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I didn't realize it but a bit of checking tells me that both Adblock and Adblock Plus slow down the effective and actual speed of refresh of web pages.

Is there a configuration or other setting that I am missing or is this the case with all Adblockers?

  • They have to do additional checks. Theoretically that will make your experience slower. The app makers assume your machine & connection are fast enough that you either don't notice or don't mind. After that, it's your call. I doubt any tweak except "filter less stuff" is going to make any significant difference. Adblock prefs are in Safari Prefs > Extensions; the less you filter, the faster it will be. – Tetsujin Aug 14 '16 at 20:42
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I use and suggest uBlock for Safari.

UPDATE 2: Even better perhaps is a Safari port, by el1t, of uBlock Origin. It is based on the latest version and @Scott says it works well. Available for download here on github.

(I wondered why https://safari-extensions.apple.com/?q=ublock turns up 0 results. Still does, oddly. https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/issues/1596 explains why for a while there was no uBlock Origin for Safari.)

UPDATE: Another option is to try Opera. It now comes with a built-in ad-blocker which, it's said, allows it to work much faster. Safari has also received some enhancements that allow it to do a limited amount of ad-blocking very quickly.

Evidence the uBlock extensions speed things up

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    uBlock Origins was built for Chromium and Firefox browsers. But there is a Safari port by, el1t. It is based on the latest version and works well. I'm using it on my Mac. Available for download here: github.com/el1t/uBlock-Safari. – Scott Apr 2 '17 at 2:42
  • I'm also using ublock origin on safari from github and happy with it! Note that ublock is not the same thing. – JBallin Apr 2 '17 at 20:18
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For an adblocker to work properly, it needs to inspect every item on the page you're loading and compare the contents to its own, internal, list of known ad content. This will slow-down your page loading time. By how much it's slowed all depends on the device, how much content (text, images, and ads) are on the page, and the network/internet connection.

You can help the adblocker by white-listing certain sites where you don't mind seeing ads (for instance, to support a site by allowing ads). Each adblocker handles this slightly different so you'll need to refer to the instructions.

AdblockPlus has a blog posting regarding how using their own browser, instead of Safari, allows pages to load a little-bit faster.

You're going to have the same problem regardless of which adblock app you use. I recommend trying a few of them and tweak the settings to see which one works best for you and your device.

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