I currently update my local hosts file with advertising server domain names and direct them to nowhere. Well, almost nowhere. I point them to 127.0.0.1 and I don't have a web service running so it is effectively nowhere. Anyway, it blocks a lot of ads and whatever else I discover undesirable in web pages as I surf the www. It doesn't force you to use a specific browser or OS. (A requirement because there is a different flavor combination of OS's and browsers and such changing here all the time)
I have a NAS drive on my local network so I copy my hosts file there every once in a while. Then when I use another computer on my local network, I have to go to the NAS drive and copy the updated hosts file to the local computer if I want to block my ads there too.
What I'd like to see is my little wi-fi router performing this task and letting me add my host file list to it. It has a local DNS service to mirror outgoing DNS queries or something like that.
Must I set up an independent DNS server on my network and make sure all my local computers use it? Do I have to have yet another computer on all the time, using electricity and helping heat the room and adding fan noise? I got the NAS drive to eliminate one more computer on my network for those reasons already.
Then if I use another box for DNS, just to keep my ad blocking, I need a DHCP service because the one built in the router won't let me tell it what DNS server to use. It uses itself by an unchangeable default. So I'd have to turn off the DHCP on my wi-fi router and purposely not use the DNS it provides either so I can have one more box running to maintain my shared hosts file.
On my network here I have a couple xp boxes that are not running 24/7, a vista that goes away to college but is here some weekends, a Debian linux and boot-able live-cd to be able to have a web-server or whatever on the fly, a Linksys wi-fi router and a DSL modem the phone company owns with no features to it other than 'firewall' or 'straight through', a cell phone surfs through it too, when it's here. But when someone else stops by with a laptop, I give them my wi-fi code and then they are temporarily on my network, hopefully not being advertised to and counted and tracked.
Is there another way to achieve this without spending increases? I know my NAS drive is really just a headless LINUX box that runs on a small 12-volt charger sized power supply. I ssh'd in to it and looked around but recommendations are that I don't mess with it's internal operations. Besides, I think it's kinda slow so does it really need to perform DHCP and DNS on top of being a file server?
Do I really need to replace my wi-fi router with some expensive industrial overkill router to accomplish this task?