🛑 AdGuard on Every Machine
First order of business when setting up my 2013 Mac Pro was to install AdGuard – ad blocker and VPN. Pretty sure that makes only one unprotected query for the new machine. No need to download other apps until I mask my activity from prying eyes.
I have the plugin for every browser, as well as the full desktop version. You can get the AdGuard Lifetime license for dirt cheap from places like StackSocial.
The browser plugin works for my instances of Firefox and Waterfox. I beefed up that protection with the desktop version to cover browser capable apps such as DevonThink Office Pro, DevonAgent, Downie, and others. This means ads are blocked in apps that have their own browser, or use some form of Webkit.
For example, I use DevonThink Office Pro as my news reader. It gathers articles from dozens of RSS feeds. I can also use it to browse a site and follow links. Normally, DevonThink Office Pro wouldn’t be able to block ads or trackers as it doesn’t support plugins in the traditional way. Yet, with AdGuard, I can add DevonThink Office Pro to the list of Applications and the traffic gets filtered. Ads and all the other junk are removed, so I get a clean website that isn’t trying to rob me of all my personal information.
Further, AdGuard for desktop has additional block lists, filters and options for stealth mode. I have custom filters that outright block certain sites.
I’m a bit shocked the guys I work with aren’t on board with ad blockers, because when they bring up pages for tools, there are ads all over the place. I’m thrown off, why are there ads and flashing banners on this page? What’s going on? Not even the browser plugin, risky business.
On my main machine, AdGuard has blocked millions of ads, and hundreds of thousands of trackers. The numbers are so high they’re disturbing. It’s alarming how fast the numbers tick up on some sites.
I’ve also saved 100GB of bandwidth by not downloading that crap.
It’s not just the ads, it’s all the trackers, all the beacons, all the locators, all the analytics. Sites don’t merely count visitors, they scrape every detail right off your machine. No asking. No checking if it’s ok. No chance not to share anything. Just a digital mugging.
The joke from years ago was adult sites were the worst at ads, cookies, and popups. Truth is, news sites are the worst. You can’t trust the content or their methods for stealing data off your machine. It’s about getting clicks and showing ads.
The problem is getting worse. Google is shoving ads into every nook and cranny. Microsoft is doing the same with Bing and ChatGPT. Are you getting results or ads pretending to be results?
And are those ads legit or are they poisoned?
It’s best to get rid of them all together, and that’s what AdGuard does.
Just like using a VPN, having an ad blocker is essential. Ads and trackers aren’t an inconvenience, they’re dangerous.