I read a lot of web-based articles on my phone during the day. I don't object to advertising, and I understand that some publications rely on advertising for some of their income, but sometimes the quantity and style of adverts that are interleaved into the article can make it difficult to read.
I've used ad blockers in the past, which rely on installing software on your PC on phone, but a few months ago I discovered that you can filter out adverts at the router level using a different DNS server.
For the non-technical, the DNS server is the interface between the web addresses that you type in and the actual addresses of those pages. The DNS server is usually provided by your ISP and encoded in your router.
AdGuard is a provider of ad-blocking software, and now they provide an alternative DNS server which you can use to filter out most of known advertising and tracking sites. I followed AdGuard's set up guide, and here's my experience of setting it up and using it.
I set up the DNS server in my router so that it would work for everyone in the house using the router's WiFi or wired connections. You need to access the router by entering the router's address in any browser while your connected to your network. The address is usually something like: 192.168.0.1. It may be printed on the router itself, or with the router documentation.
I found the DNS settings - in my case there was a 'DNS server' tab, and on that there was an option to 'Use other DNSv4 servers'. I typed in the AdGuard server addresses and saved the details in the router.
The new DNS servers work immediately. When you access a website, the request goes via the AdGuard DNS server, and this filters out any requests to advertising and tracking sites. The missing advertisements appear as gaps or grey boxes in the article, so no distracting content when you're trying to read.
Some people worry that the AdGuard DNS server may not perform as well as your own ISP's DNS server, but in several months of use I haven't had any problems with delays. If anything, responses should be quicker, as the unwanted requests are filtered out, meaning less network traffic.
Occasional websites complain that I appear to be using ad-blocking software, and refuse to serve any content, but these are rare. If I really need to see them, I can switch to mobile data, which is unaffected. I also use my WiFi for streaming TV content, and there appears to be no problems with this. TV adverts are not filtered out, so content providers seem to be happy.
My partner and I both work at home and connect to our organisations' VPNs. I was worried in case these would be affected, but there has been no impact on this.
I spend a lot of time reading articles on my phone for entertainment and education, and the whole experience has been much calmer and easier with adverts blocked out.