The knowledge base and answers to technical questions can be found in the Instant Help.

Please ask individual questions in our Community Forum.

Frequently asked questions and their answers.

This FAQ is about the eBlocker Open Source project background – targeting customers of the eBlocker GmbH especially.

Project & background

What is the difference between eBlocker GmbH and the eBlocker Open Source project?

The eBlocker GmbH was a start-up with almost 20 employees, which commercially developed the eBlocker technology and marketed it as a plug & play device. However, after five successful years, the start-up failed in 2019 due to a financing round. The result was a sad insolvency and the discontinuation of business operations.

For the eBlocker Open Source Project we, former employees of eBlocker GmbH, founded a new company: The eBlocker Open Source UG (limited liability). Together we pursue the goal of making the eBlocker technology available to everyone free of charge. We have published the eBlocker software as Open Source to develop it further with the community. To this end, we have legally taken over the technology from the insolvency administrator with the approval of the creditors and the court. The new company will be run “non profit”, i.e. without any focus on profit and with a lot of voluntary work on a part-time basis.

Why a restart?

We have put a lot of time, know-how and heart and soul into eBlocker with only one goal in mind: to develop the best technology to protect online privacy. And we believe that we have succeeded.
After the insolvency of our start-up, it was important to us not to let the technology “go under” and to make it available to everyone free of charge. We think eBlocker is important for a self-determined digital society. Therefore this project.

Why a corporation as legal form – and not an association or cooperative?

We needed a legal entity for the transparent handling of donations and costs that is easy to administer. We therefore discussed the question of the legal form at length and, out of pragmatism, chose a corporation. We are familiar with the management of corporations and the advantage of a German UG (as the little sister of the German GmbH) are significantly lower foundation costs. Therefore we have chosen this legal form.

Are you a real company?

The company was founded by a notary, is registered in the Commercial Register and is properly managed in accordance with all regulations and laws. However, we do not have any permanent employees and therefore don’t pay salaries and don’t have office space. We primarily use private resources (computers, telephone, Internet) to keep costs as low as possible. Our “product” is already fully developed and we finance the low operating costs and further developments only through donations.

Are you the legal successor of eBlocker GmbH?

No, we are not a legal successor of the eBlocker GmbH. We have only taken over the so-called “intellectual property”, but no contractual or other obligations. The insolvency administrator is solely responsible for all questions arising from the contractual relationships of eBlocker GmbH.

What is the next step with eBlocker GmbH?

eBlocker GmbH is the responsibility of the insolvency administrator and will probably be liquidated soon.

eBlocker Customers & Support

What is the difference between the eBlocker device and the eBlocker Open Source software?

The software on the device, the so-called “eBlockerOS” has been published as Open Source software. The Open Source software includes all features of the commercial product and we also provide SD-images for Raspberry Pi self-installation. Thanks to donations we have licensed all commercial filters used in the originally commercial product.

Are there commercial filters again?

Yes, thanks to your donations we were able to re-license commercial filters from Malware Patrol and others. So we now offer the same level of protection (except for the German FragFinn Youth Protection Whitelist) as the former commercial eBlocker. You also get all commercial filters for free and automatically with the daily filter lists.

Which parental control filters are available?

The blocking list published by the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) is just as much a part of it as extensive categorized domains from free lists. This allows you to restrict the access of your children according to category.

I’ve purchased eBlocker Lifetime. Do I get all updates for free?

You’ll get all updates of the Open Source project for free, just like everyone else. However, we recommend that you switch to the Open Source license so that you have all features included.

My eBlocker device is broken. Can you repair it?

No, unfortunately not. We only operate the Open Source project for the continuation of the technology and have not taken over any (warranty) contracts of the discontinued eBlocker GmbH. We do not produce any devices and unfortunately cannot help with claims arising from contracts with the eBlocker GmbH. This is the sole responsibility of the insolvency administrator of eBlocker GmbH.

I have a support question, who can help me?

