The average American sees thousands of ads every day. The number has probably gone up in the last 12 months as well, as more people have spent more time online. With that in mind, it’s little wonder ad blockers have become so popular. These handy apps keep all those pesky ads from popping up and distracting you or even crashing a webpage.
Whether you use one yet or not, though, you might be wondering which one is actually the best. This handy guide will help you decide which one you want to use.
Think About Your Device
The first step you need to take when blocking ads is to look at the device you’re using. Some ad blockers are only available for one operating system.
If you’re running macOS, then you’ll have different options for ad blockers than someone running Windows 10. If you use Android for your phone or a tablet, then you may have different choices yet again.
Many of the best ad blockers are available in both mobile and desktop versions. That means they’ll be available for both your iPhone and your MacBook.
Some are Android-only or PC-only, and others are Mac-only. Some ad blockers have also been developed for a particular OS. They might have a version that’s compatible with what you’re running, but it may not be the best choice.
What Browser Are You Using?
Your next consideration when looking for the best ad blockers is which browser you use. Are you a diehard Chrome fan, or are you using Safari because it’s what came installed on your iPhone?
Many ad blockers will work with several different browsers. There are some that only work with one browser or another. For example, the Stands Fair AdBlocker only works with Chrome.
What if you use a less popular browser, like Opera or Edge? You may find your options for getting a decent ad blocker are quite limited.
With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to look at the best apps for blocking ads.
AdBlock and AdBlock Plus
AdBlock and AdBlock Plus aren’t related to each other, but these two blockers are popular choices among users. It’s not hard to see why.
Both are available for most browsers. AdBlock Plus is available for Safari, Edge, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. AdBlock doesn’t work with Opera.
AdBlock Plus is also available for mobile devices running Android or iOS. For Apple devices, it’s available as an app. On Android devices, it’s a browser extension.
In either case, AdBlock Plus comes with preset filtering lists that let you start blocking ads almost immediately. The set-up is simple. The app allows savvy users to create their own filter lists.
AdBlock is not just the “regular” version of AdBlock Plus, but it works in a similar way. Set-up is made simple with the use of prebuilt block lists. Users can then subscribe to other block lists, build their own, and whitelist their favorite sites.
Of course, AdBlock, AdBlock Plus, and other blockers can be detected by websites. Instead of ads, you’ll get an anti-adblock notification, asking you to whitelist the site. Many sites ask for this, because they don’t make revenue when ads are blocked.
To get rid of these notifications, you’ll want to know how to make AdBlock undetectable. There are a few different options, although some work better than others.
More Advanced Ad Blockers for Different Types of Ads
AdBlocker and AdBlockerPlus both deal well enough with most ads. That said, more advanced users may appreciate a blocker like uBlock AdBlocker Plus or Poper Blocker.
Poper Blocker is notable in that it automatically blocks website overlays. You’ve likely seen these ads, which block out the website you’re trying to visit for a few seconds. Once the ad has run, you’ll proceed to the site itself.
Poper Blocker can help you skip those ads altogether. Unfortunately, this adblocker is only available for Chrome users.
uBlock AdBlocker Plus isn’t as user-friendly as the other ad blockers, which means you’ll spend more time setting it up. That might be worth it, since uBlock is powerful. When configured the right way, it blocks everything, including auto-play video ads.
uBlock AdBlocker Plus is only available for Chrome. uBlock Origin is available for Firefox as well. It’s a little more user-friendly, but makes more use of preset lists.
Are Built-in Blockers Any Good?
Some browsers now come with built-in ad blockers. Opera was one of the first to include this feature. Chrome now offers a built-in blocker as well.
In this case, it really depends on which built-in ad blocker you’re talking about. Opera’s built-in capabilities are actually quite impressive. Chrome’s ad-blocker is less effective.
That may be because Google has a vested interest in letting ads through. Opera, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on ad revenue.
A built-in ad blocker is a good start, but you may want something more. As noted, there are plenty of good options for Chrome out there. There are fewer options for other browsers, although you can usually find a good one.
What If Privacy Is a Concern?
Some people want to use ad blockers because they want to stay anonymous online. In that case, you may want to consider a privacy extension like Ghostery.
Keep in mind that privacy extensions are not actually ad blockers. Ghostery will block some ads, but it definitely doesn’t block all of them. Instead, it focuses on website elements that could compromise your privacy.
That includes some ads, so Ghostery will cut down on the number of ads you see. If your primary concern is getting rid of ads, though, you’ll want to look at something else.
Stay on Top of App Trends
There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to ad blockers. Choosing the best one depends a bit on what you want the blocker to do, as well as the device and software you’re using.
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