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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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I'm looking for an ad blocker, but I'm searching for something that's open source, that I don't have to "trust" that it's not rerouting my traffic and spying on me and selling my data, etc.

Because most of these adblockers are I believe criminal apps.

Is there anything NOT in this direction that you could recommend? I think an implication is that it is open source. Who else would otherwise know what the app does? I don't want to trust the developers.

I'm looking for something that is recommended by data privacy scientists and so on. Any recommendations?
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
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ad guard
it is green and launches through the App Store app.
Safari has an anti tracker that works well
this is the only answer for Safari

I've heard of it and checked it out, is it really open source, however? And is it open source for paid prodcuts as well? Older articles (pretty old by now) suggests it's only open source for the free versions: https://adguard.com/en/blog/adguard-open-source-policy.html

I've been using Wipr, although I can no longer see the "Hollywood Squares" view on a Zoom call, and I suspect that's the issue.

Thanks, I couldn't find anything about it being open source however.

I will also have to check out how ad blockers work in the first place, but is it inherent to them that they're collecting some sort of data about you or re-routing your traffic or doing other sensible things when it comes to your privacy?
 
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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
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I dont/never get ads while using adguard on my 3 MacBooks and mini
so that works
?

I don't doubt these apps' abilities to hide ads. I'm more interested/worried about what's happening backstage. Basically, I'm affraid of these ad blockers stealing more data from you than those ads or trackers might do.

Because a lot of adblockers in the past were criticized for exactly that. They were basically re-routing your traffic, and Ad Guard seems to do that as well: https://adguard.com/en/adguard-mac/overview.html

(look at the very bottom of the page, "How AdGuard works?")

So that sounds a little bit like Ad Guard gets all of your traffic. But I'll have to read the terms and privacy statement in detail …
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
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I don't doubt these apps' abilities to hide ads. I'm more interested/worried about what's happening backstage. Basically, I'm affraid of these ad blockers stealing more data from you than those ads or trackers might do.
what are they gonna steal, and give to?
what do they care if im typing here, they can't offer me anything.

I dont get ads or pestering from anybody on my Macs.

I love the "hide my address" and use that 6 times already.

my dell-windows experience in Late august was horrible tho
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,489
4,415
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I don't agree with the idea that "open source" means that an app is, somehow, safe. Someone writes open-source code, and that person could be a bad actor, right?

I don't know much about how all that works, but it seems to me that an 'adblocker' watches everything, identifies ads, and prevents you from seeing them. The page code maybe gets re-interpreted, then displayed for you, without those ads.
Not sure if you can associate the modification that takes place on each page where ads are not displayed -- (but that's not) the same level as software which re-directs your actual browsing out to sites where you would not voluntarily want to go without the assistance of a "bad-actor app"
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
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what are they gonna steal, and give to?
what do they care if im typing here, they can't offer me anything.

I dont get ads or pestering from anybody on my Macs.

I love the "hide my address" and use that 6 times already.

my dell-windows experience in Late august was horrible tho

I don't know what they could steal because I don't know enough about that topic, I suppose maybe your identity, cookies, passwords, banking data and other sensible things including messages or photos. And these things land everywhere on the internet, in all sorts of databases, sold between private but probably also state actors.

My concern isn't anything related to hiding the ads. Ads are one thing. And like I said, I don't doubt their capability to hide ads. I'm more concerned about what else the app does behind your back … look at it this way: The ad-blocking service is the facade, but what else is *really* going on behind that facade? See my idea?

I don't agree with the idea that "open source" means that an app is, somehow, safe. Someone writes open-source code, and that person could be a bad actor, right?

I don't know much about how all that works, but it seems to me that an 'adblocker' watches everything, identifies ads, and prevents you from seeing them. The page code maybe gets re-interpreted, then displayed for you, without those ads.
Not sure if you can associate the modification that takes place on each page where ads are not displayed -- (but that's not) the same level as software which re-directs your actual browsing out to sites where you would not voluntarily want to go without the assistance of a "bad-actor app"

Admitted, neither I know enough about that subject to say anything about all of that, so that's why I posted here, I'm basically just wondering. As for open source, it isn't necessarily good, but the probability that it is is much higher, as the code is public and everyone can check it, which is statistically very probable, especially for big apps that have a lot of users. There's always going to be a good bunch of users following the code changes, etc. on Github and so on.

