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How to Run Netgear Orbi With Pi Hole/Raspberry Pi?

Combining a Netgear Orbi router system with a Pi-Hole (on a Raspberry Pi 4) will allow you to enjoy a network-wide ad-blocker and improve your browsing experience on all devices connected to your network. Let’s dive into the setup process:

What You’ll Need:

  • Raspberry Pi 4: With power supply and preferably a case.
  • MicroSD Card: 8GB or more.
  • Netgear Orbi Router.
  • PC: For initial setup.
  • MicroSD Card Reader: To install the operating system (OS) on the SD card.

Step 1: Set Up Raspberry Pi

Just like the steps from the previous guide, let’s:

  • Install Raspberry Pi OS: Use the “Lite” version as we don’t need a desktop environment for Pi-Hole. You can flash it using BalenaEtcher.
  • Enable SSH: Don’t forget to add an empty file named “ssh” in the boot partition of the MicroSD card to enable SSH.
  • Configure Wi-Fi (if not using Ethernet): If you’re connecting your Raspberry Pi 4 to Wi-Fi, ensure you’ve added the “wpa_supplicant.conf” to the boot partition with your Wi-Fi details.
  • Insert the MicroSD: Place it in your Raspberry Pi, connect to power, and let it boot up.

Step 2: SSH into Raspberry Pi

  • Retrieve Pi’s IP Address: Find the Raspberry Pi’s IP address from your Orbi Router’s attached devices list.
  • SSH: Use a tool like PuTTY, and connect using the username pi and password raspberry.

Step 3: Install Pi-Hole

  • Update and Upgrade: Let’s ensure your Pi is updated.
    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
  • Install Pi-Hole: Begin installation with:
    curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash
  • Setup Wizard: Follow through the setup, select your desired settings, and ensure you note down the admin login password given at the end.

Step 4: Setup Netgear Orbi to Work with Pi-Hole

  • Login to Orbi: Open a web browser, enter http://orbilogin.com or http://192.168.1.1, and log in using your credentials.
  • DNS Settings: Navigate to the Internet setup or DNS settings (depending on your firmware version):
    • Internet Setup: Modify the Domain Name Server (DNS) Address to ‘Use These DNS Servers’.
    • Input the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in the “Primary DNS” field.
    • You can leave “Secondary DNS” blank or add a backup DNS (like Google’s 8.8.8.8) but note that queries to the backup DNS won’t be filtered by Pi-Hole.
    • Save/Apply your changes.
  • DHCP Settings (Optional, for better reporting):
    • Disable Orbi DHCP: Navigate to the “LAN Setup” and disable the DHCP server feature.
    • Enable Pi-Hole DHCP: Visit the Pi-Hole admin console (by entering your Pi’s IP address followed by /admin in a web browser), navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘DHCP’ and enable the DHCP server there. Ensure the IP range matches your network’s IP range.

Step 5: Manage and Monitor Pi-Hole

  • Access the Admin Console: Using a browser, go to http://[your-pi-ip-address]/admin.
  • Login: Utilize the password you noted down during the Pi-Hole setup.
  • Monitor and Control: Explore the dashboard, monitor queries, blacklist or whitelist domains, and more.

Step 6: Test Your Setup

  • Connect a Device: Ensure a device is connected to the Orbi network.
  • Browse: Visit a few websites or use apps and ensure ads are being blocked.
  • Check Queries: Revisit the Pi-Hole admin console to see the queries being processed and blocked.

Voilà! Your Netgear Orbi is now set up to work seamlessly with Pi-Hole on your Raspberry Pi 4, providing an ad-free browsing experience across your network. This should cover your entire network, but individual device settings can be adjusted if needed. Feel free to explore more about Pi-Hole and its capabilities to make the most of it.

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