You’re browsing the internet when you’re inundated with annoying ads. But this is not just a frustrating experience – it can be a privacy threat.
How can online ads be dangerous? Online ads can contain malware, but privacy aside they also slow down your website loading speed.
With that in mind, it’s essential to download an ad blocker and start using it on your device. Here are five of the best ad blockers for 2021 that perform the best job at keeping you safe online.
Best Ad Blockers – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: AdBlock
AdBlock is an extension that’s one of the most downloaded on Chrome and Safari, so it’s loved by many people. Here’s why it’s one of the best ad blockers.
- Compatibility: Safari, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Edge
- You can use AdBlock on a variety of platforms, such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Not just compatible with major browsers, AdBlock is free to use. It’s also one of the best ad blockers for Android.
- How AdBlock works are that it uses a series of filter lists to block ad content from ad servers and providers, and it does this automatically.
- You can make use of this blocker’s default list or subscribe to extra ones. You can even make your own which will help you to customize the online experience that you want.
- Linked to the above point, for even more convenience you can whitelist your favorite websites.
- AdBlock works well to block pop-ups (small ad windows on the web that appear over web pages), pop-unders (ads that remain behind the current browser window and show up when other internet windows have been closed), and malware.
- It’s also useful for blocking ads on sites such as YouTube and Facebook so it’s sure to make your social media experience much better.
- There are tons of customization options available when using AdBlock, such as the use of filters for individual ads. You can replace some ads with pictures, like landscapes, which further makes your online browsing experience so much more pleasant.
- Something you might not like about AdBlocker is that it’s part of the Acceptable Ads program. This means non-intrusive ads won’t automatically be blocked when you use AdBlock. However, you can easily tweak your settings to ensure that they are.
Runner Up: Poper Blocker
This ad blocker works well to remove pop-ups, pop-unders, and overlays, which are ads that appear like small banners on the bottom of the screen.
This makes your browsing experience much cleaner while also protecting your data. Let’s explore its pros and cons.
- Compatibility: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox
- Poper Blocker works by automatically blocking pop-ups and pop-unders, and it will notify you when it does so. This means you’ll always know what it’s blocking and you’ll be able to check out the blocked ads if you want.
- Poper Blocker is community-driven and has over 2 million users who send in reports to give the company feedback on a regular basis. This ensures that Poper Blocker can stay updated and continue to work effectively.
- On its website, Poper Blocker states that it only collects non-identifiable data from its users, such as browsing and device data, but nothing that can be traced back to users. In addition to that, the company doesn’t share user data with third parties.
- It works well when used with other ad blockers. It’s been built to complement other ad blockers so that you’ll not only avoid pop-ups but also display ads and banner ads. This is sure to give you a more comprehensive barrier against all types of annoying ads.
- While this ad blocker is one of the best ad blockers for Chrome, Poper Blocker is only available on Google Chrome and Firefox. If you use a different browser, this will restrict you from using it.
Alternative: Stands Fair AdBlocker
Stands Fair AdBlocker will block ads, including popups, and it will also ensure greater privacy for you when you’re browsing the internet by blocking malware.
With that in mind, let’s check out its pros and cons, and why it’s the best adblock for Chrome.
- Compatibility: Chrome
- Stands Fair AdBlocker is capable of blocking a variety of ads, such as autoplay video ads, interstitial (full page) ads, YouTube ads, and others.
- If you find yourself in the situation where you don’t want to block all types of ads, Stands Fair AdBlocker will give you the chance to allow some or whitelist the websites you want to support. This gives you greater control so that you can customize how the ad blocker works.
- What’s great about Stands Fair AdBlocker is that it uses algorithms to detect and block popups and malware, instead of lists that can put pressure on resources.
- It’s completely free to use, unlike some other ad blockers that you have to pay to use.
- Fair AdBlocker says that it doesn’t have access to users’ private data. This best adblock for Google Chrome just stores data about your preferences as well as statistical information about user engagement so that it can improve their product.
- Some people who have used this ad blocker have said that some ads still manage to get through.
- It’s only available on Chrome.
Alternative: uBlock Origin
People have said uBlock Origin is easy to use and therefore great for beginners who’ve never used an ad blocker before. What else does it have to offer? Let’s check out its features.
