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pfblockerng vs pihole

PfBlockerng vs Pi-hole

January 16, 2024


Online advertising has led many users to search for practical solutions to block this unwanted content on their networks. This blog will explore pfBlockerNG and Pi-hole, two outstanding tools for managing ad blocking on the Web.

Discover how they work and their features to make informed decisions about your online safety. In addition, we will explore how they integrate with pfSense, an open-source firewall platform, and share real user experiences to provide practical insight into these solutions.

Join us to discover the best option for your ad blocking and network security needs!

Understanding Network-Based Ad Blocking

Network-based ad blocking involves using solutions to filter and block online ads. These methods operate at the entire network level and intercept ad requests considered malicious for the benefit of all devices connected to the network. It can be implemented using specialized tools such as Pi-hole and pfBlockerNG or other DNS-based content filtering services.

And how do Network-Based Ad Blockers work?

  • They prevent Ad load by blocking requests to domains known to contain ads, improving browsing speed.
  • They enable centralized management of ad filtering, facilitating personalization from a single point of control.
  • They prevent the display of advertisements on a network-wide basis, offering benefits such as faster browsing, greater control, and privacy.

Overview of Pi-hole and PfBlockerng

Let's discover the main features that network-wide ad-blocking services such as PfBlockerng vs. Pi-hole offer, the more powerful firewall tool, and a more straightforward option to enhance your protection online.

What is Pi-hole?

Pi-hole is a Linux-based content filtering and DNS management solution that blocks network advertisements, trackers, and malware. But first, if you are still new to these concepts, what exactly is a DNS? A DNS stands for "Domain Name System," which is the Web's phone book that organizes and identifies domains, which are unique names shown after the @ sign-in email addresses and after www. in web addresses.

So content filtering and DNS management solutions like Pi-hole work by intercepting DNS requests and filtering out all unwanted domains before they reach network devices. Pi-hole uses predefined lists of domains that contain advertisements and malware and blocks them, thus improving your browsing experience and protection.

What is PfBlockerng?

PfBlockerNG is a software package for the pfSense operating system, a firewall/router computer software distribution based on FreeBSD, an operating system used to power modern servers and desktops. PfBlockerNG adds advanced filtering, blocking, IP, and domain list management features.

It allows you to block Internet traffic from specific IP addresses, which may belong to particular countries and regions, protecting your network from hackers and malicious attempts. Also, PfBlockerNG is especially useful if you are looking for more control over network traffic, security, and privacy, and it allows you to customize and strengthen your network security.

pihole vs pfsense

Key Features and Differences

Pi-hole: Features and Capabilities

  • Complete network protection: You can protect all your devices by installing Pi-hole. Pi-hole filters all requests on your network, blocking advertisements and malware and protecting any connected devices on your network.
  • Ad blocking features: As a DNS server, Pi-hole can also block web pages and advertisements in non-traditional places, such as mobile applications and smart TVs, regardless of the hardware or operating system.
  • Improve network performance: With Pi-hole, you can browse more securely and without ads on websites and applications, reducing bandwidth and data consumption on mobile devices.
  • Easy configuration: Pi-hole is easy to install and configure and provides many tutorials for its correct use. It does not require advanced technical knowledge; once it is up and running, it works in the background without requiring constant intervention.

PfBlockerng: Features and Capabilities

  • IP and Domain Filtering: Because PfBlockerNG allows you to block traffic based on IP addresses and domain names (DNS), you can block ads, trackers, malware, and other threats.
  • Predefined and custom lists: PFBlocker allows you to create custom lists of IPs, domains, and networks you want to block. It will help restrict access to specific network resources or block suspicious traffic.
  • Geolocation blocking: PFBlocker can block traffic based on the geographic location of IPs. It helps restrict access from particular regions and reduce threats from specific areas.
  • Real-time threats: Adding real-time threat feeds to PFBlocker enables a more effective response to emerging threats, protecting the network from recent attacks.

Comparative Analysis: Pi-hole vs. Pfblockerng

Pi-hole and pfBlockerNG offer similar services but differ in their approach and functionalities. Below, you will find this information in much more detail.

pfsense vs pihole

Setting Up and Using Pi-hole and PfBlockerng

How to Set Up Pi-hole?

To set up Pi-hole step by step, you must ensure your device is compatible with Raspberry Pi OS, Armbian OS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or CentOS Stream.

  1. Connect your device to the network and access it via SSH or directly if you are using a monitor and keyboard.
  2. Download Pi-hole by running the command: "curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash."
  3. Follow the instructions to configure the Pi-hole, set the network interface, configure the upstream DNS server, and adjust the settings.
  4. Select your block lists, including advertisements and trackers.
  5. Configure your router to use Pi-hole's IP address as the primary DNS server; this way, Pi-hole will redirect all DNS requests to filter them.
  6. Use the user interface to monitor the blocking statistics and make additional adjustments.

How to Set Up PfBlockerng?

