Install an ad-blocker on iOS - Blokada

Blokada is a free and open-source mobile application that uses DNS servers to block ads and trackers on your device to enhance your privacy. In this guide you'll learn how to install Blokada on your iOS device.

Last modified
16th June 2021
Guide level
Guide OS
Guide Device

Blokada is an ad-blocker acting as a VPN to block unwanted traffic based on hostnames (urls). This prevents ads and malicious data from being loaded by any application running on your device.

Installation

To install Blokada, visit its Apple App Store page, click on Get (Fig. 1), and confirm by clicking Install when prompted (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1: App store page for Blokada
Fig. 2: Install Blokada

Setup

After Blokada is installed, you can open it by clicking on the icon. By default, Blokada is disabled. To enable it, click the large button (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Enable Blokada

You'll be asked to allow Blokada to setup a VPN, which is necessary to block ads. Blokada says it sets up a split-VPN, which only routes traffic on port 53, used to communicate with external DNS resolvers. What this means is that any traffic (e.g.: you trying to open privacyinternational.org in your browser) will be routed through Blokada and checked against a local DNS hostfile. If the hostname is in the list (for example an adserver), the resource won't be loaded. This prevent ads and malicious trackers and ads from being reached and displayed.
As such, Blokada claims it does not monitor or filter your regular network traffic. Since it's open source and the code is publicly visible, this claim can be regularly verified.
Click Allow to proceed with the setup (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4: Allow Blokada to setup a VPN

Blokada should be enabled now. To select a blocking list, click on the Advanced tab (Fig. 5), and then select one (or more) from the list. You might want to use the same list we suggest in our DNS guides, Steven Black hosts list or Energized, which is also frequently updated.

Fig. 5: Select a blocking list

After selecting the blocking list, your device should start blocking ads immediately. To learn more about Blokada and its advanced features, visit its official website.

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