- Compatibility: Firefox, Chrome (including Chromium and Opera), and Edge
- This ad blocker works well because while it effectively blocks ads it doesn’t do so to the extent of ruining a website’s functionality or layout. This means it won’t result in your online experience being stilted or stressful.
- You can customize how much you want it to block, such as by choosing to allow ads that are on some sites that you don’t mind or that you don’t find annoying.
- You will love that uBlock doesn’t hog your device resources. It’s got a small memory footprint and a low CPU overhead. This is important because some ad blockers can slow your system down.
- uBlock offers the WebRTC-blocking feature. WebRTC is a HTML5 specification that can be used to add real-time media communications directly between the device and browser, so it allows for video and voice media to work in web pages. But, it can expose your device IP address, even if you’re making use of a VPN. You can’t always disable it manually, so this feature on uBlock is very welcome.
- For extra convenience when browsing the internet, uBlock has a feature called The Element Zapper. This enables you to remove an element on a website page once instead of permanently, and is therefore useful for removing ads when you’re accessing a website you don’t intend on using regularly. It gives you the chance to remove ads on the go instead of always having to stick to a specific setting.
- uBlock is completely free and open source. Although this best adblock for Firefox makes use of blocklists that have been developed by the community, you can easily customize the lists to suit your preferences.
- While uBlock is available on various platforms, it’s a letdown that it’s not available on Android, unlike some other ad blockers.
What is Ghostery? If you haven’t heard of it, Ghostery is an open source browser extension that will remove trackers, ads, and other third-party content. It’s also one of the best Safari ad blockers. Here’s what to know about its features.
- Compatibility: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge
- You can use Ghostery to block tags and urchins websites make use of to find out how many people have visited their sites.
- It has a “Smart Blocking” feature that increases the speed of page loading and it also optimizes page performance because it blocks and unblocks trackers automatically. This means you don’t have to wait for webpages to load because of all the ads that are on them.
- It uses anti-tracking and ad blocking features to block ads that can sometimes slip through other ad blockers on the market.
- Ghostery has a Whitelist feature in place so that you can select trusted websites on which you don’t want to block any content or trackers. This helps you to customize your browsing experience according to your needs.
- What’s really great about Ghostery is that it comes with a pause button. This enables you to choose periods of time in which you can stop ad blocking, such as for half an hour or even a whole day.
- Its Anti-Tracking feature also blocks any hackers’ attempts to get your IP address, which will make you feel much more comfortable in the knowledge that you’re not being tracked online.
- Ghostery doesn’t always block video ads effectively.
Ad Blockers FAQ
After reading our reviews of the best ad blockers, you might have some questions about ad blockers in general, how they work, and if you really need one.
With that in mind, let’s explore some commonly-asked questions about ad blockers.
Should I Pay For AdBlock?
There’s been some confusion over whether or not AdBlock is free to use.
This is usually as a result of how AdBlock users see payment pages come up when using AdBlock and think that this means AdBlock is charging for its service.
If you’re interested in purchasing AdBlock for your device, the good news is that it’s completely free and the company states it will remain this way forever.
AdBlock does, however, accept donations from its users (and this is part of the reason why some people feel confused about whether or not it charges a fee), but it takes the stance of advising users that they can pay whatever money they choose to and there’s really no pressure on users to pay anything at all.
The company offers a range of payment options users can choose for making donations, such as paying by card or cryptocurrency.
If your local currency is USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, CAD, JPY, CHF, MXN, or RUB, you can also pay a donation to AdBlock in it.
So, although payment pages come up in AdBlock, these can be ignored if you don’t wish to make a donation to the company, and you never have to worry that AdBlock will request payments.
How Do I block All Ads?
If you want to eliminate all ads on the web, you will have to take certain steps. However, it’s important to realize there are many different types of ads that are on the internet.
If you choose to tweak your ad settings on Google Chrome or FireFox, for example, you can do this by blocking pop-up ads. But there are other ways to block other types of ads, and the best way is to install an ad blocker on your device.
However, it’s important to ensure that the ad blocker you want to install has various features in place to target and eliminate different types of ads.
For example, an ad blocker might work well to remove pop-ups and pop-unders, but it might not always block every video ad.
This is something to be aware of, as the reality is that while ad blockers can remove most ads on the web there will still be a few that manage to get through.
Some ad blockers also have a list of acceptable ads, which further makes it possible for ads to make their way through to websites and annoy you when you’re browsing online.
