Browser extensions are the most popular tools for ad blocking. However, they have a few drawbacks.
You’ve probably heard of Pi-hole, an open source software package that runs on a Raspberry Pi and blocks ads on any device connected to your network. Pi-hole works by blocking the DNS resolution of the advertising servers. As such, it cannot block ads served from the same domain as the content. But nonetheless it is very effective at blocking the worst kind of advertising: the tracking cookies that follow you everywhere you go.
While pi-hole is efficient and cost effective, it does require you to have some technology know-how. And things can get quite complicated when you throw VPN into the mix.
This is a detailed write-up if you are interested in setting up Pi-hole by yourself:
Install Pi-hole on Raspbian Lite From Scratch
As of version v1.27, we’ve added Ad blocking to pcWRT. Behind scenes, we use the same technology Pi-hole uses. But the best thing is, you can easily enable it with a single click on the Access Control page. And if you need access to a domain that is blocked by the built-in list, just add it to the Allowed URLs box to bypass the blocking.
One of the drawbacks for technologies like pi-hole is, there’s no easy way to unblock domains that need to be unblocked. First of all, you have to find out which domains need to be unblocked. Then you need to whitelist the domains (in the pi-hole console, for example). Thirdly, you may need to repeat the previous two steps until it works. These steps are usually out-of-reach for the ordinary user.
Occasions may also come up that you need to temporarily unblock some domains, or open up ads entirely.
As of version v2.0.6, we’ve added a link on the router login page for the user to suspend/pause/resume ad blocking on demand. The actions taken affect the current user only. For example, if Joe clicks suspend ad blocking on his computer, it is suspended only for him. Other users on the same network still has ad blocking enabled.
For easy access, it is recommended that you bookmark the Ad block Control page in your browser.
Apparently, when you are outside of the house, the ad blocking functionality you set up on your home network is no longer effective. However, since the pcWRT router has built-in support for VPN server, you can bring it on the road with you by setting up a VPN server and connect back to the house.
If you use Pi-hole, you can achieve the same with a pi-hole + pivpn combination.