To configure PfBlockerNG in PfSense, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log into the PfSense administration panel using a web browser and install PfBlockerNG.
  2. Click on "System," choose "Package Manager," then go to "Available Packages," and search for "PfBlockerNG" to install.
  3. Once the installation is finished, go to "Firewall" and select "PfBlockerNG." 
  4. In the "General" tab, activate the "Enable PfBlockerNG" option and remember to save the changes.
  5. Go to the "DNSBL" tab to configure and add blocking lists according to your preferences. 
  6. Configure blocking rules based on IP address and the "GeoIP" tab to block or allow specific countries.
  7. In the "Update" tab, configure the update frequency of the block lists.
  8. Finally, return to the "General" tab, enable " Enable PfBlockerNG, " and save the changes.

pfblocker vs pihole

Pros and Cons: PfBlockerng vs Pi-hole

Are you ready to analyze PfBlockerNG and Pi-hole and their strengths and drawbacks to improve online security?

Advantages of Pi-hole

  • Ad blocking capabilities: Pi-hole can prevent ads and malware from reaching your devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. 
  • Site blocking and tracking: Pi-hole allows users to block unwanted sites or trackers, but it is necessary to configure it as a DNS server. 
  • Optimizes bandwidth usage: Pi-hole can reduce bandwidth and data consumption, preventing unwanted traffic from reaching your devices.
  • User-friendly web interface: Pi-hole is straightforward to use and includes reporting and graphing features, which can provide a detailed view of blocking activity.

Limitations of Pi-hole

  • Blocking valid domains: There is a possibility that Pi-hole may inadvertently block legitimate content when using block lists, which could affect services or websites that are not intrusive. 
  • Periodic updating of blocklists and safelists: Blocking lists must be updated regularly to maintain effectiveness, and users must be aware of potential software updates. 
  • Compatibility issues with other DNS services: Potential compatibility issues exist with other DNS services when using Pi-hole. 

Advantages of PfBlockerng

  • Versatility: PfBlockerNG offers increased versatility by adding feeds and synchronizing different items, which extends its filtering capabilities.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness: PfBlockerNG provides a set of rules integrated into the firewall, making it more efficient and effective in blocking unwanted traffic.
  • Great content filtering control: PfBlockerNG has an advantage over Pi-Hole in functionality and customizability, giving users greater control over content filtering.

Limitations of PfBlockerng

  • Needs a PF Sense firewall: PfBlockerNG is designed for the PF Sense firewall, which means that a compatible device is required to use it.
  • Steeper learning curve: PfBlockerNG's advanced features may require more firewall configurations and rule-creation knowledge.
  • Possible false positives: It may incorrectly block legitimate domains or IP addresses, which could affect the functionality of certain websites or services.

pihole vs pfblockerng

Integration with pfSense

PfSense manages network traffic in home and business environments through a web interface using features such as packet filtering and virtual private networks (VPNs). Its versatility and ability to run on dedicated or virtualized hardware makes PfSense a popular security choice. Let's take a look at its integration with Pi-hole and PfBlockerng.

Pi-hole and pfSense: Combining Forces

PfSense and Pi-hole create a robust, flexible network environment that addresses security and ad blocking. Using pfSense in conjunction with Pi-hole can be beneficial for the following reasons: 

  • PfSense provides robust firewall capabilities, improving overall network security.
  • PfSense supports the implementation of VPNs, providing secure remote access to your network. 
  • Running both on the same device enables centralized management, making configuration easy.

PfBlockerng and PfSense: A Seamless Integration

Using PfSense together with PfBlockerNG provides a centralized and versatile approach to network security, offering various benefits for managing your network security:

  • PfSense is a comprehensive platform providing firewall capabilities, VPN support, and traffic management.
  • By combining PfBlockerNG with PfSense, you can block malicious domains, advertisements, and unwanted content.
  • Managing PfSense and PfBlockerNG from a single interface simplifies configuration and maintenance tasks. 

User Experiences and Community Feedback

Below are some online user reviews of using Pi-hole and PfBlockerng so that you can study which option is more convenient for you.

Real-World Experiences with Pi-hole

  • Pi-hole eliminates the need for extensions or ad blockers on individual devices. 
  • Users have observed decreased web page load times and data consumption, which is especially beneficial for those with limited bandwidth or using mobile data. 
  • Users have reported a decrease in the number of tracking cookies and a reduction in exposure to potentially harmful content. 
  • Some difficulties may arise in adding HTTPS support to the web browser.
  • If you are interested in blocking streaming ads, Pi-hole may not be a good option since the Pi-hole site explicitly says it does not block YouTube ads.

Real-World Experiences with PfBlockerng

  • PfBlockerNG blocks ads, web tracking, malware, and ransomware. 
  • Users reported not needing to use apps, add-ons, or their devices to enhance protection since PfBlockerng covers everything connected to the network.
  • PfBlockerng is effective in blocking ads that are inside apps.
  • Users reported enhanced device protection even away from home since they can connect to their network via VPN.
  • It may be challenging to set up for some users without technical knowledge.
  • Blocking YouTube ads may be difficult.
  • It only works in PfSense, immediately putting it out of reach for many people. 

