Last updated on July, 27
🏆 Best Ad Blockers for August 2021
Enjoy a smoother browsing experience without unnecessary interruptions. Ad blockers are reliable tools that block ads and malware while providing you faster-loading pages and powerful privacy protection.
What is an ad blocker?
Are you tired of having your browsing experience interrupted by tons of advertisements?
Ad blockers can filter and block these advertisements and replace ad content with more relevant material. Some completely restrict ads with malicious content for your safety. With these applications, you can browse without any interruption.
Why do you need ad blockers?
Browsing the web with no ad interruptions isn’t only great, but it also makes your browsing experience more enjoyable and stress-free. Besides blocking the distracting annoyances on web pages that you visit, ad blockers have so much more to offer in terms of security, safety, and even the protection of your devices
Nobody has the time to wait for slow-loading pages. Ads only add up extra lines of code on a webpage, which slows down their loading time. But with ad blockers, you can finally say goodbye to all the video ads, pop-ups, and flashing banners that are slowing down your web page. You’ll be amazed by how fast your browsing will be.
Some ads can do significant harm to your device and your data through malvertising. Malvertising can install viruses and other malicious software on your devices, leading to the hijacking of your data and information. By using ad blockers, you can altogether avoid harmful advertisements.
Some ad servers don’t just put ads on the web page. Some ads also keep an eye on your browsing activity and gather your personal information. They can even sell your information to third parties or use them to send even more targeted advertising to you. To avoid this encounter, the best ad blockers have features, like tracking protection filters, which prevents attackers from monitoring your online activity.
Data Plans Last Longer
Have you ever tried browsing with your phone and received a notification after a few hours saying that your data is all gone? Browsing on your phone without an ad blocker can consume around half of your cellular data. Using the best mobile ad blockers, you can save your data by getting rid of unnecessary ads. Plus, it can also help you save more money in the long run.
Many pop-up and banner advertisements post about products or services they’re offering, even on unrelated websites. Ads can be tempting to click on, which can cause you to stray away from why you were on the site in the first place. Ad blockers will completely block the ads so you can avoid visiting unnecessary web pages.
Declutter Browsing Experience
If ads only add frustration to your browsing experience, then don't stress. Ad blockers can help you declutter the web pages you visit. This software can replace ads with reader-friendly white space, allowing you to have a more enjoyable browsing experience without all the unnecessary clutter.
Core features of the best ad blockers
Everyone widely uses ad blockers. They don't only prevent annoying ads from popping up, but they also provide a sense of security and safety. This software is easy to use, and you can quickly customize its settings so that you can have a more pleasant browsing experience.
Communication blocking is one of the most significant features an ad blocker can offer. This feature blocks the communication of the ad from its server and resources. Every HTTP request from an ad server is checked in comparison to your ad-block filter list. And if the URL of the ad server request matches any link on your list, then your ad blocker will restrict the ad's connection with its resources, preventing it from showing up.
Easy to Use
The best ad blockers are simple, accessible, and easy to use. It should do all the work behind the scenes without you having to go through all the hassle. Ad blockers shouldn't be too complicated to use. Instead, it should allow you to easily enable and disable its functions in just a few clicks.
Are you wondering what sites have been blocked on the browser you’re using? Some ad blockers show you their blacklisted ad networks to take note of them and add them to your block list. This way, you can be more cautious when browsing on any of your devices.
Filter List Feature
The best ad blocking software gives you the ultimate freedom to decide what websites you’ll be blocking. If there are ads that you would like to see, you can personally whitelist those sites to see the ads you prefer. Some of these blockers even have specific guidelines that define what an “acceptable ad” is.
Disable Social Media Buttons
Buttons used to share content on social media platforms are present on almost all sites. But even if you don’t click these buttons, websites can still send information to various social media platforms and use your browsing habits to create a profile. But if you use these ad blockers, sites will not be able to send your information. You can rest assured that your browsing habits are safe and hidden.
Ad blockers help you avoid leaving “a trail of crumbs” by blocking third-party cookies that track you down through different websites. Third-party cookies use your browsing history information as a way to send more targeted ads your way. You can use ad blockers to prevent companies from using your information for marketing purposes
Did you know that as you browse, your online activities are continuously being tracked? Fingerprinting is an invasive type of online tracking. It’s a technique that creates your profile or “fingerprint” by gathering information about your device and software. And the thing about this is that it can track you for months, even if you completely delete your browser data or use a browser in “private mode.”
To avoid this, Ad blockers have fingerprinting blockers that work by blocking third-party requests from companies that try to profile you. This way, you can rest assured that nobody can monitor your online activities.
