Are you annoyed by website ads? Do you know who is tracking your web browsing habits? Firewalla's built-in ad blocker can make sure you don't see ads and ads don't see you.
Firewalla's Ad Block feature will block ads for both web pages and mobile apps. Under the hood, our service points your currently configured DNS server to our internal DNS cache on the box. A side benefit of this is your DNS lookup will be very fast which is a terrific bonus.
To turn on this feature, just tap on the Ad Block button on the main page, then toggle it on.
Strict Mode and Target Lists
If you tap on Mode, you can switch the mode from Default to Strict (box version 1.972 or higher). Strict mode will trigger ad blocker detection more often, meaning it blocks more ads than default mode.
While Firewalla already has an extensive amount of security data that we use to block ads and judge the security of your connections, you can also upload your own Target Lists in case you have a lot of custom targets or you want to use a pre-existing target list. Read more about how to use Target Lists.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How do I know if Ad Block is working?
To test if Firewalla Ad Block is working, visit one of these websites:
You should see "No more ads" if it is working.
2. I have turned on Ad Block, but it is not working.
Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android all cache DNS entries. If you have just turned on ad blocking, your DNS may still be using the old server. Try to flush the DNS cache first. For iPhone and Android, the easiest way to clear your DNS cache is to switch to airplane mode on and off. For laptops and desktops, just wait several minutes, or restart.
If your devices are connected to VPN, please make sure the option "Force DNS over VPN" is off.
3. Why isn't Ad Block blocking every ad?
Firewalla's Ad Block is a lot weaker than many of the desktop versions of Ad Block. Yes, we acknowledge that. Here is the reason: in order to block ads more effectively, an ad blocker needs to access your data stream and manipulate unencrypted data. Firewalla by design will never ever look at your data, and will only look at metadata. That's why Firewalla will only block certain types of ads, not all. Because of this, Firewalla can not block YouTube ads. We still efficiently block ads from well-known ad sites.
We stand by our commitment to never look at your data or pass your data to a third-party service!
4. Why is my browsing experience different after turning on Ad Block?
Adblock is NOT a normal feature to have. It is like a cat-and-mouse game of advertiser platforms pushing ads and ad blockers intercepting them. Technology will move forward, and so your normal browsing experience may be disturbed. For example:
- You may be experiencing content not loading...
- The website may complain that you have an ad blocker on...
- Some sites may not load due to an ad blocker...
When this happens, please disable Ad Block. Also, if you can send us the link that's causing trouble to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will help us to improve our accuracy over time.
We do not, and will never ever claim we can block all ads. That's just impossible.
Understand that the strict ad block option is not 'Mature" at this time.
as feedback please note that the strict Ad Block does limit access to Tubi TV (https://tubitv.com/)
Once you set Ad Bock back to Default you can again access Tubi TV.
Found this on all devices - laptops/IOS/Roku/Browsers
Adblocking in general will never be mature. Adblocking is tricky, and both an art and science. So as the reason we have a strict and a not-so-strict version of the blocks. Some of you are more sensitive to ads, some are not, so pick your Adblock mode wisely. Strict mode will always cause issues ... (remember, adblocking is not a natural thing to do)
@Pieter for your particular problem, you can add a rule to "allow" the site you can't access. That rule will give an exception to the adblocker.
When you are adding the rule, make sure it applies to the same devices that you have adblocker on.
i'm using pi-hole and i'm happy with that. So i don't use Ad Block in firewalla blue at my home. But i have placed a firewalla red at my parents home (my first firewalla). Because my parents don't have pi-hole, i've activated Ad Block in their firewalla red.
Is there any way to see what was blocked? Similar to pi-hole? And if sth is not working, see what was blocked and set to white-list?
Actually there's just the setting to turn on or off Ad Block, choose between default or strickt mode and choose a group or all devices. But no blocklistings, no further information like in pi-hole.
@firewalla I'd like to see the option to add specific domains to the whitelist; could you add it to your list of requested features?
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