And something that's not open source, unless it is really a very specific application doing something very, very specific in a way that sets it apart on the market, or could be copied by others, well, apart from that everything that's not open source is automatically suspicious, because basically, these people have something to hide.

It's probably more work to make something not open source than to make it open source, so basically these people and these companies are taking more work and higher cost in account to hide something. That's not how someone gains my confidence tbh …
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,433
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there
I don't know what they could steal because I don't know enough about that topic, I suppose maybe your identity, cookies, passwords, banking data and other sensible things including messages or photos. And these things land everywhere on the internet, in all sorts of databases, sold between private but probably also state actors.

My concern isn't anything related to hiding the ads. Ads are one thing. And like I said, I don't doubt their capability to hide ads. I'm more concerned about what else the app does behind your back … look at it this way: The ad-blocking service is the facade, but what else is *really* going on behind that facade? See my idea?
if they like alligators and frogs, they will love my photos!

I never had a security risk or problem with apple computers since well 1990

too bad my old bank, Target, credit union and other bank tried to screw me last decade.
they lost
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
485
if they like alligators and frogs, they will love my photos!

I never had a security risk or problem with apple computers since well 1990

too bad my old bank, Target, credit union and other bank tried to screw me last decade.
they lost

Well, most people who have been a target of attacks don't know that they have been and most likely never find out. So you can't really know for sure. And second, just because you don't mind if someone steals your data, it doesn't mean that others don't mind it either!
 

TrenttonY

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
1,218
1,535
I don't doubt these apps' abilities to hide ads. I'm more interested/worried about what's happening backstage. Basically, I'm affraid of these ad blockers stealing more data from you than those ads or trackers might do.

Because a lot of adblockers in the past were criticized for exactly that. They were basically re-routing your traffic, and Ad Guard seems to do that as well: https://adguard.com/en/adguard-mac/overview.html

(look at the very bottom of the page, "How AdGuard works?")

So that sounds a little bit like Ad Guard gets all of your traffic. But I'll have to read the terms and privacy statement in detail …
Apple has a special type of extension in Safari called "Content Blockers" which states that NO data can be read or sent to the extension's developer, this includes Adguard.
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
485
Apple has a special type of extension in Safari called "Content Blockers" which states that NO data can be read or sent to the extension's developer, this includes Adguard.

That sounds pretty good, I didn't know that. I was going to go with the AdGuard Mac app instead of the Safari extension, because I heard extension are a bigger gateway for all the nasty stuff (saw that in a Youtuber's video yesterday). The app also seems to have better features: https://adguard.com/en/compare.html?os=mac

Also I'm reading the AdGuard terms & conditions as well as the privacy statement right now, and it's pretty fun already. The company is registered in Cyprus (that country always has some criminal touch to me), and the statements say things like an interesting definition of "software" (something along the lines of "by software we mean our own software as well as any third party software (= this implies there might be other hidden third party software you're installing with it, at least everything else concerning all that's being said about the "software" in those statements apparently legally also includes any third party software that AdGuard feels okay to install on your device or use for certain unknown purposes)), then there's things along the lines of "we never sell your data, unless you give us your permission" (and guess what, you probably give your permissions by accepting those terms & conditions), etc. etc.

Apart from that they're also collecting a ton of data, and doing backups of that data. Of course they say you're allowed to ask what data they've collected about you, but let me tell you that I've done that with another company that has released a very big app, and they weren't prepared for that at all and weren't able until now to show me what data they've collected, simply because probably they didn't count with anyone asking. Yet, by the law, the infrastructure to deliver those collected infos on you should be existent. But they know exactly no one will ask.

Many of these companies are shady and sort of half-criminal if you ask me. It's all about business, and a major part of that is our data. It's really frustrating.