Multiple Device and Browser Compatible
You wouldn’t want an ad blocker that works on a single device or browser only, especially if you have multiple gadgets with you. So the best ad blocking apps made sure that their program can be installed and used on any device. This way, you never have to look for different service providers for each device you own. You can get absolute security and privacy with ad blockers no matter what sites or apps you end up opening.
The best ad blockers in the market today provide quality services at a reasonable price. Although there are tons of free ad blocking service providers today, the features they offer may be limited and unreliable. High-quality ad blockers give you enhanced features and better security measures that free ad blockers can’t. With paid ad blocking programs being sold at reasonable prices, you can be sure your investment in added safety assurance won’t go to waste.
Types of ad blockers
Standalone Ad Blockers
Standalone ad blockers refer to ad blocking programs that aren’t bundled with any other software or applications. You can use these ad blockers by merely downloading and installing them on any of your devices. After this, these programs will handle the ad blocking activities that you need in your browsers and apps.
Standalone ad blockers generally offer ad filtering and ad blocking as their main feature. They work by caching and filtering ad content before they are displayed on your browser and apps.
Pro #1: Variety of Choices
There is a wide variety of standalone ad blocking apps and software that you can choose from. You can select different price plans and features that will best suit what you and your device need.
Pro #2: Handles All Online Activities on Device
Do you want to be protected in every online activity you do? With this ad blocker, you never have to worry about downloading separate programs for your apps and browsers. Having one standalone ad blocker program is enough to protect your device.
Pro #3: Convenient to Use
Standalone ad blocking programs are both user-friendly and device-friendly. Anyone on any device can use them. Plus, you can customize and configure your settings in just a few clicks.
Con #1: Tedious Installation Process
Like any other software or app, the installation processes for a standalone ad blocker can be tedious. Plus, you’ll have to manually install your chosen ad blocker on every device you own.
Con #2: Limited Security Measures
Most standalone blockers can only ad blocks, meaning they don’t have any additional security measures. If you want to make sure that you aren’t vulnerable to any attacks, you may want to go for a different type.
Con #3: Complicated Functionality
Standalone ad blockers can be loaded with tons of features, but if you don’t have any idea how these works, you may find this one burdensome.
Ad Blocker Browser Extensions
Some ad blockers work specifically for browsers only, and they can either be built-in or installed separately as extensions. Ad blockers as browser extensions usually work by checking the URL of the pages you visit. These extensions instruct the browser on what it can and cannot load.
For instance, you are about to visit a website. Your browser extension will then check if the URL of the site you’re loading is present on your filter list. If it’s not included, then your browser can proceed in loading the page. If not, your blocker will restrict the page and warn you of your visit.
Pro #1: Fast and Easy Installation Processes
Browser extensions are much faster and easier to install as compared to standalone ad blockers.
Pro #2: Enhanced Security Measures
Since this ad blocker is dedicated solely for browsing, most service providers offer enhanced security measures to make sure you’re protected as you browse through the internet.
Pro #3: Easy to Use
Some service providers know that not everybody on the internet knows how ad blocking works. So they made sure that these browser extensions are user-friendly.
Con #1: For Browsers Only
These ad blockers work for browsers only, so you can’t expect them to work for other apps or software.
Con #2: Doesn’t Block Native Ads
Native ads refer to ads that don’t exactly look like the typical advertisements found on websites. Unfortunately, browser-based ad blockers can’t wholly restrict these ads.
Con #3: Blocks Through Tags
Browser extensions block anything delivered through tags and not only ads. Security measures are enhanced with these blockers, but when site content has the same tags as other blocked content, the page will be restricted by your ad blocker.
Con #4: Broken Pages and Loading Errors
Sometimes, browser extension ad blockers hide original page content that can be considered a threat, resulting in incomplete pages or loading errors.
Con #5: Extensions Can Cause Bloating
Adding up extensions to your browsers can cause bloating, which, in turn, can slow down your browser’s speed. Instead of having your ad blocker speed up processes for you, it may be an inconvenience instead.
Browser Built-in Ad Blockers
Some browsers have their built-in ad blockers, so users like you never have to worry about installation and set-up processes. The best thing about these ad blockers is that it’s convenient since you don’t have to worry about adding them to your browser anymore. Plus, they don’t cause any bloating to your browser, allowing you to have a hassle-free browsing experience.
Pro #1: Easy to Use
With built-in ad blockers, you simply turn on the ad blocking feature in the settings, and you’re good to go. There’s no set-up required, and settings are easy to configure with just a few clicks.
