Who loves you? Apple. Thanks to our favorite Cupertino gadget maker, Mac, iPhone, and iPad users have options. Choices. To block ads or not to block ads. It’s easy to do in Safari and most other popular browsers. It’s action with benefits.
Fix The Mess
A couple of years ago Mac360 did a survey of our readers and found that almost 30-percent had an ad blocker install on their Macs or Windows PCs. If you’re tired of slow browsing, tired of a massive amount of visual clutter, tired of bandwidth and time being sucked up by ads and trackers, here are a few recommended solutions.
Adblock Plus – this may not be the granddaddy of blockers, but it is one of the most popular. This one is free and mostly set it and forget it, but it’s not a complete solution because Adblock Plus does allow some ads to be viewed.
Because we share a vision with the majority of our users that not all ads are equally annoying, the Acceptable Ads initiative was created. It allows advertisers and publishers who have agreed to make ads that abide by user-generated criteria to be whitelisted. Users can support this less extreme version of ad blocking by allowing the Acceptable Ads option to remain enabled. To browse completely ad-free, users can disable the option.
Fair enough. But Adblock Plus allows some advertising.
- Quickly and easily block advertisers, tracking agencies, and social media networks from monitoring your online activity.
- Block pop-ups.
- Prevent all scripts on the webpage from being allowed to run.
- Prevent links from sending referrer information.
- Block frames, XHRs, embeds, objects, videos, and hide images.
- Block many annoyances such as alert dialogs popping up, forms not autocompleting, windows being resized, and more.
- Full support for Greasemonkey-style user scripts so you can make webpages work exactly how you want them to.
- Canvas fingerprinting protection
Not bad for free.
GlimmerBlocker – This one takes a different approach to get get to the same destination.
GlimmerBlocker is implemented as an http proxy, so the stability of Safari isn’t compromised because it doesn’t use any hacks. It is even compatible with all other browsers and other native Mac OS X applications which uses http, e.g. NetNewsWire. The proxy runs on the mac and not on a central server like most proxies.
Clever. But the geekiest solutions comes with a few caveats.
Priced right, though. Both are Mac only.
Better Blocker – I like this one and shelled out a few bucks because it runs on Safari– Mac, iPhone, and iPad. You can’t get more straightforward about the ad blocking business than this:
We work for you, not for the advertising industry. We built Better because we’re tired of the deceptive practices of other “ad blockers” like AdBlock Plus (ABP) and Ghostery. Ghostery tells you they protect you from advertising and yet they get paid by the advertising industry. ABP has an “acceptable ads” policy that whitelists ads from the biggest trackers (like Google) in exchange for meeting some superficial criteria and lots of money. In contrast, we make money directly from sales of Better. You pay for Better and you’re our customer. It’s an honest and straightforward exchange.
Ghostery – The aforementioned Ghostery has been around awhile, and though it has connections to the ad industry itself it remains free and runs on almost every Mac or PC browser of note, including Edge and Internet Explorer, plus cross platform versions of Opera, Chrome, and Firefox, and of course, Safari on the Mac.
1Blocker – Last but not least is my favorite because it runs on Mac, iPhone, iPad and gives more granular controls over whitelists, cookies, widgets, comments, and other elements within website pages. And, as always, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The few bucks on the price tag is worth it because once 1Blocker is set up and running on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, you’ll make it up in bandwidth saved, time saved, and far less visual clutter.
Yes, I know advertising makes the world go ’round, but it’s important for advertisers to recognize they’ve created a Frankenstein monster and the villagers are revolting. Mac360 dropped such advertisers and trackers a few years ago– no trackers, no analytics trackers, and no cookies on Mac360 or other Villagers websites– and now our webpages load on your browser far faster than other websites. Check out the GTMetrix test results on Mac360 vs Macworld or even 9to5Mac. Most of the differences in performance between the very fast Mac360 and other websites that are much slower can be attributed to advertisements, trackers, cookie, and additional website clutter.