With the recent release of iOS 9, one of the most anticipated features for the iPhone operating system is finally available to the public – Safari Content Blockers! Much to the despair of content providers who rely on advertising to fund their sites, these blockers promise to benefit the user by trimming out all of the excess material served up by websites (including ads, trackers, social buttons, etc). While many of these things had their origins with honest intentions, the abundant overuse of them across the web has led us to where we are today: consumers just want the content from these sites, and are now empowered to use content blockers to hide all of the rest. This promises to speed up webpage downloads, thereby giving a much more enjoyable experience, and by selectively avoiding the download of these elements, you actually consume less data and conserve battery life. So, from the point of view of the consumer, there are a great thing to use! On the other hand, developers stand to lose a lot of income if these blockers catch on! So, it is everyone’s individual choice whether or not to use these blockers, to either simplify and enhance their web experience, or continue without them and help fund the content providers, thereby allowing these providers to keep publishing what was ultimately wanted in the first place.

So, with that intro out of the way, you probably have arrived here trying to find what the best Safari content blockers are, and which ones you should use. Here is a list of some of the top, currently available blockers, with a brief explanation accompanying their current rating in the App Store to help guide you to your decision. It’s important to note that you can actually download more than one at a time, and you can selectively enable and disable them as you see fit. So if you try one and don’t like it, feel free to add another one to see if it’s better for you.

Crystal

  • blocks ads, trackers
  • does not block social widgets
  • no configuration or whitelist, though you can report sites to be included on their server-maintained blacklist
  • currently rated 5 stars, with 365 ratings
  • $0.99 (US)

Peace

  • blocks ads, trackers, comments/comment forms, external web fonts, social widgets
  • powered by Ghostery blocklist database
  • custom whitelists
  • system extensions to view URL in Peace, view URL without restrictions, or change Peace settings and add site to whitelist
  • currently rated 4.5 stars, with 423 ratings
  • $2.99 (US)

1Blocker

  • 7000 preinstalled blockers for ads, trackers, social widgets, share buttons, custom fonts, adult sites
  • blockers automatically updated from their servers
  • can add custom blocker packages
  • many customization options
  • currently rated 4 stars, with 33 ratings
  • Free, with in-app purchase ($2.99 US) for unlimited blockers

Blockr

  • blocks ads, trackers, media, social buttons, cookies
  • customizable whitelists for each site you want to block, to selectively block only certain components
  • automatic blocker rule updates
  • currently rated 4.5 stars, with 30 ratings
  • $0.99 (US)

Purify

  • blocks ads, trackers, scripts, custom fonts, images
  • regularly updated “hand-crafted” blocker rules
  • custom whitelists, add sites with one tap from share sheet
  • high quality support
  • currently rated 5 stars, with 71 ratings
  • $3.99 (US)

There are many more content blockers in the App Store now, and undoubtedly many, many more to come, since it reportedly is not difficult to create these types of apps. It remains to be seen what will be the biggest differentiator, as these will all likely evolve to have many overlapping features. For now, try some of these apps, and leave a comment to let others know what you think is the best Safari content blockers in iOS 9.

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