The 5 Best Ad Blockers for iPhone & iPad

In 2015, Apple announced its support for content blockers on iOS devices in order to protect the privacy and enhance the user experience of its consumers. As a privacy champion, Apple did the right thing to safeguard the interest of its consumers, even at the expense of advertising agencies and the online publishing industry.

Content blockers are apps and browser extensions that prevent ads (popups, banners, texts, auto-play videos, images, etc.), online trackers (cookies, beacons, scripts, etc.), and other unwanted content from displaying on your iPhone or on the Safari web browser. Content and ad blockers are also meant to improve the user experience, making web browsing faster and battery consumption lesser. If you’re looking for the best ad blockers for your iPhone, we recommend going through the top-rated items on the list below:

#1 – Weblock

Price: $1.99 [Download]

Weblock

One of the first ad blocking apps on the App Store, Weblock has been reliably filtering not only ads but unwanted content in general. It uses the proxy auto-configuration (PAC) technique to determine the proxy server used for outbound HTTP and HTTP traffic. By sending all communication with different ad servers through a dummy proxy server, obnoxious popups and banner ads are prevented from showing up.

A caveat: Weblock works only with Wi-Fi, leaving cellular data unfiltered. It cannot block specific domains but uses URL-based rules instead. It isn’t entirely a deal-breaker at all. In fact, it allows you to use a different proxy for ad-ridden websites like Facebook and Twitter as well as their widgets and plugins. On top of that, it safeguards you from invasive ads and ads that are well targeted to you by keeping your real IP address under wraps. Once you’ve set predefined filters and custom rules, you can sync them between your iOS devices via iCloud. Weblock supports major browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Safari comes in with a built-in content blocker courtesy of Weblock.

 

#2 – AdBlock

Price: $1.99 [Download]

Adblock

Created by the same developer as Weblock, AdBlock is designed essentially as an ad blocking app that uses the VPN On Demand feature on your iPhone. It installs a VPN profile with a predetermined list of domains. Once apps attempt to communicate with one of the enlisted domains, AdBlock will try to connect using a ghost VPN server, which results in popups, banner, and video ads to fail to show up in different apps. More importantly, what sets AdBlock apart from Weblock is that it works with both Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Like Weblock, AdBlock allows you to sync predefined filters and custom rules between your iOS devices using iCloud. In addition, AdBlock prevents mobile internet trackers from recording your activity, ensuring a maximum privacy protection. It also comes with features for setting bandwidth limits, speeding up your device, and optimizing battery consumption. Note that the predefined domains on your blacklist will block the whole domain. This seldom causes to block actual content of the website or apps, not just the ads, if both the ads and the content are served from a similar domain. For direct access to enable or disable DNS proxy right from your home screen, use the AdBlock widget.

 

See also: Best Offline Maps Apps for Your iPhone

 

#3 – BlockBear

Price: Free [Download]

Blockbear

BlockBear is quite distinct from the first two ad blockers because it’s not a block-all solution. It gives you an option to individually turn on/off ads and social media buttons. Its whitelist system comes in handy if you want to give an exemption to particular websites. And what it makes a great feature is the information buttons for the first three whitelisted websites, so you’d know what you’re activating.

Apart from ad blocking, BlockBear also blocks trackers for an optimum privacy protection. It also stays true to its promise to optimize the load time of websites. But it’s not without a sacrifice as the amount of content you download is being decreased. It has an extension on Safari so you can whitelist your favorite websites from within the web browser. Overall, BlockBear works pretty simply, with features you only need from an ad blocker for your iPhone.

 

#4 – Purify

Price: $1.99 [Download]

Purify

Purify is a content blocking app for the Safari browser that caters to both ads and trackers for all websites. While content blocking apps can sometimes be difficult to configure, the developers of this app have struck a balance between simplicity and functionality to suit everyone’s needs, especially the less tech-savvy ones. Once activated on your iPhone, the Purify extension for Safari can improve the load time of your browser. It also saves you a little bit on your battery consumption.

If you ever need to ads or trackers, you can do so right within the app. What’s interesting about Purify is that it allows you to block a range of file types, including images, custom fonts, social buttons and comments, and scripts, through their respective toggle switches. It has a whitelisting feature where you can determine the specific websites that are allowed to show ads. This is perfect for those websites that you support and believe in, so they earn commission from the ads one way or another. Purify allows you to sync between your iOS devices via iCloud.

 

#5 – Norton Ad Blocker

Price: Free [Download]

Norton Ad Blocker

Norton Ad Blocker serves the same purpose as the other ad blockers on this list. But for this app, simplicity is the name of the game. Once you have installed the app, it automatically helps Safari prevent nagging ads from popping up here and there as well as various online trackers when surfing the web for a maximum privacy protection. As a result, your browser loads faster and becomes free from distractions. Not to mention, it also helps in optimizing your iPhone’s battery health. It also has a nifty whitelisting feature that allows you to add exceptions to your favorite websites. Best of all, Norton Ad Blocker is free to download and use.

 

Conclusion

Scoping out the best ad blockers for your iPhone doesn’t have to be too hard of a task. If you really want a straightforward ad blocker without bells and whistles, BlockBear and Norton Ad Blocker aren’t bad choices either way. If you want added features and are willing to shell out a buck or two, Weblock, AdBlock, and Purify are great options. But whichever you choose, an ad blocker’s ability to block ads is the most important at the end of the day.

How’s your experience with these ad blockers for your iPhone? We’d love to read them in the comments.

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