I have had the free version Adguard on my iMac for several years. Very effective. How often does it update or do I need to manually call for an update? Also, is there a distinct advantage over the free version with the paid version? Thanks.
You mean the AdGuard Adblocker browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.? The paid, standalone AG for Mac app is much, much more 'powerful' than the AG browser extensions. For example they can handle anti-adblock scripts much better as the standalone AG apps have support for filter rules the web browsers don't/can't support due to limitations in the browser's extensions API and that also means they're not dependant on the web browser's extensions API at all (AG for Mac runs at the network driver level of the OS). Which in Chrome's case with Manifest V3 coming it might cripple ad blocker browser extensions, but AG for Mac would not be affected at all.
When it comes to Safari, its extensions API and Safari content blocker is VERY limited compared to the standalone apps' potential. While AG for Safari is rather nice (and is the best Safari content blocker-based ad blocker extension for Safari), it doesn't hold a candle to the standalone AG for Mac when it comes to overall potential.