A Shortlist of Best Ad Blockers for Mac and Browser

Utility • May 7, 2021

Don’t you hate visiting websites with a lot of annoying ads? We understand that ads help sustain the economy of the website and keep it running, but sometimes you browse a webpage, and it just bombards you with ads, ads that are downright annoying and disgusting to look at. You may be able to bear some at first, but sometimes it just gets annoying, and you start looking for an ad blocker. However, even if you have complete knowledge on how to block ad pop-ups on your Mac, it might just be that you don’t know if it is safe to do so or not.

This blog will help you find the best ad blockers for your Mac that get integrated with your browser and keep you safe from all the unnecessary ads while also saving bandwidth and providing additional security. However, there are many ad blockers for macOS, and we are list based on features like memory consumption, cross-platform compatibility, etc. For example, AdBlocker and uBlock are some of the most well-known ad blockers and are easy to set up. Let us find out about the various other options for your Mac by scrolling down below.

Why Blocking Advertisements?

Many reasons can lead people to block ads, but here are some common issues that people always face with ads:

  • Ads have generally become more intrusive and are straight on your face
  • They can link to various malicious websites
  • Pop-up ads destroy the seamless experience
  • Ads are not targeted and can be inappropriate to various age groups or children

Hence, these reasons lead people to block ads and protect themselves from various scams, frauds and bring forward a much cleaner and seamless experience.

How Do I Choose the Best Adblocker?

Many of the ad blockers listed below are available for free, though a few, like Wipr, charge a nominal fee. You can select your best choice by deciding what you’re looking to get with an ad blocker or extension. Do you want to stop annoying pop-up ads, or do you want privacy features with ad blocking and ad-tracking? Some adblockers like Ad Block Plus include whitelists and filters and the ability to allow non-obtrusive ads. Others, like AdGuard, completely block all ads. So, get your needs sorted and decide on the best app below.

Top Ad-blocking stand-alone apps:

  • AdGuard – The best stand-alone Ad blocker
  • AdLock– The close runner-up
  • Wipr– Best paid stand-alone Ad blocker
  • NordVPN CyberSec– Best Ad blocker with built-in VPN

Top Ad-blocking extensions for browser:

AdGuard– The Best Stand-alone Ad Blocker

Pricing: start from $2.49 per month (14-day free trial)

AdGuard is a powerful adblocker for users looking for a robust experience that supports desktop and mobile to reduce the annoying ads you see when browsing online. AdGuard on Mac covers nearly all popular browsers, configurable settings for whitelisting webpages, blocking content, and a parental control option for restricting content not suitable to children. AdGuard also blocks ads on apps and games, though it might struggle with some in-built ads and ad blocker restricted websites.

You can get started with downloading the app and setting up your account with all the customized profiles built-in for managing and blocking ads.

Pros

  • Has various settings to customize according to your adblocking preference
  • Easy installation process
  • Parental control options

Cons

  • Has issues with built-in ads and restricted websites

AdLock– The Close Runner-up

Pricing: Free (in-app purchases)

AdLock is an excellent ad blocker for Safari, and it helps you block ads on most websites. It also protects your privacy online and stops pop-ups and malware from getting through. You can also customize most settings that allow you to manage your personal preferences and whitelist favorite websites. All-in-all, you could expect decent performance and good ad-block services with AdLock as it makes all ads disappear with ease.

You can install AdLock from the Mac store and remember to get the lite version as the regular variant isn’t much better and takes up a lot of performance.

Pros

  • Has multiple protection services such as whitelists and malware blocking
  • Has ad reports for monitoring the service

Cons

  • The UI can feel a little clunky

Wipr – Best Paid Stand-alone Ad Blocker

Pricing: $1.99

If you’re a dedicated Mac user and need the best-integrated ad blocker, then Wipr may be the best option for you. It also comes with a companion app for your iPhone and can sync across devices with the same whitelist for all browsers. However, the app costs $1.99, and it works best with Safari and native Apple apps. You’ll find a lot of customization options from whitelist pages to enabling nonintrusive ads. It also updates its blocklist twice a week to maintain the adblocking service, and it doesn’t have a high impact on performance while working on the background.

With Wipr, all web pages should load a lot faster, increasing your productivity and bringing forward a much better user experience. You can get started by downloading it from the Mac store link above and run it to customize it according to your needs.

Pros

  • It has a clean minimal user interface
  • Improves web browsing experience

Cons

  • Not suitable for budget-friendly users

NordVPN CyberSec – Best Ad Blocker with Built-in VPN

Pricing: Free

NordVPN CyberSec provides a decent experience with ad blocking. It successfully blocks most YouTube ads but struggles with websites that don’t work with ad blockers. It is hard to see a significant difference from other apps, and it works similarly with removing ads, malware and increasing performance by a minimum of 10%. It lends itself as the best VPN ad blocker because you can get most of the features from premium ad blockers, such as whitelists free with a beneficial VPN. Plus, it brings in a filter list that helps in protecting the system from various malware or other pop-ups. It is also lightweight and doesn’t consume a lot of system resources.

