How to use ‘dot’ glitch to skip paywalls and watch YouTube without ads

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This quick trick lets you dodge YouTube ads.
This quick trick lets you dodge YouTube ads.
Photo: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash CC

Adding a single character to a URL can let you bypass some websites’ metered paywalls and watch YouTube videos without having to endure those annoying ads.

The simple hack — typing a “dot” immediately after the “.com” in a site’s URL — doesn’t work on every single website out there. But it does give you an advertisement-free pass to many of them.

How to block ads and malware on iOS

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This is the web without content blockers.
This is the web without content blockers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Way back in iOS 9 days, Apple added “content blocking” to the iPhone and iPad. More commonly known as “ad-blockers,” this tech lets you use third-party apps to block ads, malware, trackers, comments, and more, in Mobile Safari. Apple itself doesn’t do any more than make blocking possible. To actual decide what to block, you need a third-party app.

Enabling ad-blocking is easy, once you know how, and you can set-and-forget it once done. Or you can keep on top of things, adding custom rules, and white-listing trusted websites. Here’s how.

How to stop sites tracking you, and speed up your internet with 1Blocker X

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Steve Jobs’ brief for iPad: A piece of glass for emailing on the toilet
Steve Jobs’ brief for iPad: A piece of glass for emailing on the toilet
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever since iOS 9, you’ve been able to block ads, trackers, and other content in Mobile Safari. But as websites fought back, and the content-blocker apps added yet more rules in return, the war escalated. Blocker apps started to hit Apple’s hard limit of 50,000 rules.

Probably the most popular and comprehensive blocker is 1Blocker, which just got superseded by 1Blocker X. The new app splits off itself into seven “extensions,” each of which have 50,000 rules, bringing the total to 350,000 rules.

This doesn’t just allow 1Blocker X to boast in the app store. It also allows whole new categories of content blocking. The new setup works slightly differently, so let’s see how to get things started.

Google Chrome ad blocker could prove good for everyone (even publishers)

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Chrome
Here's why it's a win for everyone.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Google will roll out an awesome Chrome ad blocker Thursday that takes aim at some of the most invasive forms of online advertising.

The new Chrome ad-blocking feature won’t annihilate ads entirely. But users won’t need to worry about full-page ads, ads with auto-playing sound and video, or flashing ads anymore.

Punish Website only blocks ads on sites you blacklist

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punish website
This Safari content blocker only shuts down sites you personally blacklist.
Photo: Cult of Mac/ Salavat Khanov

Most ad blockers block everything. You download the app, tell Safari to use it, and then no longer need to worry about sites serving bandwidth-burning scripts that leech your personal information.

But for many people, the blanket approach of nuking everything is too much. You may instead prefer to block some bad actors, but let most sites serve ads — the ads pay the writers who write for the sites, after all. That’s where the bluntly named Punish Website app comes in. The new app comes configured to block nothing, letting you add the sites you hate to your own personal blacklist.

iOS 9 ad blockers could ruin your online shopping experience

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unnamed-2
Before and after adblockers. Notice any difference?
Photo: Sears

One of the big innovations of iOS 9 was the ability for Safari users to download and take advantage of content blockers.

According to a new report, however, ads may not be the only content that is blocked by apps like Crystal. Online retailers such as Walmart, Sears and Lululemon are also seeing their e-commerce sites negatively affected by adblockers — with some crucial features failing to work as before.

How to pick the right iOS 9 content blocker for you

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Content-blocking apps are soaring in popularity now that iOS 9 is out.
Content-blocking apps are soaring in popularity now that iOS 9 is out.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Figuring out which content-blocking apps you want is going to be tough with so many of them vying for your attention. Which one should you choose?

A day after iOS 9 made content blockers possible, we’ve got Purify, Peace, Crystal, Silentium, Blockr, Freedom, Blockr and 1Blocker, just to name a few.

These apps are garnering a ton of attention and reaching the top of the paid app charts. With so many content blockers out there, what’s the difference? Why choose one over the other? It’s so confusing, so we did a little digging. Here’s what we’ve found out.

How to use content blockers in iOS 9 (and whitelist Cult of Mac!)

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Silentium (left) and Purify, two great content blockers for iOS 9.
Silentium (left) and Purify, two great content blockers for iOS 9.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 9 includes a new feature that desktop users have had for a while: content blocking. More conventionally known as ad blockers, this software cuts out all the advertisements and other cruft from web pages, allowing faster load times and a more streamlined experience.

Of course, most websites you read these days (including Cult of Mac!) rely on advertising to keep the lights on.

Luckily for all of us, most new content blockers let you whitelist specific sites so you can continue to help them pay their bills.