Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How To Install a FREE Adblocker For Safari in iOS 9

AdBlock - Mobile By BETAFISH INC
You may think it's a little odd for a website that has advertisements on it to tell people how to install an ad-blocker - and it is. However, while I make sure to keep ads to a minimum and non-intrusive to the users experience, not everyone does. And I can completely understand why people would want to use an ad-blocker because of those sites that mistreat their users. 

Ads these days have become intrusive, with pop-ups, ads that take over a webpage, or even re-direct a webpage. Videos that auto-play over a website. There's companies tracking your web behavior to better target you with ads. There has also been many recent cases of malware being discovered in third-party-ads. So blocking ads has become more than just blocking those constant flashing annoying eye-sores and more about protecting your own security on the web. And until ad-companies can get control of the ads they serve and websites stop cramming ads in every possible spot they can - I totally agree that users have the right to block the ads, if they choose.

Now, there are many ad-blockers in the App Store that are charging a fee. I don't necessarily like this. Yes, a developer should in some cases get compensation for their work - however when it's getting money for something that prevent hard working websites gaining money - I disagree with. If you're going to block ads - don't pay for an app and make a developer rich.  

So which ad-blocker should you install? One of the most popular ad-blockers that you may of heard of is AdBlock Plus, they will be releasing a free content blocker for Safari, however at the time of this post being written - there app is still pending in the App Store. But, if you use them on your desktop - you may want to wait for their app to use on iOS.

Adblock Plus By Eyeo
*Update (September 30th): Adblock Plus By Eyeo [iTunes Link] is now available for iOS devices. Both, AdBlock and Adblock Plus are good ad-blockers. It's up to you on which to use.

A note about Adblock Plus - they by default, do not hide all ads - they allow what they call 'Acceptable Ads'. This can be switched off in the ABP app settings: Settings -> Acceptable Ads.

Another great ad-blocker that has over 50 million downloads is; AdBlock. They also have a free Content Blocker for Safari, and their app is ready to be downloaded! 

The first step in blocking ads in Safari on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 9 is downloading a Content Blocker. A Content Blocker is an app with a list of content that you don't want Safari to load. Apple claims that Content Blockers, "cannot send any information about what was blocked back to the app." But they can control what is blocked. I at the moment recommend the app AdBlock - Mobile By BETAFISH INC

How To Install A Content Blocker: 

Once you have downloaded the app, open the iOS Settings app. Then tap Safari. Scroll down to and tap 'Content Blockers'. There will be three content blockers for AdBlock, an Ad Blocking, a Privacy Shield and something about International languages. Switch them all 'on'. If you installed AdBlock Plus, there will only be one option to switch on. And that's all! Open Safari, view a webpage and there should not be any ads!

AdBlock Mobile uses the EasyList and EasyPrivacy lists for its ad-blocking sources. Unfortunately, at least at the moment, you cannot White List a site (which is choosing a site to allow ads on). And there is no easy way to switch AdBlock off in Safari if a page doesn't load properly, you'd have to go back to Settings. Other than these set backs - enjoy not seeing ads. But I will warn you - once you block them - it's pretty hard to go back to an internet with ads! :)


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