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Pfsense & Pi-Hole

Stands Adblocker: An Emerging Alternative

Why Consider Stands Adblocker?

Effective managing unwanted ads and potentially dangerous material has become essential for any Internet user. However, why is opting for specific solutions such as ad blockers rather than relying on network-based ad blocking also excellent?

Discover the advantages that make ad blockers undoubtedly position themselves as a relevant and practical choice in managing unwanted advertising. Discover the best adblock free online!

Advantages of Stands Adblocker Over Traditional Options

Stands AdBlocker is a 100% free adblocking solution that will offer you everything you need to control your online privacy and eliminate all those annoying ads! Stands Adblocker has all the following features to offer and more!

  • Protection against malware: Ad blockers block annoying and malicious ads, protecting your privacy and security online.
  • Smooth browsing: Say goodbye to any advertisement interrupting your browsing experience. 
  • Optimizing loading speed and performance: Since ads often contribute to slow web page loading and bandwidth consumption, blocking them improves your internet experience.
  • Easy to use and set: Network-based ad blocking is more complex for users without the technical skills to set and understand. On the contrary, ad blockers such as Stands are much more straightforward to use.
  • Data security: Stands Adblocker will avoid tracking and stopping companies from following your online activity and gathering private information. 
  • Protecting your kids online: Stands Adblocker protects your kids online, hiding all inappropriate and adult content, such as material that can be upsetting, disturbing, or offensive. 

Would you like to know more about security? Discover the best AdBlocker for Android!

Making a choice: Which One is Right for You?

Factors to Consider in Choosing Between PfBlockerng and Pi-hole

If you still don't know which one is best for your needs, here are three factors to consider:

Integration with the operating system and hardware:

  • pfBlockerNG: It is a tool based on pfSense, an open-source firewall operating system. 
  • Pi-hole: It is a standalone solution that can run on various operating systems, such as Linux, and you can install it on specific hardware. 

Functionality and flexibility:

  • pfBlockerNG: It offers an advanced set of filtering features, including IP and DNS lists, and reasonable terms of control and customization.
  • Pi-hole: It is known for its simplicity and effectiveness in filtering ads and trackers through DNS. It is easy to configure and use.

Community and support:

  • pfBlockerNG: You can use pfBlockerNG's active community to get support.
  • Pi-hole: Due to its popularity, you will find many online resources related to Pi-hole.

Keep making better-informed decisions: 1Blocker vs. AdGuard?

Recommendations Based on Use Cases

Choosing between pfBlockerNG and Pi-hole will depend on your specific needs. However, you can start by considering their infrastructure, complexity, and integration. And, of course, don't rule out great alternative options such as Stands Adblocker!

Discover more about the best Ad Block for Firefox.


Future of Network-Based Ad Blocking

In summary, choosing pfBlockerNG and Pi-hole involves weighing specific needs and preferences. Pi-hole stands out for its simplicity and protection for all devices on the network, while pfBlockerNG, integrated with pfSense, offers greater control and customization. The decision will depend on existing infrastructure, preference for simplicity or customization, and available technical expertise.

We have also explored Stands Adblocker as a flexible and easy-to-use alternative. Consider these aspects to make an informed decision that aligns with your individual ad blocking and network security requirements. Explore the detailed features, test the solutions, and determine which suits your environment and preferences best. Discover the best adblock free online!


Difference Between Pfblockerng And Pfblockerng-devel?

The main difference between pfBlockerNG and pfBlockerNG-devel lies in their development status. However, their choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

How To Install Pfblockerng On Pfsense?

To install PfBlockerNG in PfSense, log into the pfSense administration panel, select "System," and select "Package Manager." In the "Available Packages" tab, find pfBlockerNG and click "Install." Confirm the installation, and once installed, access the pfBlockerNG settings in the "Firewall" tab and configure the block lists, feeds, and other options according to your needs. Remember to save the changes.

How do you remove Pfblocker on Pfsense?

Log in to the PfSense administration panel, select "System," and select "Package Manager." In the "Installed Packages" tab, find PfBlockerNG and click the "Uninstall" button. Confirm and wait for the process to complete. Review the firewall rules created by PfBlockerNG and adjust them if necessary.

How To Test Pfblockerng?

After installing PfBlockerNG, access its settings from the "Firewall" tab in the administration panel. Configure the blocking lists according to your preferences. Visit websites known to contain ads or malware to verify that PfBlockerNG is blocking access to them.

How To Enable Pfblockerng?

After installing it from the "Package Manager," go to the "Firewall" tab in the PfBlockerNG administration panel. Click on "PfBlockerNG" and then the "General" tab. Enable the "Enable pfBlockerNG" option and save the changes.