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How to stop adverts appearing on your Samsung TV

I'm getting adverts in my TV's UI, help!

Samsung's otherwise excellent 2016 range of UHD TVs received an update that added advertisements to the UI. This has been complained about at great length on Samsung's forums and repeatedly, Samsung have refused to add an option to remove them.

The ads interrupt the clean UI of the TV and are invasive. Here's an example of how they look:

one two

This guide was originally posted on Samsung's TV forums but unfortunately, that site is a super-slow and barely accessible unusable mess.

Ok, so how do I get rid of them?

The easiest way is to use another DNS provider that allows blacklisting.

In this example, we'll use Cisco's OpenDNS.

Step One - Signing up

Go to opendns.com/ and sign up.

Step Two - Creating the blacklist

Once you've signed up and are logged into OpenDNS, head to your network's settings and find the 'Web Content Filtering' section. Here is the list of domains that I have identified, we're going to add them one-by-one to the block list, detailed under Manage Individual Domains. This list contains everything Samsung-related, but at the very minimum block samsungads.com.

config.samsungads.com
gpm.samsungqbe.com
log-config.samsungacr.com
samsung.com
samsungacr.com
samsungads.com
samsungcloudsolution.com
samsungcloudsolution.net
samsungotn.net

web content filtering

Simply ensure Always Block is selected, paste the domain into the box and click Add Domain.

Step Three - Configuring your TV

Now we're nearly there, we just need to tell the TV to use OpenDNS rather than your ISP's default.

In the settings section, hit 'Network Status', your TV should check some things for a couple of seconds before showing you a screen that looks something like this:

DNS Settings

Select IP Settings and configure the DNS server to point at 208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220.

Step Four - Make sure it's working

If everything went to plan, you should no longer see ads in your Hub Bar. It is possible that some ads are cached on your TV and may remain for a while, but once they expire and disappear they shouldn't come back.

@SolidlyStated
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@peteryates thanks for this info. Why the DNS route and not just using your own routers parental controls?
parentalcontrol

@peteryates
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@SolidlyStated either approach will work fine, as would installing a Pi-Hole on your network.

The reason I wrote the instructions using OpenDNS was that they would work for everyone. Lots of people don't know how to log into their router and not all routers support parental controls, and those that do will have different interfaces and options - making it a much bigger and more complex set of instructions.

I'll happily link to any alternative workarounds in the tutorial's introduction, though.

@darroj
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darroj commented Apr 28, 2018

Thanks for the write up. How do you know which DNS value to use when connecting the TV? I've seen another ad pop up, but it could easily have been cached. Basically, is there some other way I can test this without just waiting and seeing? The ads itself don't really bother me, but it ruins trying to set up harmony commands as the number of "DirectionRights" varies as I want to launch smartapps (Samsung/Logitech Harmony should really just have built in commands to launch the smartapps...)

@darroj
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darroj commented Apr 29, 2018

well, disregard my previous post, I found the DNS info on opendns.com, however, my samsung TV lost internet connection a day later and required going back to the automatic DNS. Any ideas why? Going through either DNS I can't get internet access on the TV anymore.

@0xD7ba952CE8A0976e8d9852b7649bf01c30146

Thanks all, just adding ads.samsungads.com to blocked list of parental controls for my router did the trick 👍

@BlueCat0268
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There are other methods. One of them is to use your router to block the advertisement, not necessary have to subscript to service provider.
google to find out more : https://tinyurl.com/y87fu36m

@peteryates
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Yes @BlueCat0268, any method you can think of that prevents HTTP requests from your TV to ads.samsungads.com will work. Whether it's a using a DNS blacklist like I describe above, which will work for everyone regardless of which router they have, or a more-custom solution. I now use a Pi Hole and it blocks all ads on my home network without any further effort from me.

It's the suggestion I'd now make, however, it's a bit more of an involved process to set up than just making your TV use OpenDNS.

@peteryates
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@darroj When I used the OpenDNS method my TV's "am I connected to the internet" screen didn't work, but it still managed to play YouTube, Prime and BBC services just fine. It may vary from model to model, but if your router supports blocking domains via parental controls you can try that too.

@muckinstein
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muckinstein commented Nov 3, 2019

@peteryates i have blocked the variants of samsungads.com and I am still seeing ads. It seemed to go away for a single viewing but came back in full force. I also tried blocking the entire list listed above which stopped my account from connecting to the tv but did not stop the ads. Is there anything else I can try? Btw, I am using an ASUS router and blocking via this device.