You can get started with NordVPN CyberSec by downloading the app and allowing the background process. It automatically integrates itself with the browser and starts blocking all ads and pop-ups.

Pros

  • Free to use for budget seekers
  • Has support for filters and whitelists
  • It has a built-in VPN

Cons

  • It can consume a little more RAM than other apps

AdBlock –  The Best Ad-blocking Extension

Pricing: Free

AdBlock for Safari is a definite banger of an app and uses various built-in filters to block ads from many websites automatically. It also comes with a lite version that makes it consume less RAM, making it perfect for older generation Macs. You can also specifically whitelist webpages and Adblock claims to improve performance by 20% and block ads without any hassle. You can also stick with the default block lists provided by AdBlock or even add additional ones.

You can get started using AdBlock by adding the plugin to the browser and whitelisting your favorite websites for a comfortable seamless experience.

Pros

  • Provides you faster access to most webpages
  • It has a lite version
  • Supports custom whitelists

Cons

  • The adblocking service can create issues with various websites

AdGuard Extension for Safari  – The Close Runner-up

Pricing: Free

AdGuard Extension for Safari sounds like a janky solution as there is already a dedicated stand-alone app for the Mac, but you’d be surprised at what it can do and what it is capable of. It competes with top-tier apps by providing a stable ad blocking experience which speaks for the user experience it delivers. It successfully blocked ads with our testing on YouTube and other various websites. However, it was still struggling with some anti-ad blocker websites and needed to add them to the whitelist for the page to be accessible. All in all, we think that this is a decent product, and you should give it a shot if any of the others aren’t working for you.

You can get the AdGuard Extension for Safari through the webpage linked above and install it with the plugin for a seamless ad blocking experience.

Pros

  • Has excellent ad-blocking service
  • Lightweight application with immediate integration with Safari

Cons

  • Can have issues with websites that restrict adblockers

AdBlock Plus – The Best Free Ad-blocking Extension

Pricing: Free

The top pick and simple to use adblocker for Safari, Ad Block Plus can be easily integrated with your browser and help you block all pop-up ads when you visit any of your favorite websites. It is brilliant in stopping ads from YouTube, Facebook, and more. It is also very lightweight, and the whitelist feature includes an “Acceptable Ads” option that can be toggled on to help out all the creators and developers you want to. You can also toggle it off to completely block ads, and you can also create a list of specific web pages to be whitelisted.

To get started with Ad Block Plus, download it from the link above and install it. Run the app and enable the plugin in the browser to avail of all the benefits it provides. This will help you get rid of any unwanted ads and keep your Mac secure from threats.

Pros

  • It has a lightweight build and doesn’t hog up all the RAM
  • Has a seamless and straightforward ad blocking experience
  • It completely blocks pop-ups and malicious links

Cons

  • It can be unusable with specific webpages

FAQs Related to Ad Blockers:

Q: How safe are ad blockers?

Ad blockers are entirely safe to use, and in fact, all the apps in the list have been tested, resulting in zero viruses or malware. Some of the apps also bring in features that will help you protect your data while browsing, improving data security and safety throughout.

Q: How do I block ads in Safari (using Reader mode)?

The Reader mode on Safari provides you with a bit of hack, and it can block most if not all ads on a webpage. All you need to do is go to the webpage and Hit Shift-Command-R or click on the Reader button. This will save the page as an offline read later variant (without ads or pictures), which is perfect if you want to read e-books or similar content.

Q: What is the best free ad blocker for Mac?

There isn’t a best free ad blocker as everyone faces some issues, but some safe bets are AdBlocker Plus and AdGuard. They provide a decent experience with adblocking, and the setup process is straightforward for regular users and brings in pro-grade features that experienced users appreciate.

Q: Do ad blockers track you?

No, adblockers generally don’t track you, and all the adblockers on the list are tested for privacy. However, they can view your browsing activity to protect you from malicious websites and other attacks such as malware and viruses.

Q: How do I block ads on the YouTube app?

You can use various ad blockers such as Wipr and AdGuard to remove all the ads shown to you on YouTube. However, do note that removing ads can result in some features misbehaving and resulting in bugs.

Q: Ready for an ad-free experience?

With everything covered, get ready for an ad-free experience and download your favorite choice of ad-blocker and if you are still confused. Well, we recommend AdGuard, AdBlock Plus, and Wipr as some great options to begin with. So, buckle your seatbelts and go ahead, blocking all the annoying ads you can for a better and safer browsing experience.