In addition to the above, it’s important to bear in mind that websites get revenue from their ads, and smaller websites won’t always have other ways of making revenue.
Based on this and other reasons, some websites actually block ad blockers from being able to work.
What’s The Difference Between AdBlock And AdBlock Plus?
It’s easy to assume that AdBlock and AdBlock Plus are the same service, but this is not the case. They are different products.
They sound similar because of how they’re named and they do share a bit of history. A long time ago someone created a FireFox add-on that was called AdBlock.
Then, another team produced a different FireFox add-on that became called AdBlock Plus.
Then, Google Chrome came about but AdBlock Plus didn’t want to support the browser so an extension called AdBlock for Chrome was developed.
Both AdBlock and AdBlock Plus increased the number of platforms and browsers that they were compatible with.
In 2021, the team that’s now part of AdBlock joined forces with AdBlock Plus so that both products can be enhanced, even though they are different products.
Now that their histories are out of the way, let’s explore some differences between AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. But first, it’s good to know that both ad blockers have many of the same features. These include the following:
- They allow you to whitelist websites
- They also allow you to blacklist other websites
- They offer you greater control over tracking
- They give you warnings about infected domains
- They block ads on YouTube and Facebook
- They have blocked ad counters, which show you how many ads have been blocked on websites
- They block pop-ups, pop-unders, and malware
- They have user-friendly features which make them great for beginners and advanced users alike, such as easy installation
- It has excellent ad filters. It’s even the best adblock for Twitch as you can remove ads on that platform.
- It has an extension icon that provides users with lots of information.
- It makes blocking website elements easy, thanks to its right-click menu. This is the feature that gives it an edge over AdBlock Plus.
AdBlock Plus Pros
- Its whitelisting feature is very user-friendly.
- Its UI is a bit more beginner-friendly than AdBlock.
- AdBlock Plus wins against AdBlock when it comes to how well it performs if you use multiple browser tabs.
Should I Use An Ad Blocker?
As we’ve seen in our reviews of the best ad blockers, there are many good reasons why you should consider using an ad blocker on your device. These include the following:
- They remove a variety of ads. This is the most common thing that ad blockers will do, which not only helps to prevent distractions when you’re looking for something online but it also makes the web pages much easier to read.
- They make web pages load faster. This increase in speed is much welcome, because you know how frustrating it can be to experience lagging when you want to access website content but you have to wait for ads to load.
- They prevent ad tracking. You don’t want advertisers to be able to track you via their ads on a variety of websites, so ad blockers can help to make you more anonymous online. The scary truth is that ad servers won’t just send you ads, but they can track you online to gain more information about you and your online activities. So, by blocking ads, you’ll be able to prevent getting monitored.
- They can reduce your bandwidth. By loading websites faster and not loading ad content, ad blockers can help you to enjoy more bandwidth.
- They decrease battery usage. Loading ads can take its toll on the battery life of your device, so ad blockers ensure that your device will have juice for longer. This is especially useful for mobile devices.
- They prevent malware. Ads on websites can be dangerous sources of malware that you don’t want infecting your device. Good ad blockers will prevent malware from reaching you.
Things to bear in mind when considering installing an ad blocker
Although ad blockers offer many benefits, there are some things that you need to bear in mind so you avoid potential obstacles. These include the following:
- Not all ad blockers will give you complete control over ads and eliminate tracking. This is why it’s important to scrutinize the ad blockers that are available to see exactly what they will do.
- Some ad blockers will block non-ad content that’s important, such as flight booking engines. You will have to whitelist come sites, so make sure that the ad blocker you want to install has a whitelist feature. Most of the best ad blockers, such as those we’ve featured in this guide, have this feature in place to make your online browsing more convenient.
- You should be warned that some ad blockers will track their users and sell the data to third parties. This is worrying, so ensure you always read reviews of ad blockers to ensure that this is not something that they will do with your personal information. You should also read through the ad blockers’ privacy policies to ensure that you know what data of yours, if any, is being collected.
After reading this article, it’s clear to see that you can enjoy many benefits from using an ad blocker. In this guide to the best ad blockers for 2021, we’ve given you five top-quality ad blockers that will make you browse the internet faster, stay more anonymous online, and prevent annoying ads and malware from disrupting your online experience or infecting your device.