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.
Let‘s start at the beginning. I prefer to download the App directly from blokada.org as that version gets the fastest updates.
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 Plus
We go back to the main settings menu. The next submenu is called Blokada Plus. 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 Plus 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.
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.
u/amitnahar explained in this post that he uses Exodus privacy to check which trackers are included in the apps he installs. Then he directly adds the relevant domains in Blokada’s Blocked Hosts menu. I think this is a very intelligent move to increase the privacy.