I’ve been searching the net for some time looking for current best practices to block youtube ads. I noticed many old tricks such as DNS domain blocking don’t work anymore as blocking google servers also blocks the content to watch.
I have the following hardware at my disposal:
- pfSense firewall w/ pfBlocker
- UniFi network stack
- Synology NAS
- Raspberry Pi 4 loaded with Home Assistant
Thank you kindly for any help.
Pay the fee for Youtube Premium?
I got a year free with the purchase of a Google phone about a decade ago and found it valuable enough to continue paying for it. You can have up to 6 “family members” on a YT premium subscription, plus you get commercial free, unlimited music on YT Music and a few other benefits.
Many people are spending more, especially when you include your time, to circumvent the ads than a subscription costs.
Operating a site like Youtube isn’t cheap (and if you have a workable business model for such a site without annoying ads or subscriptions, I’d like to see it), they get income from subscriptions or advertising. You choose how you want to pay for it, either with your pocketbook or your attention. Bypassing advertising from an ad supported service is essentially stealing, you taking a without paying…
Also keep in mind the content creators, like @LTS_Tom , can also monetize their videos on the platform to get a share of the subscription or advertising revenue. If revenues go down because of a reduction of CPM/CPCs, they get less for their content, and only encourages Alphabet to push more advertising on the YouTube platform for non-premium subscribers.
- Don’t watch YouTube. (I use Odysee though this will not be immune to ads forever, however I feel better about supporting this platform over Alphabet’s YouTube)
uBlock Origin works great for me
SponsorBlock to block advertisements in the video
- You can use Invidious to get around some YouTube tracking and other nonsense. It has functionality to work with SponsorBlock as well.
- On Android, I use NewPipe x SponsorBlock
- Lastly, remember to send tips directly to the content creators. Preferably using methods where the platform, credit card processor, payment processor, etc doesn’t take a cut and 100% of the donation goes to the recipient. I use Monero for this whenever I can.
@egftechman Your points are valid, I just don’t like the gilded cage of Centralized Big Tech.
The Brave browser on Android works well. Firefox with ublock origin also works. If you use the YouTube app you’ll get all the ads no matter what.
AdBlock Chrome plugin works too.
…and they still spy on everything and anything you do.
On Firefox install AdBlocker Ultimate and uBlock Origin and NoScript, works for me. Disable Web RTC is another valuable FF extension allows you to turn it on and off.
OP: Install Ad-Blocker Ultimate in your browser and setup your firewall to block adds if you are able to. Also, you might want to use pi-hole also that is very good as a DNS resolver locally on your network and can block many things. With that, nothing get’s through.
I have zero adds in any of my networks that are setup to block adds.
First off a big thank you for all that have taken the time and effort to respond. Highly appreciated!
To all: I actually meant using a central network device (firewall, NAS, pi) to serve ad blocking for the entire network, without the need to install adblocker software per device. My LG oled TV for instance could benefit from that.
I have pfSense with pfBlocker set up and it works great for ads on websites. But I still get ads in YouTube hence this topic.
@egftechman I really understand that the business model has changed over the years. And I appreciate your effort of pointing that out. However I find it difficult to adapt. Let me explain: I started using the internet decades ago when people just created content without asking money in return. So did I and I still do. There is no alternative or separate YouTube “free upload free watching” section anymore. I did not ask for this change and I don’t like it a bit. Just like I hate unsolicited newsletters from most any web shop I order from. And the effort I need to go through to undo it.
I create content on web sites (and forums too) and never ask a dime in return. Of course I understand that there are content creators that jumped in and make money. Well they don’t get mine. And Google takes the biggest stack of money anyway just by stealing and selling my private data without my permission (don’t tell me they don’t, because they do). And now here you are accusing me of stealing. You get all moral on me and even suggest I go.and.send.money.to.Google. Never. Google took WhatsApp from us, they took YouTube from us.
So far I completely banned Google and WhatsApp from my entire network. All except YouTube. So I’m going to block the ads.
I do not have such a fix for your LG TV use case. Within my home lab / home network, I used FreeTube to watch the videos LTS videos.
I understand it may not be the perfect solution, but it works for my needs.
Hope this helps…
I apologise deeply @edisondotme . Misread the name of the poster that did. I fixed it.
My suggestion to you then is to host your own peertube instance then to host videos on and invite all of the content producers you like to use that peertube instance also.
I’m not defending Alphabet’s and Meta’s tracking, etc., and definitely not saying they are good companies, but the servers, storage, bandwidth, software development, power, cooling, network and server administrators, end user support, etc. are not free, especially at YouTube scale. I’ve been doing this stuff since dial-up BBS days of the 1980s, through Fidonet, and eventually everything Internet connected. Yes, I was used to doing a lot of stuff for “free”…Especially in the BBS and early Internet days there were a lot of people just eating the costs as part of their hobby, maybe asking for donations in by users, but those hardly ever covered the operation costs and capital depreciation (i.e. computers and peripherals have to be regularly replaced)…and early “free” business models were really not sustainable, hence why the more intrusive ads and such have been implemented.
In first hand experience, self-hosting mail is not that bad, even though everyone is saying it is not worth it (been managing mail servers of all types since the mid 1990s), but self-hosting large libraries of videos or live streaming for public viewing is a nightmare, mostly because of endless storage and bandwidth issues, and especially end user/device support - although things like the VIDEO tag have made things easier (glad we’re past the days of Real, Flash and “helper applications” for web video), many mobile devices still don’t handle web video well (they want you to write an app) and publishing a HLS stream isn’t always a smooth user experience either, so it’s been much easier to just publish videos to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter (Periscope), Archive.org (no live streaming there, just recordings) and it “just works” for people and not have those end user or infrastructure issues.
If using pfSense add pfBlockerNG that also helps, as in my previous post the ad blockers in FF will also block the inserted ads on websites allowing faster load times. The ad industry has gotten out of hand especially Google that will pop an ad in the middle of someone’s sentence. The other annoying thing is pop-ups, with those sites I just dump 'em their loss not mine.