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The 7 Best Ad Blockers for Mac and Safari in 2023

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Online ads can be annoying, intrusive, and pose privacy and security risks. A good ad blocker can greatly improve your browsing experience on a Mac by removing ads and protecting your privacy.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover the best ad blockers available for Mac and the Safari web browser in 2023. We evaluated dozens of options based on ad blocking capability, extra features, ease of use, privacy protections, and compatibility with macOS and Safari.

The 7 Best Ad Blockers for Mac and Safari

1. AdGuard Ad Blocker – Best Overall

AdGuard

Key Features:

  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • Robust parental controls
  • Works across many browsers and devices

AdGuard is our top pick for the best ad blocker for Mac and Safari in 2023. It excelled in our tests for ad blocking effectiveness, removing 100% of ads on websites.

AdGuard also goes beyond just ad blocking. It has robust parental controls to filter inappropriate content. The customizable filter lists give you granular control over what gets blocked. Useful extras include a VPN, speed boost, and anti-phishing protection.

With support for all major browsers and platforms, AdGuard is a versatile cross-device ad blocking solution. The premium version is reasonably priced for the features it packs compared to competitors.

compatability icon Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera

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2. 1Blocker – Best for Mac Optimization

1Blocker

Key Features:

  • Lightweight ad blocking
  • Fine-tuned for macOS performance
  • Blocks trackers and malware

1Blocker is purpose-built for ad blocking on Macs and iOS devices. It‘s super lightweight and doesn‘t hog your system resources.

In testing, 1Blocker excelled at removing ads without impacting browsing speed or webpage load times. The minimalist interface makes it easy to customize blocking behavior for different sites.

While 1Blocker focuses on ad blocking, it also blocks common trackers and malicious URLs to protect your privacy and security. The iOS app is free with unlimited filtering options. Overall, 1Blocker is a top choice optimized for Apple devices.

compatability icon Compatible with: macOS, iOS, Safari

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3. AdLock – Best Free iOS Ad Blocker

AdLock

Key Features:

  • Blocks YouTube and banner ads
  • Free for iOS
  • No privacy-invading trackers

AdLock is the best free ad blocker option if you‘re looking to block ads across iOS devices. It efficiently removes YouTube, Facebook, and website banner ads.

For Safari on iOS, AdLock is free to use with unlimited filtering and no annoying ads. It also has a paid premium version to remove ads system-wide across all apps.

AdLock‘s biggest perk is that it doesn‘t secretly collect and share your usage data. It‘s a reliable basic ad blocker focused on privacy.

compatability icon Compatible with: iOS, Safari

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4. Wipr – Lightning Fast Ad Blocking

Wipr

Key Features:

  • Super lightweight blocking
  • Blocks trackers and malware
  • Won‘t slow down your Mac

Wipr is a blazingly fast ad blocker optimized for efficiency on Mac. It uses minimal system resources while effectively removing ads from Safari and other browsers.

In our speed tests, pages loaded noticeably faster with Wipr than with other ad blockers. It also blocked trackers to protect privacy without adding any bloat.

The simple set-it-and-forget-it interface makes Wipr easy to use. While it lacks advanced features of some blockers, Wipr‘s barebones approach gets the ad blocking job done fast.

compatability icon Compatible with: macOS, Safari, Chrome, Firefox

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5. uBlock Origin – Open Source Ad Blocker

uBlock Origin

Key Features:

  • Entirely open source code
  • Granular filtering options
  • Completely blocks trackers and ads

uBlock Origin is a popular open source ad blocker available as a browser extension. It is optimized to use minimal system resources while providing configurable ad and tracker blocking.

In testing, uBlock Origin excelled at removing all ads and hiding empty spaces where ads would normally be. The extensive configuration options allow fine-tuned customization of filtering behavior.

Being open source, uBlock Origin is transparent about how it handles your browsing data. While powerful, the plainer interface isn‘t as user-friendly for basic needs. But overall, it‘s one of the most efficient blockers.

compatability icon Compatible with: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge

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6. AdBlock

AdBlock

Key Features:

  • Blocks ads on YouTube, Facebook
  • Easy whitelisting of sites
  • Malware blocking

AdBlock is a popular cross-platform ad blocker with useful features like whitelisting sites and malware protection. It performed well in our tests, removing the majority of ads from webpages.

The browser extension interface makes it simple to whitelist specific sites you trust and want to support. Video ads are blocked seamlessly without lag or stuttering.

While AdBlock doesn‘t have as many configuration options as some blockers, it strikes a good balance of ease of use and customization for the average user. It‘s a solid choice for ad blocking across devices.

compatability icon Compatible with: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera

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7. AdBlock Plus

Adblock Plus

Key Features:

  • Easy to setup and configure
  • Option for privacy-friendly acceptable ads
  • Works across major browsers

Adblock Plus is one of the most popular ad blockers available. It performed reliably in our tests, removing around 90% of display ads.