Pro #2: Enhanced Security Measures
Like browser extensions, these ad blockers have enhanced security measures to ensure you're safe whichever page you visit.
Pro #3: Customizable
If there are sites and ads that you want to allow through, you can add them to your whitelist in this ad blocker.
Con #1: For Browsers Only
Since these ad blockers are built-in, they also work on browsers only. They can’t work for other apps or software.
Con #2: Broken Pages and Loading Errors
Like browser extensions, this ad blocker can hide or restrict original page content that can be considered a threat, resulting in incomplete pages or loading errors.
Con #3: Doesn’t Block Native Ads
Like browser extension ad blockers, built-in ad blockers can’t wholly restrict native ads found all over the internet.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
A virtual private network (VPN) is not, technically, a standalone ad blocker. Instead, VPNs only block ads as a part of their primary functions.
VPNs work as ad blockers by using their domain name system (DNS) server, which, in turn, blocks ads from other servers. Plus, VPN services work by masking your online activity, which protects you from any tracking activities that online ads make.
Pro #1: Safety and Security
VPNs don’t only block ads, but they can also hide you from trackers by adding an extra layer of security when browsing.
Con #1: Not All Devices Support VPN
Some operating systems and devices don’t support VPN applications. So you will have to choose a different ad blocker in this case.
Con #2: Costly
Although there are free VPNs available, they aren’t usually a reliable option. If you’re looking to get a quality VPN service, it often comes with a price.
Con #3: Not Considered an Ad Blocker
A VPN doesn’t really serve as an ad blocker—some only block ads as part of their primary functions. VPNs have a limited range of malware protection as they focus more on covering your tracks while browsing.
Network Ad Blockers
If you don’t want to install software on each of your devices manually, and wish ads to be blocked entirely, then a network-level ad blocker is best for you.
Network ad blockers are the most efficient of all these mentioned types. Its mechanism is similar to other ad blockers, except that they block ads in every device connected to the network. The problem with this type is that its set-up process is daunting and complicated for ordinary consumers.
Pro #1: Router-Level Filtering
Network ad blockers can block ads for every device connected to a network, which is why this ad blocker is best for businesses and corporations.
Con #1: No Customization
Network ad blockers don’t allow any kind of customization. You aren’t given a choice to block out certain parts or ads of a page, since your ad blocker will block all domains included in its block list.
Con #2: Not Enough Protection
DNS servers don’t have as many safety and security features as the other types. These are best to use with other browsing safety programs, like VPNs, to add more layers of protection.
Con #3: Protected When in the Network
Network ad blockers restrict ads within a network. So once you leave this network, you are once again vulnerable. In case you want to be protected while you’re out, you may want to opt for a standalone ad blocker for your mobile devices or a VPN.
Who needs ad blockers?
Some ads contain adult content. And when your kids are old enough to use some devices to play or for homework, it’s best to make sure they don’t accidentally access these inappropriate content. Luckily, with ad blockers’ help, you won’t have to worry about your kids coming across malicious ads or sites while browsing.
Business and Corporation Owners
Again, ads can sometimes track your activities. Plus, they can also be a gateway for attackers to access your business’ confidential data. Use ad blockers to protect your employee’s devices. Also, you would like your employees to work productively. Ad blockers can help you with that by restricting distracting ads on the pages your employees will visit.
Schoolwork can already be stressful, and opening websites with tons of ads can add to your stress. So why not make your browsing hassle-free? If you use an ad blocker, you wouldn't have to go through the inconvenience of closing these ads to open a website. With ad blockers, you can save more time. Plus, you can keep your focus on where it's meant to be.
If you love surfing the net, you would want to make a seamless browsing experience—no lags, speedy loading of pages, and no annoying ads are popping out of nowhere. Whether for work and leisure, ad blockers are great to help you get rid of unwanted content, making your browsing smoother than ever. Besides that, you could save so much time by reducing the amount of time spent just having to close ads.
Government employees are vulnerable to malvertising, allowing foreign threats to access devices and hold their private information. Using ad blockers, these employees can prevent malware from invading government networks, which could ensure their database’s safety and privacy.
If you're a highly sought person, the last thing you want is your information getting stolen and your devices getting hacked. Ad blockers can help you prevent these problems by protecting you from malware found in advertisements that can potentially take your information. Ad blockers, like VPN, can assure your security against all online threats.
Step-by-Step guide on how to use ad blockers
Step1: Find the right ad blocker for you.
Choose the type of ad blocker that suits you best. Would you prefer an ad blocker that blocks everything from ads to cookies? If you’re having difficulty trying to find the ad blocker that best suits your needs, it’d be helpful to read reviews on the best ad blockers.
