Swiss
8 min readJun 29, 2022

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Stop All Ads on your Home Network without an Ad-Blocker. Nothing to pay, Nothing to download, No software needed

Advertisements Everywhere

It seems that wherever you go on the internet you are plagued by advertisements. Some ads disguise themselves as news stories so they can take you to pages with even more ads. The rest are just intrusive.

Look at the webpage below. There are ads on three sides of the article. I find it so intrusive to see these.

Advertisements are everywhere

No advertisements at all

Would you like to eliminate ads from entering your WiFi network? Below I will show you how to do it.

Compare the screenshots below

Look at the two screenshots of the weather.com page below. It’s the same page, but the one on the left has an advertisement at the top and another along the right-hand side. The same page on the right has no advertisements. Which would you prefer?

Which do you prefer? With, or without ads?

No ads will reach any device on your network

This means that any, each and every device, such as a computer, laptop, iPad, or phone which is on your WiFi network will be able to surf the net without seeing any ads. It does not matter whether you are running Windows. Android, iOS, MacOS, or UNIX. Your operating system doesn’t matter. If a friend brings his phone into your home, and it connects to your WiFi, he will stop seeing ads. It does not matter what device he uses. It does not matter which browser he has. The advertisements just won’t be there.

Nothing to pay, nothing to download, no software needed, nothing to install on your devices or router.

There’s nothing to install, nothing to download, no software to run, no ad-blocker or anything like that needed. If you are running an ad-blocker on your computer, you won’t need it anymore.

Instructions

If the following instructions seem complicated or scary. They’re not. Anyone who can read can do this. You don’t need to be a geek. You don’t need to know anything about technology. Even the technology challenged can do this. Anyone who has ever created any kind of account (Facebook, Twitter, a bank profile, or anywhere else) will find this straight-forward.

You can’t damage your network or lose your connection. If you discover that you want everything back the way it was, just change your DNS back to “Automatic”. More detailed instructions are below.

Simple instructions

Visit https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/and create a free OpenDNS Home account. You will need it later. It’s free of charge — forever.

https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/

Do not create a business account. Business accounts give you a free trial after which they ask you for money. You only need a Home account. OpenDNS is owned by Cisco Systems Inc — the World’s no 1 designer and manufacturer of internet network equipment. It’s a very reputable company with $50 billion in sales.

https://fortune.com/company/cisco-systems/

Login to OpenDNS using the user name and password you just created.

https://login.opendns.com/

Find out the IP address of your router (usually it’s 192.168.1.1). This is NOT your home IP address!

How to find the IP address of your Router (Mac)

To see the IP address of your router on a Mac, click on the little Apple at the top left of your monitor and select System Preferences. Click “Network”, then “Advanced”, then TCP/IP

How to find the IP address of your Router (Windows)

Right-click the Start button then select Command Prompt. In the Command Prompt window, enter “ipconfig” and press the [Enter]. The numbers indicated on the Default Gateway section is your router’s IP Address.

Access the Router

Type the IP address (usually 192.168.1.1) into your browser.

How to access your Browser’s settings

When the router page comes up you may need to enter the router’s user name (often “admin”) and password — which is usually found on the bottom or back of the router device. If you previously enabled parental controls, you may need to disable them.

Your router page will look different depending on the brand

Depending on the router model you will need to click on the “Advanced” tab, or turn on “Expert mode” (if not already on), and if available enter the control panel

Your options may look different

Select “Network”, “Network Settings”, “Setup”, “Internet Setup” or just “Settings” depending on the option available. If you are not sure how to reach your control panel, just google your router’s brand and “Network Settings” or “Router login”, e.g. google for “Netgear Router login

Scroll down to where it says “DNS Server” or “Domain Name Server (DNS Address”. You may see a choice of “Automatic” or “Manual”.

Look for the DNS Server section

You will see some IP addresses in the boxes marked “DNS Server 1” and “DNS Server 2”. On a Netgear router they will be called “Primary DNS” and “Secondary DNS”. Usually you don’t need to write these numbers down if “Automatic” is selected, but write them down anyway — just in case.