@peteryates
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@muckinstein - blocking via the router should work providing your TV is connecting to the internet via it. I'd test this myself but my router doesn't have any URL-blocking options.

I suggest trying to see how successfully your router is actually blocking connections to that domain. Turn the rule off, try to access ads.samsungads.com and then comparing the results to when the rule is on.

Also, I suggest testing out the DNS method specified in my original post and seeing whether or not it works. Rather than doing it on your TV it's quicker to test with your computer.

Using my ISP's DNS servers I get the following result with HTTPie:

$ http get https://ads.samsungads.com
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Length: 0
Content-Type: text/html
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2019 11:58:04 GMT
Last-Modified: Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:18:52 GMT

And with OpenDNS's with the blacklist enabled:

$ http get https://ads.samsungads.com

http: error: SSLError: HTTPSConnectionPool(host='ads.samsungads.com', port=443): Max retries exceeded
with url: / (Caused by SSLError(SSLCertVerificationError(1, '[SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate
verify failed: unable to get local issuer certificate (_ssl.c:1076)'))) while doing GET request
to URL: https://ads.samsungads.com/

I would expect similar results if you were to try the same thing.

@muckinstein
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@muckinstein - blocking via the router should work providing your TV is connecting to the internet via it. I'd test this myself but my router doesn't have any URL-blocking options.

I suggest trying to see how successfully your router is actually blocking connections to that domain. Turn the rule off, try to access ads.samsungads.com and then comparing the results to when the rule is on.

Also, I suggest testing out the DNS method specified in my original post and seeing whether or not it works. Rather than doing it on your TV it's quicker to test with your computer.

Thank you for the reply. I have managed to block this through my Netgear router which happens to use OpenDNS. What I believe may have been happening is that samsungads.com was redirecting to samsung.com/us/business/samsungads which was allowing the ads to come through.

@RobertLowe
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Thanks, simple to do, took me less than 5 minutes, only blocking domains with ads in it. I'll see how it goes. They've been getting more aggressive lately since a firmware update.

@chadsgilbert
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chadsgilbert commented Dec 31, 2019

Just got a new TV today only to discover Samsung's sleazy ads can't be disabled. I doubt I'll talk my wife into returning it after the ordeal we had installing it, so I'm very thankful for this thread.

I followed the instructions here starting by blocking all of the listed domains. The ads are gone! However, at this point, only the Netflix app works. The others (e.g. spotify, youtube) report network errors and are unusable. Has anyone else experienced this? I imagine a new Samsung update to disable any TV that can't access ads or provide telemetry?

Paring the list down to just: samsungacr.com and samsungads.com seems to be working for now. Has anyone worked out more precisely what's the best list to block?

@ericwbentley
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ericwbentley commented Jan 17, 2020

I just blocked the following regex patterns on my firewall, Spotify, Youtube, and Disney+ apps still work fine.

.*samsung.*
.*bixby.*
.*doubleclick.*

With exceptions for the following FQDNs
frametv.samsungcloudcdn.com
lcprd1.samsungcloudsolution.net

Those two are required in order to download and save artwork to the Frame TV. If you do not have a Frame TV, then you probably don't need them.
These patterns also block the app store, but you can just disable the filter if you need to download an app, which I don't do very often.

@0xmikko
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0xmikko commented Jan 28, 2020

Its holy shit! So shame on Samsung. Could we sue them?

@umair-mirza
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An even better and easy way to do it is through your Home internet router's content filter. For most routers it is in the Firewall or Web filter section. Some routers have this setting in the Parental control section.
You simply need to access the Router configuration page and login as Admin. Here are some default router config URLs for popular brands:
LinkSys Router: http://192.168.1.1
Netgear / D-Link Router: http://192.168.0.1
ASUS Router: http://192.168.50.1/
Belkin Router: http://192.168.2.1
AT&T Router: http://192.168.1.254
Comcast Router: http://10.0.0.1
Same can be done for other brands including Sony, LG and Roku. Here's a step-by-step procedure with links to block for each brand.

@maxplante
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I've blocked these for my Samsung The Frame using OpenDNS and ads are gone.

RANK | DOMAIN | REASON | REQUESTS
-- | -- | -- | --
1 | tvx.adgrx.com | Blacklist | 120
2 | events.samsungads.com | Blacklist | 72
3 | config.samsungads.com | Blacklist | 24
4 | static.doubleclick.net | Blacklist | 4

Cheap move, Samsung! Focus on washing machines and stay out of my digital life!