Additionally, these Adblockers (like I said before) need to filter your HTTPS requests: https://kb.adguard.com/en/general/h...ps_filtering&utm_medium=wizard&utm_source=mac
So basically, all your encrypted HTTPS traffic is seen by this app.

And it wants you to install some extensions of which they don't even explain what they are or what they do, lol: https://kb.adguard.com/en/macos/sol...utm_medium=kext-install-wizard&utm_source=mac

I think Adblockers are bad for privacy. They're comfortable, but they're not privacy apps. They worsen your privacy. The only good thing is probably an app like Little Snitch, where you just block traffic to certain ad-servers or any other servers that you chose.
 
Last edited:

TrenttonY

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
1,218
1,535
That sounds pretty good, I didn't know that. I was going to go with the AdGuard Mac app instead of the Safari extension, because I heard extension are a bigger gateway for all the nasty stuff (saw that in a Youtuber's video yesterday). The app also seems to have better features: https://adguard.com/en/compare.html?os=mac

Also I'm reading the AdGuard terms & conditions as well as the privacy statement right now, and it's pretty fun already. The company is registered in Cyprus (that country always has some criminal touch to me), and the statements say things like an interesting definition of "software" (something along the lines of "by software we mean our own software as well as any third party software (= this implies there might be other hidden third party software you're installing with it, at least everything else concerning all that's being said about the "software" in those statements apparently legally also includes any third party software that AdGuard feels okay to install on your device or use for certain unknown purposes)), then there's things along the lines of "we never sell your data, unless you give us your permission" (and guess what, you probably give your permissions by accepting those terms & conditions), etc. etc.

Apart from that they're also collecting a ton of data, and doing backups of that data. Of course they say you're allowed to ask what data they've collected about you, but let me tell you that I've done that with another company that has released a very big app, and they weren't prepared for that at all and weren't able until now to show me what data they've collected, simply because probably they didn't count with anyone asking. Yet, by the law, the infrastructure to deliver those collected infos on you should be existent. But they know exactly no one will ask.

Many of these companies are shady and sort of half-criminal if you ask me. It's all about business, and a major part of that is our data. It's really frustrating.

Additionally, these Adblockers (like I said before) need to filter your HTTPS requests: https://kb.adguard.com/en/general/h...ps_filtering&utm_medium=wizard&utm_source=mac
So basically, all your encrypted HTTPS traffic is seen by this app.

And it wants you to install some extensions of which they don't even explain what they are or what they do, lol: https://kb.adguard.com/en/macos/sol...utm_medium=kext-install-wizard&utm_source=mac

I think Adblockers are bad for privacy. They're comfortable, but they're not privacy apps. They worsen your privacy. The only good thing is probably an app like Little Snitch, where you just block traffic to certain ad-servers or any other servers that you chose.
I think they do more good than bad, such as preventing malware via ads. I'm not sure on all the fine print stuff, all I know is Apple says they can't read or send your browsing data, so that's good enough for me. If your truly worried about privacy, you'll be using a VPN anyways, which would ease any nervousness about a third-party app's terrible privacy policy.

BTW, Adguard is available via the Mac App Store, which would further the idea of it being safe to use, relatively.
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,763
485
I think they do more good than bad, such as preventing malware via ads. I'm not sure on all the fine print stuff, all I know is Apple says they can't read or send your browsing data, so that's good enough for me. If your truly worried about privacy, you'll be using a VPN anyways, which would ease any nervousness about a third-party app's terrible privacy policy.

BTW, Adguard is available via the Mac App Store, which would further the idea of it being safe to use, relatively.

In my country it's only the extension that is available in the App Store. I installed the Mac App and it also automatically installed the extension apparently. In the Safari settings, it says that the extension is reading all your history as well as the content of all websites you visit, including passwords, phone numbers and credit card numbers.

VPNs aren't that safe from what I read by the way.

The problem is, there's not enough people caring about what's written in small. All these good things we read about these apps are just ads. What really counts is the law. Our society is made of law. That's all that counts for these companies. By accepting terms and conditions, we get into a contract. That's all that matters for them. They can always say we agreen to the terms. But nobody reads them … apparently I am the only one … especially for an app that has, it seems, millions and millions of users. Shocking. And a big mistake for our societies.
 

