If you know me or have any of my recent posts, you know I am a staunch advocate of internet privacy and security. I take every possible step to navigate through the advertisement and tracking riddled online world even if it costs me time and actual money. I pay for services (eg YouTube and many android apps) when I can so that I can get an ad-free experience, block ads and trackers using various means if paying is not an option and even go to the extent of entirely abandoning the use of any such service which can’t be modified to my ad/tracking free needs. If you want to know what I do to achieve this, you can read about it here.
Over the years, after having discussed privacy and security issues with a lot of friends and peers, I have realized that although most of them think like me and agree with me on many points - most of them are themselves not able to take these steps simply because of the steps required to set up all the blockers. Things that come naturally to me and seem mostly effortless are pretty complicated and confusing for most of my non-technical friends. They will install browser extensions and even new browsers if I ask them to but expecting them to build a physical network-wide adblocker would be a huge ask.
So this is what I propose. I will build a physical, hardware adblocker completely set up for use and send it to you. All you will have to do is just give it your wifi settings, make a small change in your router (optional) and you will be good to go. You can then simply hide this tool somewhere in your house, plugged into power, where it will silently block and trackers across all devices connected to your network. This means not just phones and laptops but all smart devices in your network which are potentially tracking you.
- You make the payment and send me your delivery address.
- I procure the parts needed, build and setup the Pi-Hole and send it to you with a proper set of instructions. You will get the same configuration I use myself. No compromises there.
- You get the delivery (Yay!)
- You setup your Pi-Hole with your wifi details so that it can be connected to your network. (I will send you detailed instructions)
- [Optional but recommended step] You make a small change in your router settings so that your router can send all traffic to the adblocker. If you do this step you will not have to change settings in individual devices.
- Update settings in your device where you want ads/tracking blocked.
- Profit!! (Literally. This device will conserve bandwidth, protect you from malicious actors and improve overall performance)
It will cost you Rs 5000. The payment needs to be made in advance since I will only build procure the parts once I get your request.
- You will be getting a Raspberry Pi Zero W with PiHole installed and setup as an adblocker. You can do some more research about both of these (recommended).
- The delivery will take time. I will order parts only when I have your time. So factor in the time for them to reach me, them for me to set it up and them the time it will take to reach you.
- Guaranty/Warranty - I will test everything before I send it to you and will walk you through any problems you face during the setup. There are very few moving parts in the whole system so the chances of anything breaking is very low. But if for any reason the device stops performing, I will help you troubleshoot and fix the problem. In the worst case, I will get you to send the device back to me and I’ll fix and send it back to you. Please don’t expect any industry-standard SLAs or warranties for me. I am not trying to run a business and make money. I am doing this more as a favor for friends.
- Any hardware failure due to mishandling, physical damage, water damage, electrical surges will not be repaired by me. That much is common sense and should be understood.
- I will send you all the relevant documentation and resources related to setup and normal running. In case you still face any issues the documentation cannot resolve, I will help you troubleshoot that. You will have to be accommodating of my schedule though.
If you know me then ping me on my phone or whatever social media we have in common. If we don’t know each other, you can ping me on Twitter or LinkedIn(preferred).
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex