- Apr 24, 2016
This article was written based on a talk given by Adguard's CTO and co-founder Andrey Meshkov at Ad Blocker Dev Summit 2021.
So you can either watch the video or read this text to learn about content blocking at scale.
Absolutely everything is connected to the Internet these days, from TV to smart light bulbs, from mobile devices to smart auto. Given that ads and ad trackers are everywhere the Internet is, a browser-based ad blocker seems to be not enough. It provides just a tiny window into the "better Internet" without aggressive and intrusive banners vying for your attention. But what if you want to widen this "window" and have it all?
Then buckle up and get ready for a fascinating journey through the past, present, and future of DNS filtering. Why? Because DNS is the answer!
- Does not require installing additional software.
- Does not depend on the browser or OS vendor.
- No performance cost.
- Running a public DNS server allows you to observe the whole Internet. This is very useful if you maintain a blocklist. You can get rid of unused rules and promptly learn about new threats. DNS has no blind spots since it observes all devices and not just the browsers.
- Centralized solution is better at dealing with some issues.
- Cannot deal with first-party ads. For instance, you can’t block YouTube video ads because they are hosted on the same domain as legitimate videos.
- No cosmetic filtering. With DNS blocking alone you may not have most of the ads, but you have rather ugly web pages with broken frames and ad placeholders.
- Higher chance of breakage. For instance, some apps or websites may be broken due to blocked Google Analytics, and you can do nothing with that.
- Easier to circumvent. An app may simply choose to use a different DNS server.
How DNS can widen the window to the "better Internet" without ads and trackers? Let's take a look at content blocking at scale with AdGuard's co-founder and CTO Andrey Meshkov.