What difference does an adblocker really make?

What difference does an adblocker really make? image

As we’ve noted previously, there are a few key reasons for the dramatic increase in adblock usage.

One of the main reasons is due to the speed and performance improvement that can occur when ads, trackers and pop ups are blocked.

In order to quantify this improvement, we recently ran a series of tests to compare the time taken to load the homepage of a number of popular websites – both with and without adblocking enabled.

The differences are stunning.

For our testing, we used hardware and software which is likely to be indicative of a typical users setup. Specifically, our test setup consisted of a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, late 2013 model) with 8GB RAM running macOS Mojave 10.14.1. We tested using version 1.5 of our adblocker, Magic Lasso Adblock with Safari v12.0.1.


On average, pages loaded 2x faster with Magic Lasso Adblock enabled.

The most stunning result was when testing tech news site The Verge. In this test, the average time taken to load and display the sites’ homepage dropped from 8.59 seconds to less than 2.5 seconds – a 3.5x speed-up. To ensure accuracy we ran the page load test four times for each site, removed the slowest loading result and then compared the averages of the remaining timings.

Results for each of the eleven sites tested can be seen above. On two of the sites tested the speed increase was negligible or negative – likely due to natural variance in network conditions during test runs. However, for the majority of sites a substantial speed increase was recorded.

To remove any variability, we disabled caching using the Safari Developer tools and all tests were conducted over WiFi connected to a 25Mbps fibre connection.

Our test pages were sourced from the top News and Media websites and top Technology news sites in the US, as reported by SimilarWeb.


As this testing shows, by using an adblocker, the improvement in page loading speed and consequently browsing experience is substantial.

Although testing was conducted on a notebook, web browser speed improvements are felt just as strongly on a mobile device (where battery, CPU power and mobile data is more severely constrained). As Magic Lasso uses the same technology and ad blocking rules on the iPhone and iPad as it does on the Mac, such improvements are possible across all device form factors in use.

With a 2x speed improvement in web browsing by using an adblocker, there is no doubt that adblock popularity will continue to increase.


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