Step 2: Choose a privacy level.
The best ad blocker apps usually give you options on features, depending on how much you want to filter out. The lowest level of privacy often blocks all known analytics and smaller third-party cookies. The higher levels usually have more features that will prevent your browser from tracking you.
Step 3: Check the pre-installed filter list.
Ad blockers usually come with pre-installed filters. These include acceptable ads, an easy list that removes ads from international webpages, and an anti-circumvention filter list that helps in removing ads that the easy list can’t.
Step 4: Choose what type of filters you want to create.
Filters are the rules that instruct your browser on what to block. In addition to the pre-installed filters, you can create your own if you want to add more blocking elements.
Step 5: Decide what you want to block.
Do you only want to block the ads from a specific company? Or would you also like to block everything else from the same domain? When creating your filter, filtering a generic domain like “http://example.com” will block all banners and everything else you might want to see.
Step 6: Write your filter.
The address of ads usually changes when opened up on pages. So if you want to block everything from a particular server, it would be best to make a more general address filter.
For example, if you want to block everything under the ads directory of an ad with the address http://example.com/ads/banner123.gif—your filter will need to be something more general like http://example.com/ads/.
Step 7: Finalize your list.
It would help compile a list of all the filters in a text-only file to copy them and paste them when changing your ad blocker settings. Check your filter addresses to make sure that these are the elements and pages you want to hide.
Step 8: Change ad blocking settings.
Go to the settings of your ad blocker and look for the ‘Filter List.’ This is usually found under ‘Advanced Settings.’ You can now edit your filter list by copying your customized filter list and pasting it
Step 9: Save and check.
Once you input your filter list, click ‘Save.’ You can now check the sites you put on your filter list to see if the ads and content you filtered aren’t visible anymore.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Each type of ad blocker serves different purposes. For instance, ad blockers for browsers are best if you only wish to be protected while surfing the net. Regardless of the type of ad blocker, all of them help you have the best browsing experience. You can tell that the ad blocker suits you best if all of the features you’re looking for are present, and it suits your needs.
Although there are tons of ad blockers found all over the internet, it’s best to opt for a paid ad blocker with promising features. These free ad blockers may claim that they offer top-notch security, but they aren’t that reliable. Some ad blockers can still sell your information to third-parties, so you may want to make sure to choose the most trustworthy service provider. However, it is the best choice to purchase a paid ad blocking service.
Ad blockers are designed to be user-friendly and accessible so everyone can use them. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to be able to get one. Although there are still ad blockers that are complex because of the advanced features they offer, most are still beginner-friendly. Some of the ad blocker software and apps available today have customizable features that you can activate and deactivate in just a few clicks.
Yes, ad blockers are legal. As the owner of your device, you can decide which content you want to see. Although companies have tried to fight for their rights against ad blockers, it has all been in vain. Ad blocker apps and software have won the disputes repeatedly and have proven their services as legal and helpful to internet users.
For mobile devices, you can use an ad blocking browser that already has a built-in ad blocker. You can also download standalone applications to get rid of all the ads when you browse and use other mobile apps.
The ethicality of ad blocking is still unsure until now. Publishers are afraid since these ad blockers rob them of their source of revenue. On the other hand, end-users fight for their right to privacy, as some ads can become too invasive. So, the best thing to do is block ads from the internet to protect their devices and their information.
Most websites found on the internet exist today, and it’s all thanks to online advertising. Millions of websites, from blogs to huge corporate-owned magazines, depend on online advertising revenues to operate. So ad blocking became a controversy as this could lower their chances of people visiting their sites, resulting in lower incomes.
Ad blockers don’t directly protect you against viruses, but they automatically provide some malware protection. If you want a higher security level, you can have your software configured to block domains known to spread malware. Or, better yet, you can install anti-virus software. This way, your ad blocker can then protect your device against adware, trojan horses, viruses, etc.
The top best ad blockers and legitimate apps and software are incredibly safe. However, some fraudulent services use similar names to legitimate apps. These were made to collect data from your browsing habits, so avoid falling for these programs. It’s best to stick with reliable service providers to protect your information to protect your devices from malvertising.
Malware intentionally causes injury or damage to your device. They compromise your device, slow down its functions, and breach your security. It’s typically used by attackers to steal data, control devices, and gather resources for their illegal activities.
Here are the types of ad blockers can provide you:
Blocking filters refer to a network-level filter, which decides to block a request or not.
Content filters refer to filters that hide only a particular element on a page.
Exception filters unblock requests or unhides certain page elements that are meant to be hidden. These also allow some ad network requests to go through.