Content / Ad Blocker recommendations? (mainly for Safari)

I see a few threads, though nothing super recent. If I missed one, please point me to it!

What do you recommend for ad / content blocking on macOS and/or iOS?

I’ve been happily use Wipr for a few years. Though I’m usually happy to tinker with apps and settings, ad blocking is something I just want to work without much fuss (for me - and especially for the family members that I install it for… ).

Wipr has been great for that, but the past 2-3 months I’ve noticed it’s causing more issues with sites. I assume this is the cat-and-mouse game where the ad designers have outwitted the blockers (for now). I’ve specifically noticed that things like payment sections and drop-down menus don’t work until I disable content blockers… clever. :-/

I mostly use Safari, occasionally Chrome. I’m thinking mainly about macOS, but also looking for suggestions on iOS, preferably same app (especially if there’s synced whitelists or such).

Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

Side note: I used to use 1Blocker, until I found it similarly ineffective. Also too complicated for my set-it-and-forget-it family. In fairness, I haven’t looked at it in a couple years now.

Bonus question: I see that SetApp now carries an app called AdLock. I usually trust SetApp’s selections, though this one has like 30% terrible reviews. Anyone here have experience?

I run Pi Hole at home, but also recommend NextDNS.


I use Blokada Cloud, which blocks ads on both iOS and MacOS using DNS.

It works in all browsers except Chrome on MacOS (it does work for Chrome for iOS though) as Google blocks DNS adblocking now on the desktop.

It means I do not need to install extensions in Firefox/Safari, which are often heavy on CPU, and it works in all apps, not just web browsers.

I combine NextDNS (Pro) with the AdGuard browser extension.

I’ve been running Ghostery for years in MacOS Safari (and Firefox) without issue (that I have noticed). It also autofills cookie consents which is quite satisfying. On iOS (and iPadOS) I run a combo of Purify and AdGuard Pro. I can’t remember why I use both, I have done for many years. I guess I got enthusiastic during a privacy spree. I rarely have trouble with them so they don’t conflict, and I don’t see ads in emails which may or may not be related (it came up in another conversation on here and I realised I’ve not seen email ads on my phone for years, I don’t know why but I’m not complaining!).

I use Magic Lasso on macOS and on iOS, works fine for me, it also removes adds from YouTube in Safari, not free unfortunately.On Chrome I use uBlock Origin, which is free and also works great for me.

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Thanks to all for the suggestions so far! Will check these out!

@drezha and @rob - I’ve glanced at NextDNS before, but not in any depth (like, at all). How do you have it installed? That is, it looks I can set it up (in variety of ways) on individual devices or at the network level (we use Eero for wifi). I guess I can imagine some basic pros and cons, but am curious as to your experience. Appreciate any tips!

I have the NextDNS CLI installed on my router, so that all devices at home “automatically” use the service.

Additionally I have installed the iOS App on my iPhone and iPad for when I’m on the road.

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I have it installed on individual devices at the minute - however, I have a new router that has arrived today that I’m looking at using it on the router itself via the DNS settings of the router and the DNS servers provided (doesn’t support NextDNS CLI).

By doing it per device, I can see what items are requesting what, and it also means that I can use different profiles for different items.

Part of the reason I’m considering moving from Pi Hole to full NextDNS is that there are more parental controls in NextDNS than Pi Hole.

However, one aspect that has kept me away from that on a full network wide block is the occasion where something doesn’t work. Just tried to register warranty for new kitchen appliances yesterday and one of the sites wouldn’t load with Pi Hole blocking it - I was able to just turn it off and refresh for it to work - not sure what I’d do for NextDNS if it was network wide.

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This is definitely a concern of mine, and the main reason I haven’t even tried eero’s ad blocker. Even the best blocker will break a site occasionally, and now with Wipr I experience it weekly. With several family members, not all tech savvy, it seems easier to manage blocking on the device rather than on the network. I assume there are controls at the network level, but that seems more hidden and cumbersome, even if it might be more effective.

I believe that NextDNS can log and display each device when operating at the network level. I started poking around last night and saw references to such settings. I’m not sure about profiles or exactly what control it gives.

Maybe I need another look. The different profiles allows different blocking profiles - therefore I could have one with Parental Controls enabled and one without.

I was assuming if I did it at the network level it wouldn’t record the device, as the request comes from the router. This is how Pi Hole displays the information, just as a large number of requests from my routers internal IP.

I could be wrong! I’m the novice here, lol. Interested to see what you and I find out! :slight_smile:

There’s also the question of houseguests, which we have often enough. I used to use a guest network, but that blocked access to our printer and other devices, which guests sometimes need. It’s just friends we trust, so don’t really need a guest network otherwise, and I don’t really want to be messing around with ad blocking if it breaks a friend’s web activity.

This is interesting. With NextDNS and a whole bunch of blockers added, Safari still reports blocking 3 trackers – including from doubleclick, which seems like it should be blocked by even the most basic blocker.

If you have iCloud Private Relay turned on, it will bypass your DNS settings and prevent queries from being resolved by NextDNS.


Oh, good tip! I’m not using Private Relay, but will keep this in mind as I try things out, and evaluate our privacy and security. Thanks!

I’ve been trialling it on my IOT network at home - if it’s forwarded by the router, it doesn’t give a device details.

However, using the app, it does
Screenshot 2023-07-16 at 22.03.08

Pi-Hole has been failing on Safari more and more often recently on the desktop, so I’m considering switching fully to NextDNS.

It turns out that the reason Pi Hole wasn’t working is because I changed my DNS settings on the network and it wasn’t pointing to a valid DNS server on my network anymore!

After reading this thread, I’m now very curious about NextDNS. As people note, it can be installed on the router or on individual devices. Although I see the benefits of putting it on the router. I only have 3 devices and that’s all I have to worry about in my situation. I’m thinking of going the individual device setup because it seems like I would sorta want that anyway when I leave my home Wi-Fi.

I’m wondering of the pros of doing it on the router that I’m missing given my situation.

I have DNS set up on individual devices (in my case, Blokada) then it works all the time, no only when I’m connected via my router. It also makes it easy to turn off when a site is broken due to the blocking.

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This seems to make the most sense to me.

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