Best Browser option for iOS - and other App suggestions


[H]F Junkie
Jul 11, 2001
I recently got a used iPad Pro 10.5. This is my first iOS device in a long time. I'm not a huge Apple fan in general, mainly due to the closed ecosystem, but as an IT guy, I get asked questions about apple devices from time to time and I wanted needed some more first-hand experience with iOS. The iPad updated to iOS 16 and seems like a solid device.

The biggest hurdle I've come across so far has been the browser. I use Firefox + uBlock Origin on all of my Windows and Android devices, and I like it quite a bit. I was able to find Firefox on the Apple App store but apparently it's just a re-skin of Safari? Firefox extensions don't work, and Safari extensions don't work on Firefox either. I had almost forgot how bad some pages look without an ad blocker. Makes many pages look like a Las Vegas casino with flashing lights everywhere. Many of the ads aren't just annoying but also deliberately misleading, like when you go to a page to download something, every ad will say "Click Here to Download!" even though none of those ads have anything to do with the actual file you were trying to download, etc. This would basically make the iPad unusable for Web Browsing.

I had a friend recommend the Brave Browser. It seems decent, but a bit clunky. I'm not sure if this is also just a re-skin of Safari on iOS but at least it had some built-in adblocking. But there is obviously something different about it's approach to blocking ads. When I use Brave to go to a site like, after a second or two a big black box pops up in the middle of the screen, preventing me from browsing any further until I "Disable my Adblocker". Funny, because I've NEVER got that message when using uBlock Origin or Adblock Plus on a Windows or Android device. I hate the idea of being forced to use Safari just because it's an Apple device, but if that ends up being my best option, then so be it, as long as it has a working adblocker. For those who do a lot of browsing on iOS, what have you found to be the best solution?

As far as Apps, I was able to find about 2/3rds of the apps that I wanted, including most of the important ones. I could not find a good WiFi scanner app (Scan local WiFi, showing which channels are crowded, etc). I use "WiFi Analyzer" on Android but I could not find that or anything particularly similar on the Apple App store. I also use Sky Map a lot at night, but could not find that app on the Apple Store either.

I appreciate any suggestions.
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Supreme [H]ardness
Sep 24, 2001
iOS requires webkit for all browsers. So they're all just reskins perhaps with a few specific tools built in. Safari is incredibly fast, other browsers are slower, so I tend to ignore Chrome/Firefox/Brave.
Personally I use Safari + NordVPN, and Nord has adblocking inside of it, and that has been the fix for me. Not sure how good Mozilla's VPN is. I'll look into that when my Nord subscription is up.

edit: The DuckDuckGo Browser has privacy stuff built in, not sure how much that will specifically help with ads. It will still be completely based on webkit though.
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