My Blokada configuration: privacy-focused

Hey there:)

I am C. I thought I write up my configuration of Blokada on Android.

Why do I use Blokada and not another software?

  • Blokada is Open-Source
  • Blokada has thousands of features (I currently count 5 different possibilities to whitelist a domain)
  • Blokada is free
  • Blokada has a cool, approachable community.

What do I want to achieve when using Blokada?

increasing my privacy by:

  • blocking tracking through Websites
  • blocking tracking through Social Networks
  • blocking domains that are not necessary for my phone to work.

The Start-up

Let‘s start at the beginning. I prefer to download the App directly from blokada.org as that version gets the fastest updates.

For a tutorial on how to install Blokada check this video guide. It is important that you grant the app permission to establish a VPN. Read up on how Blokada works here (short) and here (long).

The big toggle switches all Blokada features on and off. From now on Blokada blocks ads and tracking on your phone.

My Ad blocking settings

Now tap the three lines at the bottom. You are in the settings menu.

First of all tap on Ad blocking. Choose Host lists . There I prefer to enable StevenBlack Unified, the CoinBlocker list, the Social Hosts file and a list with (mostly) Google domains I compiled for myself (from domains actually accessed by my phone).

StevenBlack Unified is meant to block ads and general tracking.
Coinblocker is being used to block cryptomining from websites / installed apps.
The Social Hosts file is meant to block apps and websites from sharing any information with for example Facebook. I don‘t use Facebook, still graph.facebook.com has been accessed on a daily basis by one of my apps. As I have to use WhatsApp, I had to whitelist a few domains to make everything work again. But that is done within a few days.
I am blocking most Google domains that gets requested by my phone. This breaks stuff!!! Check the readme of the repo for more information.
Advanced users: For more specific Host lists check filterlists.com.

Leave the Host list menu. Tap on Ad blocking settings . There select Request logger to ‘log all requests’. Therefore Blokada needs the permission to write to storage. Grant it. It allows you to check all accessed and blocked domains via a file (requests.csv) written in Downloads/Blokada/. Change List download frequency to ‘once a month’. The Host lists usually don’t get updates this often so once per month is totally sufficient.

My DNS settings

Now go back to the first submenu. Select DNS. I prefer Digitalcourage for non-DoT/DoH servers. Digitalcourage is privacy-focused, German, uncensored, only logging wrong DNS requests (which shouldn’t happen if you use your phone normally), it furthermore doesn’t block specific content (Source). This is an advantage in my eyes, as you are fully in control of what you are blocking and what not via Host lists.
Currently only Blokada for iOS supports DoH. For the upcoming implementation on Android I recommend ‘Digitale Gesellschaft’ it’s located in Switzerland and has the same advantages as Digitalcourage (or manually add Digitalcourage).

Disable DNS Fallback, which is at the bottom of your DNS menu. It overrides your custom DNS and sets Cloudflare if a local DNS gets used.

My Blokada Tunnel

We go back to the main settings menu. The next submenu is called Blokada Tunnel. This is the paid VPN service hosted by Blokada. I subscribed to it. All gateways work very good for me. A subscription helps to develop new features, so give it a thought;) I primarily use the Stockholm gateway. Read more about Blokada Tunnel here.

My App settings

App settings is the next relevant menu. Here I enabled ‘Start on boot’ to be protected directly after starting my phone. I send reports, as they only contain my device type and manufacturer, API level and Blokada’s version. I think the background animation is cute, so I keep it enabled. For most devices it is relevant to enable ‘Keep alive’ as well (Check this article for information relevant for your brand).

Now swipe down from the top to bottom. You are on the Home screen again.

Additional annotations

Additionally to Blokada I enable uBlock Origin as Add-on in my browser for cosmetic filtering.

Remember to follow these steps if you are using Chrome.

For blocking ads on YouTube I prefer to use NewPipe. It’s simple and provides all settings necessary for me.

6 Likes

This is a great writeup C, thanks! Recommended to all new users.

2 Likes

Thank you:D!
Well I wouldn’t recommend the Google list to new users, but the rest: definitely.
If anyone has questions about this configuration I am happy to answer:)

2 Likes

Well written @c_C, this post will be really insightful for new comers.

1 Like

Thanks a lot @ashubuntu:)
You said you block pornographic content, right? If you want: do an article like mine to explain how you configured Blokada to block pornographic content. You can focus on that… it doesn’t have to be long either… but I think this would be a good addition so that people searching to block adult content know of a possible setup. What do you think:)?

1 Like

Good idea @c_C. I will write a post about it. I will also explain which DNS and host lists I am using to block adult content.
Thank you for the suggestion :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Awesome! Looking forward to it:).

1 Like

You prefer to download Blokada from blokada.org because you get faster updates :arrow_right::arrow_lower_right::arrow_down::arrow_lower_left:
When I installed it, the main reason was that if you downloaded it from Play you couldn’t block Google.

Has that changed or didn’t you remember that?
I has used Blokada since you where on xda.com

Hi @fd_svensson
There is also the possibility to download it from the f-droid store.
As the f-droid maintainers check the applications they need a little bit more time to give the latest update. :smiley: The f-droid-Release also has all features.

Visit this link to see a description about the difference between Blokada and Blokada Slim.

2 Likes

I already have F- droid on my phone :slightly_smiling_face: but I shall see what you talking about.
Edit / Aha, you made another one. Well that I didn’t know :speak_no_evil::see_no_evil:

2 Likes

I’m sorry. It was the same one but I edited it as I was not sure that you’ll get a mention.

And today I learned that you can’t see that I edited a comment.

1 Like

You can read the article on how to block adult and pornographic content using Blokada here.

2 Likes