There is a forum where users help each other. Unfortunately we cannot offer individual support with the Open Source project. Furthermore, you can find the technical documentation of the eBlocker GmbH here, which answer all known technical questions.

What can you do better than the Pi Hole?

Pi Hole is based on DNS blocking for the entire home network and is a great solution if DNS blocking is sufficient and all users in the network are happy with the choice of blockers.
eBlocker also contains a DNS blocker, but it can be controlled individually by each user per device. However, DNS blocking generally has the disadvantage of both under- and over-blocking, so that not all trackers are blocked or not all content can be accessed. Therefore, eBlocker also offers pattern matching on the transported IP packets independently of DNS and thus achieves a top hit rate – especially when trackers are camouflaged. If you want to set up a different VPN or Tor tunnel individually for each of your devices, disguise your iOS as Linux, and be protected while on the road same as at home, then eBlocker is for you.
Here you find a feature comparison with Pi-hole.

How can I build an eBlocker myself?

Here you can find the eBlockerOS and a detailed instruction to build it yourself.

Funding & donations

How will you finance the project?

The project is supported by donations and volunteer work. We are all professionally bound in other jobs and run the project part-time. There are no permanent employees, no office space and only low running costs for server operation and administration (bookkeeping, account management, etc.). We make the running costs transparent and need to cover everything by donations.

What happens with my donation?

Your donation is used exclusively for the project and will not be used for any other purpose. We spend all donations very wisely and carefully.

Why are there different donation targets on the German website?

Ideally we want our donors to set the priorities and functions of further development themselves. We have various goals that are not necessarily interdependent. For example, we can license commercial parental controls when the donation goal is reached, but wait with certain feature implementations if there are not enough funds available.
Unfortunately the donation software in use can not be set up in German and English for the same goal in parallel. Therefore we have set a general support goal on the English site and individual goals are available in German only. If you want to contribute to a specific goal please check out the German site. We’ll use all donations for project tasks only and fill up funding gaps with your general contribution.

Why do you record donors’ addresses?

To avoid money laundering with donations, German legislation requires proof of the donor’s identity if more than 200 € are donated. Unfortunately, the donation software we use cannot control the address form depending on the donation amount. Therefore we collect the addresses with every donation.

Can I get my donation back?

It is the nature of a donation that it cannot be repaid and, administratively, we have no possibility to do so.

Are you charitable / can I deduct my donation from taxes?

No, not in the German tax authority sense. But we are not profit oriented and run the project essentially on a voluntary basis without much administration. Many conditions are attached to the recognition of tax deductible charity status, which entails a high administration effort. Therefore, we are currently not striving for “tax authority compliant” charitable status, but we are nevertheless non-profit in the true sense of the word.

What advantage do I have when I donate?

You support everyone who wants to surf anonymously for free and protect themselves and their children from dangers from the Internet. And if you are one of them, you are helping yourself.

Do you store my bank or credit card details?

We do not store any financial data on this website, as we do not receive it in the first place: For donations via Paypal, Apple Pay or Credit Card we only get a transaction number without any conclusion about the means of payment. For bank transfers, only the German GLS Bank has your account number stored – and it is safe there as long as the GLS Bank is 😉

Why aren’t you fundraising on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Co.?

Due to the relatively low operating costs, we hope to secure funding through donations from our current users alone. A project on a crowdfunding platform requires a lot of effort and time in creation and support. We currently don’t have this time. If someone from the community would like to get involved, we would of course be very happy. Please get in touch with us:

What do you do if not enough donations come together to cover the costs?

If the willingness to donate is too low, we cannot develop eBlocker any further and cannot operate the necessary infrastructure. In a few months we would have to stop our engagement, because we cannot bear the costs alone.

How is it ensured that the Open Source project “survives”?

Open Source projects live from publishing and collaboration in the community. If not enough donations are received to run the eBlocker Open Source project in a long term, the source code remains public and anyone can take over the role of maintainer and continue the project.

April 2021: Good News
eBlockerOS 2.6 released & Q1 donation goal reached

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