Well, every so often I review (Toms' Guide) these things mainly because the online reviews are really not so helpful, so I installed the base and then tried a set of ad blockers again some test sites like:
- D3Ward. a pretty simple checker that is open checks the major ad sites, analytic sites, error trackers and social trackers.
- Adblock Tester.This is another set of tests that looks for contextual ads, Analytics, banners
- Can You Block it. This one seems the most comprehensive particularly their Advanced Test
Then, I assume that you are turning on some base things:
- NordVPN Cybersec on iOS and Threat Protection on MacOS. Really these days you shouldn't browse the web without a VPN.
- Safari Private Relay. This is less protection that NordVPN, but some sites like Amazon and Bank of America won't work with a VPN, they black list their exgress addresses as potential hackers,
- Privacy Pro on iOS. Since so many iOS applications are leaking data, I have this turned on as well.
Turning these things on is a real pain, you install them from the App Store, but then in Safari/Preferences/Extensions on the MacOS, you enable them. The same settings are in Settings/Safari/Extensions on iOS
TL;dr install ghostery
So the next question is trying a bunch of MacOS and iOS against the sites above:
- Without any blockers or all but with NordVPN turn on on the Mac. You get 58% on adblock-tester, 2% on d3ward and Can You Block it, NordVPN knocks out everything but interstitials.
- Ghostery on MacOS Safari. This is open source and gets 86% on D3Ward. The main weaknessis that Facebook and Twitter social trackers are not trapped. It also scored 100% on Adblock-tester. And on Can You Block passed most of the Extreme test and would not play the video with the interstitial at all.. So highly recommended. They seemed to have some issues before Monterey 12.1, so update to that at least.
The rest of these were pretty disappointing although highly rated by the various reviews:
- KaBlock! 44% on d3ward, 63% on adblock-tester and passed Can You Block it except for interstitials
- 1Blocker on MacOS Safari. It got 63% on AdBlock-tester, It only gets 4% blocked on the d3ward test, This passes the Can You Block It Advanced but doesn't block the interstitial video.
- Ad Block. This got 63% on AdBock-tester, 2% on d3ward, but did well on the Can You Block it Advanced testing
- Ad Block Plus. This got 58% on AdBlock-tester, 2% on d3ward and did well on Can You Block It although it failed interstitial ads
- Ad Guard. The same 63% on Adblock-tester, 2% on d3ward. It also passed Can You Block It except for interstitials.