@jsCommander
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jsCommander commented May 1, 2021

Working method for Microtik RouterOs (test on v6.44.5)

  1. Go to IP > Firewall > Layer 7 protocol
  2. Add a new Layer 7 rule with name "Samsung ads" regex
^.+(samsungads|samsungqbe|samsungacr|samsung|samsungcloudsolution|samsungotn|adgrx|doubleclick).*$
  1. Go to IP > Firewall > FIlter rules
  2. Add a new rule with
    chain: forward
    Layer7 Protocol: select rule "Samsung ads"
    action: drop
  1. Move rule to top (it must be first rule)
  2. Go to IP > Settings and disable Allow Fast Path

@sanderlv
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sanderlv commented Jul 10, 2021

Blocked last week following above mentioned urls. Ads gone :-).

But now prime video does not work, netflix etc. does but only prime not.

Enabling dns again enables prime...

Any idea?

@peteryates
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@sanderlv - I'm afraid not, but I'd recommend trying to add them one-at-a-time, starting with samsungads.com. On my TV, that one alone blocks the actual adverts appearing in the UI, the others appear to prevent telemetry and other creepy data-gathering.

You'd expected better from Samsung. Oh no, wait a minute, their CEO's in jail for bribery and dishonesty 😅

@chazul
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chazul commented Dec 18, 2021

adgrx.com now redirects to adgear.com

I started seeing an ad in the "Home" menu starting a month or so ago in the Samsung TV I had for 2 years now. I was somewhat forgiving it until I started seeing an another ad embedded in between channel list. That infuriated me and quick Googling landed me here and looking up the IP addresses the TV was connecting (via Router log) found some other domains.

Also as jsCommander said tried blocking any URL with 'samsung' in it via the router (ASUS RT-AC66U, just entering samsung in the Firewall's blocked list would block any URL with samsung as a part). But then it seems to block "Samsung TV Plus" channels (free streaming channels).

So I changed the DNS IP to Open DNS in the TV network settings and then blocked the following channels in Open DNS page:

adgear.com
adgrx.com
digitaldreamsinc.com
doubleclick.net
samsung.com
samsung.net
samsungads.com
samsungotn.net
samsungrm.net

@jihunx
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jihunx commented Mar 13, 2022

@chazul

It works.

  1. ASUS RT-AC86U > Firewall > URL Filter
  2. Enable URL Filter: Enabled
  3. Filter table type: Deny List
  4. URL Filter List
  • adgear.com
  • adgrx.com
  • samsungads.com

@plueschpruem
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Today a pink ad banner popped up in my frickin' EPG.
Bad enough that the EPG gets slower with every update, but now they have lost their marbles.
Thanks for the list!

@rowbawts
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rowbawts commented Jul 7, 2022

Does anyone know what domain I would want to block on my router to stop any possibility of getting an OTA? I'm following a thread on AVSForum that is recently covering a downgrade "update" and a lot of people have claimed to have their TV update with the auto-update option disabled I've been lucky so far to avoid that but want to make it more certain.

@Hillsie
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Hillsie commented Aug 7, 2022

Setting>support>About This TV has a link to the GNU General Public License
https://opensource.samsung.com/opensource/19_DTV_MuseM/seq/0
🙃️ ... yes ... open source. Wonder how to flash the tv with jb version?
https://opensource.samsung.com/uploadSearch?searchValue=tv

@absolute1701
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So I've tried the above, and blocked all URLs in the opening post both on my router AND via OpenDNS... and I'm still getting ads. I can't change DNS settings directly on my router so using a different DNS service there is not an option. Has anyone else had ads creep through again? Any other options? Really sick of this forced advertising bull**** from Samsung. I never want to buy a Samsung product again.

@vfiksdal
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vfiksdal commented Jan 1, 2023

Adding the full list in my dlink router's webfilter function blocked every streaming service -- youtube, hbo, netflix and prime where all blocked. I removed every entry except "samsungads.com" and added "doubleclick.net" for good measure.

Seems to work for now, and other telemetry options can be disabled directly in the tv.

@sivadnivek
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Thank you so much for this. I was super disappointed after buying a samsung TV, I needed that domains list real bad. ♥

@rafm5
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rafm5 commented Jun 20, 2023

samsungacr.com
samsungads.com
adgrx.com
adgear.com

Adding these four will do the job!

@sanderlv
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3 of them I had in for over 6 months.
Did not do anything.

Only samsungacr.com is new, will check andreport back.

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