this feature in the settings to accept DNS requests from compatible clients.

Like DNS-over-TLS, Pi-hole can be configured to work with DNS-over-HTTPS using third-party software such as Cloudflared or dnscrypt-proxy. These tools act as intermediaries, forwarding DNS requests to your Pi-hole server.


DNS-over-QUIC is based on the QUIC protocol to improve the performance and security of Internet communications. It builds on the lessons learned from HTTP/2 and TLS. DNS-over-QUIC uses port 784, which differs from the traditional DNS port 53. It helps to identify and securely handle DNS-over-QUIC traffic. Since 2022, AdGuard Home has included support for this protocol.

At that time, Pi-hole also did not have native compatibility for DNS-over-QUIC. As with DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS, implementing this protocol in a Pi-hole setup would typically require additional software and configuration.

User Interface Experience

These solutions offer different user interfaces for configuring and managing their ad-blocking and DNS functionality. So which is better: AdGuard Home or Pi-hole? Let's take a closer look.

AdGuard Home

AdGuard Home provides an easy-to-use web-based interface that simplifies the setup and management of filtering rules:

  • This graphical interface is designed to be intuitive and accessible to users who may not have extensive technical expertise. It offers a more visual and straightforward way to configure settings.
  • AdGuard Home provides fine-grained control over ad and tracker blocking. You can create custom filtering rules and manage filter lists directly from the web interface.
  • A high level of customization is convenient for users who want precise control over what gets blocked and what doesn't.

In addition to ad and tracker blocking, AdGuard Home offers features such as parental controls, protection against malicious websites, and the ability to set up a VPN service for enhanced privacy.


Pi-hole's primary configuration and management is typically done through command-line interfaces:

  • While it offers a web-based interface called the Pi-hole Admin Console, it is more complex than AdGuard Home.
  • Pi-hole's web interface focuses on providing statistics and management tools for network-wide ad blocking.
  • You can view statistics on blocked ads, query logs, and manage blocklists, but the level of customization and fine-grained control may not be as extensive as what AdGuard Home offers.

Pi-hole has a dedicated user community and active forums that can be valuable for troubleshooting and getting help. While the web interface may be less user-friendly for those unfamiliar with command-line operations, community support can fill the gap.

Customer and Technical Support

AdGuard Home offers a commercial version with dedicated customer support, which can be valuable for users who want professional help. And as an open-source project, Pi-hole relies primarily on the community. There are a few other things to consider.

AdGuard Home

AdGuard Home offers both free and paid versions of its software. The paid versions come with dedicated customer support, including help with setup and troubleshooting. The developers also provide comprehensive documentation and user guides on their website. This includes installation, configuration, and common issues, making it a valuable resource for users seeking self-help solutions.

In addition, AdGuard Home has an active user community, including forums where users can ask questions, share experiences, and troubleshoot problems. While it may not be as comprehensive as commercial support, this feature can be valuable for users looking for peer-to-peer solutions.


As mentioned above, Pi-hole is an open-source, community-driven project, meaning there is no official commercial support offered directly by the project maintainers. Nevertheless, it provides extensive documentation on its website, including setup guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting tips. Users refer to this documentation for self-help on common issues.

But there's a big upside to having a large and active user community. The Pi-hole subreddit and forums are popular places for users to seek help, share solutions, and discuss their experiences. Community support is the primary way to get help with any issues.

Adguard vs. Pihole vs. Stands Adblocker

Each of these solutions has its own strengths and use cases. AdGuard is a versatile option for cross-platform ad-blocking, while Pi-hole is ideal for network-wide ad-blocking with efficient resource usage. Also, let's take a closer look at Stands AdBlocker for Google Chrome:

  • This extension is designed specifically for Google Chrome, making it a browser-centric solution.
  • Stands AdBlocker allows users to skip YouTube ads in Chrome for uninterrupted video viewing.
  • It can also remove Twitch ads from Chrome, enhancing the streaming environment.
  • Stands AdBlocker effectively blocks annoying pop-ups in the Chrome browser, providing a clutter-free web browsing experience.

Stands AdBlocker is a robust and reliable ad-blocking extension known for its rich feature set and consistent performance. Its key attributes include the flexibility of customizable settings, compatibility with major web browsers, and the unique ability to maintain a balance between user experience and the ability to support websites that rely on ad-supported revenue. You can download free ad blocker Stands from the Chrome Web Store.

Final Verdict: Pi-hole or AdGuard Home?

So, what is our final decision in the Pihole vs. AdGuard Home battle? AdGuard Home and Pi-Hole are robust DNS ad-blocking solutions that enhance online browsing by eliminating ads, trackers, and malicious content. Your choice depends on your demands, hardware limitations, and personal preferences.

AdGuard Home offers native encryption support and advanced parental control features, while Pi-Hole has a well-established and extensively supported user community. Both options offer easy setup and management, with web interfaces and command-line tools for configuration and monitoring.

FAQ about AdGuard Home vs. Pihole

Is There a Superior Alternative to Pi-Hole?

Stands Ad Blocker is proving to be a compelling alternative to Pi-hole for those who prefer a browser-centric solution. This robust Chrome extension efficiently blocks intrusive ads, improving the users' browsing comfort.

How Does AdGuard DNS Differ from Pi-Hole DNS?

AdGuard DNS is easy to set up, works across multiple devices, and doesn't require additional hardware. It offers privacy-focused features, malware protection, and customizable filtering options.

Pi-Hole, on the other hand, is a self-hosted solution that you install on your network. It provides more granular control over ad-blocking rules and works on all devices connected to your network. It's highly customizable but may require more technical expertise to set up and maintain.

Is There a More Effective Option than AdGuard?

Stands Ad Blocker is a convincing and effective alternative to AdGuard. It provides robust ad-blocking capabilities, the ability to skip YouTube and Twitch ads, and the removal of annoying pop-ups in the Chrome browser. So, Stands Ad Blocker provides an efficient, browser-centric ad-blocking experience for those who want a focused, ad-free online environment.

Is AdGuard Considered the Top Choice for Ad Blocking?

AdGuard is undoubtedly one of the top choices for preventing ads. Its user-friendly interface, customizable filtering rules, and cross-platform availability make it a popular and effective ad-blocking solution. AdGuard also offers features such as malware protection and parental controls, making it even more attractive.

While other options exist, AdGuard's comprehensive set of tools and reputation as an ad blocker that combines functionality and ease of use make it one of the best choices.