TrenttonY

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
1,218
1,535
In my country it's only the extension that is available in the App Store. I installed the Mac App and it also automatically installed the extension apparently. In the Safari settings, it says that the extension is reading all your history as well as the content of all websites you visit, including passwords, phone numbers and credit card numbers.

VPNs aren't that safe from what I read by the way.

The problem is, there's not enough people caring about what's written in small. All these good things we read about these apps are just ads. What really counts is the law. Our society is made of law. That's all that counts for these companies. By accepting terms and conditions, we get into a contract. That's all that matters for them. They can always say we agreen to the terms. But nobody reads them … apparently I am the only one … especially for an app that has, it seems, millions and millions of users. Shocking. And a big mistake for our societies.
Well IDK then, because when I download it via the App Store, it downloads both the app & extension, and in Safari it clearly says underneath the Adguard's extension enable/disable section: "This is a Content Blocker. It does not have the ability to send or receive your browsing history or passwords".

I'm not sure on your exact situation.
 

iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
1,786
2,213
I’ve just started looking into Pi-hole. It does network-wide ad blocking locally and is open source. It requires a device to run it on and a little bit of know-how. A lot of people use a Raspberry Pi. There’s no software to install on your computer/devices since it’s all done at the network level. (It’s not a VPN or rerouting your traffic either.) Might be something to consider if you’re up for a little project.
 

ICortland

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2022
4
6
I'm looking for an ad blocker, but I'm searching for something that's open source, that I don't have to "trust" that it's not rerouting my traffic and spying on me and selling my data, etc.

Because most of these adblockers are I believe criminal apps.

Is there anything NOT in this direction that you could recommend? I think an implication is that it is open source. Who else would otherwise know what the app does? I don't want to trust the developers.

I'm looking for something that is recommended by data privacy scientists and so on. Any recommendations?
I have used AdGuard which blocks pretty much all web ads and YouTube ads with as well a tool to remove sections of the web pages but in YouTube it has some issues ri load the page without the video ads. But the main issue is that it slows safari a lot!

I tried Hyperweb which is a very comprehensive ad blocker and content blocker with other perks like embedded dark mode for safari so instead of having 2 or 3 extension this one does it all while keeping the web surfing quite fast. But as for privacy I can’t say if they do collect data or not. On Mac it only available with Google Chrome and Firefox for now supposed to support safari soon. On iPhone it works with safari. Oh I forgot this app also blocks ads made by the content creators inside video itself!

As for YouTube video ad blocker and high resolution enabler for safari I would recommend Vinegar.

Wipr seems decent but I did not use it yet. I might use it if I found out that Hyperweb is getting my data.

1- Hyperweb
2- AdGuard Free
3- Wipr
As Bonus Vinegear to watch videos on safari instead of YouTube app (which might the most privacy worrisome)
 
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Choco Taco

Suspended
Nov 23, 2022
615
1,064
I have used AdGuard which blocks pretty much all web ads and YouTube ads with as well a tool to remove sections of the web pages but in YouTube it has some issues ri load the page without the video ads. But the main issue is that it slows safari a lot!

I tried Hyperweb which is a very comprehensive ad blocker and content blocker with other perks like embedded dark mode for safari so instead of having 2 or 3 extension this one does it all while keeping the web surfing quite fast. But as for privacy I can’t say if they do collect data or not. On Mac it only available with Google Chrome and Firefox for now supposed to support safari soon. On iPhone it works with safari. Oh I forgot this app also blocks ads made by the content creators inside video itself!

As for YouTube video ad blocker and high resolution enabler for safari I would recommend Vinegar.

Wipr seems decent but I did not use it yet. I might use it if I found out that Hyperweb is getting my data.

1- Hyperweb
2- AdGuard Free
3- Wipr
As Bonus Vinegear to watch videos on safari instead of YouTube app (which might the most privacy worrisome)
I've never had AdGuard slow down Safari for me. Might be a bug.
 
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