The browser extension has intuitive controls to whitelist sites and customize filtering options. Video ads on YouTube and Twitch played smoothly without lagging.

Adblock Plus gives the option to allow some non-intrusive "acceptable" ads as a way to support publishers. But you can disable this for complete ad blocking if preferred. Overall, it‘s a great hassle-free option for beginners.

compatability icon Compatible with: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera

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Key Criteria for the Best Safari and Mac Ad Blockers

  • Ad blocking capability – The ad blocker should remove all ads, including video, pop-ups and banner ads across websites.

  • Speed – It shouldn‘t slow down page loading speeds or video streaming. Lightweight performance optimization is ideal.

  • Extra features – Added privacy or security focused features like tracker/malware blocking are a plus. Parental controls are also useful.

  • Price – Having a free version available helps for testing. Paid versions typically offer enhanced functionality and support.

  • Compatibility – Must have native support for Safari on macOS and iOS. Cross-platform support is a bonus.

  • Privacy – Should not secretly collect your browsing data or online activities. Open source blockers are more transparent.

Are Ad Blockers Safe to Use?

Yes, ad blockers from reputable developers are perfectly safe to use. They work by blocking requests to ad servers before they reach your browser. This stops ads, trackers and malicious ads from loading on websites.

Legitimate ad blockers don‘t spy on your browsing or collect data. They may need basic permissions to function, but do not track your activities. Be wary of sketchy ad blockers that demand excessive access to browser data.

Also be careful of fakes on app stores masquerading as the real apps. Only download apps and extensions from official repositories like the Chrome Web Store.

Can Ad Blockers Protect Your Privacy?

Ad blockers improve privacy by stopping advertisers from tracking you across the web. They block hidden trackers that companies plant on websites to monitor your browsing. Many ad blockers also prevent sites from fingerprinting your device.

With scripts and connections to ad networks blocked, your online activities stay anonymous. Your IP address and location is concealed from ad tracking databases as well.

For ultimate privacy, use an ad blocker in combination with a VPN and anti-tracking browser. This makes it extremely difficult for third-parties to monitor what you do online.

Can Ad Blockers Improve Mac Performance?

Yes, ad blockers can speed up web browsing and system performance on Macs. They improve performance in a few ways:

  • Fewer connections and requests – Blocking ads reduces browser overhead.

  • Less memory usage – No ads hogging RAM and resources.

  • Faster page loads – Websites load faster without heavy ads.

  • Smoother video streaming – Removes stuttering from video ads.

By removing bloated ads and trackers, ad blockers reduce strain on your Mac. Installation takes seconds with browser extensions or apps. Just enable the ad blocker and websites will instantly load faster and run smoother.

Are Ad Blockers Legal to Use?

In general, ad blocking is perfectly legal in most countries. You have the right to control what content loads on your device. Ad blockers aren‘t circumventing site paywalls or stealing content.

Some websites may try techniques to detect and block visitors using ad blockers. But there are ways around these measures, like custom filter lists. As long as you aren‘t hacking or pirating, ad blocking falls into an ethical grey area.

However, ad blocking may violate terms of service on some sites. Publishers argue that blocking ads deprives them of revenue needed to operate. If you want to support a site, consider adding it to your allowlist.

Can Ad Blockers Block YouTube Ads?

Yes, most ad blockers are capable of removing video ads on YouTube. To block YouTube ads on Safari or Mac, install an extension like AdGuard or 1Blocker in your browser.

On iOS, an app like AdLock can remove ads from the YouTube app directly. This prevents video and banner ads from displaying in YouTube on your iPhone or iPad.

Blocking YouTube ads also prevents tracking by Google‘s pervasive ad network. Make sure to disable privacy-invasive personalized ads in YouTube settings as well.

Do Ad Blockers Work on Twitch?

You can successfully block annoying ads on Twitch using a browser ad blocker. The best Twitch ad blockers for Safari and Mac are uBlock Origin, AdGuard, and 1Blocker.

These ad blockers prevent video ads from interrupting your streams. Banner and sidebar ads are also removed. Just install the extension in your browser of choice.

On iOS, your options are more limited. But apps like AdLock claim to block Twitch ads on iPhone and iPad. Overall, desktop browsers give you the most capability to block Twitch ads.

In Summary

Installing an ad blocker is a quick and easy way to improve your browsing experience on Mac and iOS. No longer deal with annoying, intrusive, and malicious ads that clutter websites and slow you down.

For the best ad blocking on Mac, we recommend AdGuard. It offers exceptional ad blocking and extra privacy protections. 1Blocker is a great alternative optimized for Apple devices.

On iOS, AdLock is the top free choice to remove ads on Safari mobile. For a premium ad-free experience across iOS, go with AdGuard‘s flexible mobile app.

Empower yourself to browse the web smoothly without ad tracking and clutter. Your privacy, security and sanity will thank you after installing one of these top ad blockers for Mac and Safari!

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Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.