Blocking Youtube Ads



  • A few second ad is a small price to pay for the free, educational, entertaining content people provide on Youtube. Keep in mind some of the people providing that content rely on the ad revenue to continue providing that free content. That's like going to a museum with a "suggested donation" and not paying anything. It's thinking like that which turns free services into paid services. Once enough people decided I should stop watching ads, Youtube decides I should start charging for what was free before since I'm no longer making enough ad revenue on this platform.



  • The corollary of course is when you drop money in the suggested donation box, and then a hammer pops out of the box and hits you in the crotch.

    Too many bad actors in every ad network on Earth posting shady ads or malware for me to every trust an ad network ever again.



  • That is true as well. In the case of Youtube specifically though, the actors are usually quite good. Which is why we watch their content. I block ads on websites here at work so I'm hypocritical in that sense. I do it for security purposes, which proves exactly your point. There are a lot of bad actors out there trying to do harm.



  • The blocking files block YouTube ads when watching using a web browser. I do get YouTube ads when using the app on my iPad or streaming media player.



  • @xentrk said in Blocking Youtube Ads:

    The blocking files block YouTube ads when watching using a web browser. I do get YouTube ads when using the app on my iPad or streaming media player.

    That's exactly what I am noticing. The web browsers are fine, it is the Amazon Fire TV's and Google TV's that still get ads. Sometimes my tablet and phone as well. There must be something else with those Android devices that allow them through.



  • @thezfunk
    The devices DNS configuration point to pfsense ?



  • @ronpfs said in Blocking Youtube Ads:

    @thezfunk
    The devices DNS configuration point to pfsense ?

    Absolutely.


  • Moderator

    @thezfunk said in Blocking Youtube Ads:

    @xentrk said in Blocking Youtube Ads:

    The blocking files block YouTube ads when watching using a web browser. I do get YouTube ads when using the app on my iPad or streaming media player.

    That's exactly what I am noticing. The web browsers are fine, it is the Amazon Fire TV's and Google TV's that still get ads. Sometimes my tablet and phone as well. There must be something else with those Android devices that allow them through.

    DNS over HTTPS :)



  • @bbcan177

    Anyway to get around that on Android?



  • @thezfunk I’d packet capture the dns queries made by those devices and see what comes up.



  • I wonder if I block all traffic to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 will solve the issue since I don't use them for DNS anyway. I am sure Google must be using their servers for that purpose.



  • Any update to the 8.8.8.8 block ???



  • @BBcan177 just out of curiosity is blocking youtube ads still doable ? It worked for me a long time ago... thanks


  • Moderator

    @reg1982 I think it's always going to be hit and miss. There are some feeds that might help but YMMV.



  • Not quite sure if I should put this in this thread or the pfBlockerNG-devel feedback thread. ButI have an alias in my pfBlockerNG-devel setup to block Youtube ads. I saw in on the widget on the firewall's dashboard that some packets were blocked. Here's a cut and paste of the widget:

    DNSBL_YoutubeAds 9,481 3680345 Oct 18 03:05:11

    I clicked on the 3680345 to bring up the Alerts for the alias and this is part of what I got:

    0_1539851786828_youtubealerts.png

    All of these alerts are coming from the same iPad. But the iPad was sitting on the kitchen counter at 4:25 in the morning and was on the charger and not being used.

    How can it be that the iPad is constantly reaching out to Youtube when it is not being used? And at some time stamps have upwards of 1700 duplicate attempts ?



  • Since my last post above this came up in the Alerts
    0_1539852734051_youtubealerts.png

    Is that 36,132 accurate?



  • I did some more snooping around and checked Diagnostics/States and filtered it by the address of the iPad. I get what appears to be thousands of open states from the iPad to the DNSBL VIP that look like this:

    0_1539855927098_youtubestates.png



  • The iPad may have been on standby but the app was probably still open. That number of attempts to reach the all-seeing googly eye does look pretty concerning but I have seen ad-slingers doing that with in-game ads and tracking.



  • @sesipod Blocking Google's DNS servers did not stop my Android ads. I am telling you, I don't have issues on Windows machines with ads, it is just Android's YouTube app. In the last two weeks it has gotten worse. I now get an ad at almost every single video again. My FireTV, Firestick, Android phones and tablets with the Youtube app are unanfected by the blocking on my pfSense box.

    I have yet to take the time for packet capture deep dive. I just got OpenVPN working so I can route my traffic from my phone through home whenever I am out and I also implemented encrypted DNS.

    They were only mildly annoying before but the worse they intrude the more driven I am to shut them off. I am now considering a whole VPN solution for security reasons although I know that won't stop the Youtube ads.



  • It looks like some people over on reddit might be onto something:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/pihole/comments/9w5swx/i_think_ive_managed_to_block_youtube_ads_with/