Change the DNS Server from “Automatic” to “Manuel” or to “Use These DNS Servers”. You will possibly see some kind of warning. You can safely click “OK”.

Here is how it looks on a Netgear Router:

Go to the box DNS Server 1 (or Primary DNS) and change the IP address to 208.67.222.222

Go to the box DNS Server 2 (or Secondary DNS) and change the IP address to 208.67.220.220

You can find both of the above numbers on the bottom of the support page of OpenDNS.

Change the DNS Server numbers as above

If the above instructions don’t seem to correspond to your own router, you can find precise instructions for 100s of router models here.

Don’t forget to SAVE your changes. After saving you can exit your internet box to visit other pages if you wish.

Check your browser is still working as normal by visiting some web pages. You will still be seeing ads, like before. Nothing has changed yet.

Now return to the OpenDNS website, make sure you are logged in, and click on “Dashboard”.

You should see 6 tabs, “Home”, “Stats”, “Settings”, “My Account”, “Support” and “Tell a Friend”. Click on “Settings”.

Now go to “Add a Network” and type your home IP address. If you are not sure what it is just type “What’s my IP address?” into your browser and you will have the answer. HINT: Make sure you are not using VPN or it will give you the VPN’s IP address instead of your own.

Click “Add This Network”. A pop-up will ask you to give the network a name. I called it “My Home”. You should tick the box “Dynamic” network.

There is no need to download the software

There is no need to download the OpenDNS Updater software. You can do it later if you find your IP address is frequently changing.

Click “Done” and they will send you an email which in you need to click to confirm your ownership of the IP.

After you have added your IP Network you should see your IP address listed in Settings under the heading “Your Networks”.

Click on your IP address. You will reach the “Web Content Filtering” page. This is where you are going to enter which advertisers to block.

Scroll down to the section “Manage individual domains”. Here you will enter the domains of the main advertisers. The most prolific advertisers are: doubleclick.net, googleads.com, googleadservices.com, googlesyndication.com, criteo.com, outbrain.com, and taboola.com. However you can add more advertisers later as you discover them. In the picture below you can see all the advertising domains that I have blocked. The list below eliminates close to 100% of the ads you would have otherwise seen.

Now you will need to wait a few minutes. Soon the advertisements should be gone from the webpages you visit. If not, you need to find out who is delivering the ad to the webpage and add the advertiser’s domain to the above “Always Block” list.

What is DNS? How does it work?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. When you type a name into the internet like “Facebook.com”, you are really looking for its IP address. This is just like when you look in the phone book for a company name, you are really looking for its telephone number. The IP addresses contained in the two DNS boxes mentioned earlier in this article are like the phone books. They point to tables of domain names and the corresponding IP addresses. By changing the DNS numbers in your router, you are simply telling your router to lookup the IP address of Facebook.com in a different phonebook. The difference between the previous DNS numbers found on your router and the new ones from OpenDNS is that you can configure tables that the new ones point to. You can configure them so they don’t deliver text or pictures from advertisers like googleads.com. It’s like crossing out a telephone number in your phonebook.

How does it look without the ads?

Here is the website shown at the top of this article, after changing my DNS numbers, This time the ads are gone. It’s just white space instead. It looks so much better, doesn’t it?

This webpage looks so much better with the advertisements removed.

What else can I block?

You will have noticed that OpenDNS allows you to block all kinds of categories such as adult-related sites, gaming or gambling. So for example if you don’t want anything related to Alcohol you could click “Custom — choose the categories you want to block”, and then select “Alcohol”, and hit “Apply”. After doing this, visitors to your home would not be able to visits sites like whiskey.com or heineken.com. You can however allow access to specific sites. So for example you could add “Never Block” to Heineken.com whilst blocking access to all other alcohol related sites.

Customisation

You can customise the blank space where the ad used to be by inserting your own text and pictures. While in the OpenDNS dashboard, go to settings and click on “Customisation” from the menu on the left

Using VPN

Turning on your VPN will change your IP address to that given by the VPN provider. This means that any restrictions won’t work. When you are using VPN, you will see the advertisements just like before.

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