Browsing the internet or even using Facebook means we’re in the middle of a vast conundrum. For much of the world, advertising greases the wheels of information and entertainment content. It’s safe to say that without ads there would be less content.
Yet, on many devices where we view news, entertainment, and information, advertising has become somewhat abusive. Television in the good old U.S. of A. seems to limit itself to about 20 minutes of ads and promotions per hour. Radio stations abide by similar parameters. Newspapers may be closer to 50-percent, while magazines often have more pages devoted to ads than to content.
The exception here is internet advertising.
In. Your. Face.
It’s also safe to say there is more content available in the way of news, entertainment, information, and worthless crap devoid of value than there is in broadcast or print medium. That’s probably because it costs less to create internet content. Regardless, all that free content has to be supported by something, and most of the time it’s advertising.
The difference with internet advertising is multi-fold. First, it can be in your face with pop up ads, interstitials, auto-play videos, flashing animated banners, and all the things you don’t want in your face. Second, all those ads take up bandwidth and most of us pay a monthly fee for that network connection, and too often, usage.
It’s not just the advertising you see, either. There are tracking scripts, trackers, and analytics trackers behind the scenes and being downloaded in the background. Most of those you don’t know about and never see but they’re the primary cause for the website you’re visiting to be very slow to download.
See the conundrum?
As with broadcasting and print, advertising online is a necessary evil. Without it, there’s less content. With it, there is more to get in your face. Online is the worst because the advertising you view is merely the tip of the iceberg, thanks to all the tracking that goes on behind what hits your screen.
Smart Mac, iPhone, and iPad users (along with the Android and Windows brethren) started to use ad blockers a few years ago. One of the most popular for Mac users is Adblock Plus. What you get is a free extension for the browser you use– and Adblock Plus works on most– that stops or blocks the ads themselves and the trackers that follow. Sites can be blocked or whitelisted. That means the website you visit download much, much faster– all those ads and trackers take up bandwidth.
Some research estimates that ad blockers are in use on about 30-percent or more of all browsers. That includes, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and others. Apple made it easier to use an ad blocker on iOS devices. Many new browsers, including an old favorite, Opera, have blockers built in. Even advertising giant Google has seen the handwriting on the wall and promises that future versions of their Chrome browser– the worst tracking device ever made on planet earth– will block ads. Of course, not Google’s ads.
If you’re going to use an ad blocker, we’ll recommend Adblock Plus and Ghostery, among others. They’re easy to install and stop most ads and trackers.
That brings up another issue. Many websites you might want to visit can tell if you’re blocking their ads and may block you from viewing their content. See the conundrum? You can, with most ad blockers, whitelist specific websites you visit frequently or desire to support, but the problem persists.
At Mac360 we stopped ad trackers and analytics trackers early in 2016. The few ads we have are all related to Apple customers and their devices; Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, et al. Our site does not have trackers of any kind and that means Mac360’s webpages load up on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad very fast; faster than about 90-percent of all websites. It’s the only way we could find to create a win win win. A win for readers who visit Mac360, a win for advertisers, and a win for Mac360.