1001 ways of getting rid of ads and tracking

A list of useful resources to avoid and evade tracking and ads, sorted by device type and scope.

Disclaimer : I didn’t thoroughly test every software presented here, nor did a background check on the company running them. So please make your own research before installing something, as many privacy tools are sooner or later bought out (looking at you, Ghostery).


Local DNS and proxies

  • PiHole : Use it as a DNS server for your whole network and block all suspicious domains. A cool trick is to setup a VPN on the same box so you can get your mobile traffic through your pi.
  • Privoxy : HTTP Proxy, can also be used on a single machine

Cloud-based DNS (can also be setup device by device)



  • Firefox Focus : Browser app. Kinda needed.
  • Youtube : The excellent Vanced app has been taken down by Google. If you can get your hands on a copy of the APK, go for it. If you can’t, you’ll need to wait for ReVanced to come online. An alternative would be NewPipe, which is basically encapsulating YT in a webview. Login isn’t available on it though, by design. Note that there’s a fork including SponsorBlock.
  • Blokada : Adblocker app. Works remarkably well, and without root
  • Adaway : Adblocker app. Uses a local VPN if the device isn’t rooted, but this mode has many caveats.

Other tools

  • uBlock Origin : Brower extension. My personal preference in terms of adblockers for browsers (works on all of them except the newest versions of Safari, for which AdGuard (see below) is a cool alternative)
  • Universal Android Debloater : While technically not related to ads, it can purge a device from all useless stuff included by default, many of which is of questionable privacy.

Rooted Android :

  • Lineage OS : FOSS Android distribution, free from our Google overlords.
  • Adaway : Adblocker app. Get it from F-droid. Uses Magisk.

iOS / MacOS

  • AdGuard (Safari extension for both mobile and desktop) : Works remarkably well, comparable to uBlock Origin
  • Lockdown Privacy (iOS app) : Trackers-blocking proxy.

Search engines



  • Firefox : The gold standard
  • Brave : A lot of baked-in adblockers and extensions but there have been controversies in the past (like this one)

Browser extensions

  • uBlock Origin : The gold standard of adblockers
  • Sponsorblock : Automatically skips intros, outros, annoying reminders and sponsored content embedded in YouTube videos.
  • Facebook Container : Firefox exclusive, as far as I can tell. Puts Facebook into its own container so it can’t see nor interact with every other browser tabs.
  • Privacy Badger : Specifically blocks trackers of all kind. Modular and easy to use.
  • AdGuard : Akin to uBlock Origin. Also offers a VPN service (which I didn’t test)
  • uMatrix : Warning, for tech-savvy users only. Configure your browser in real time to allow or disallow specific request types or domains.
  • Adnauseam : Automatically and quietly clicks on all ads and banners to saturate user-profiling algorithms. While its efficiency may be questioned, I find the idea hilarious.
  • ClearURLs : Removes tracking elements in URLs
  • Fastforward : Bypass annoying URL redirections and shorteners
  • Twitch_5 : Alternate player for Twitch, blocks non-embedded ads.


  • Easylist : Lists and filters that can be added to a lot of blockers

Mail services

  • ProtonMail : Quite secure, but still bound by Swiss laws.


I don’t use one at the moment so I’ll have a hard time recommending one. Maybe in the future. I’ve heard good things about ProtonVPN Free. MozillaVPN should be fine if you’re OK with paying.

Operating System

  • Qubes OS if you’re hardcore about privacy
  • Tails : more portable and lightweight
  • Basically any linux distribution will do the job, provided you don’t do wacky stuff.
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