What Are Ad Blockers?

Bruno Mircevski

Written by Web Hosting Expert

August 22, 2022
What Are Ad Blockers?

Over 42% of all internet users use an ad blocker at least once per month, with over 81% citing too many Internet ads as the reason why. And as ads become more frequent and intrusive, the numbers will continue to grow. In the US, ad block users have increased by almost 72% from 2014 to 2022. This being said, let’s see what ad blockers are all about.

What Are Ad Blockers? How Do Ad Blockers Work?


An ad blocker is a software or program that is used to block ads from appearing on a website, app, network, etc. They enable users not to view any ads when they read or watch content on the Internet. Ad blockers can block almost all types of ads, like animations, videos, programs, etc.

The way ad blockers work is pretty straightforward. They scan the website you visit for any elements that match known ad code patterns. If they find such elements, they block them from loading, which prevents them from appearing on your screen.

An ad blocker will block ads automatically once you install it.

Are Ad Blockers Legal?


Yes, ad blockers are completely legal to download and install for personal use.

For example, ad blockers do work on YouTube, and you can use them not to view any ads. However, it is illegal for networks and apps to use ad blockers as corporate entities.

Are Ad Blockers Safe?


Potential Drawbacks of Ad Blockers

Many malicious ads can track your online activity, install malware on your device, etc., even if you don’t click on them. In fact, around 58% of users install ad blockers to protect their privacy, while 62% use ad blockers to protect themselves from malware. However, the ad blockers themselves are not without flaws and drawbacks, and they can:

  • Disrupt browsing experience

  • Slow down browsing speed

  • Block useful content instead of ads

  • Prevent from accessing certain websites and social media

  • Prevent websites from making revenue

  • Lead to lower quality content on websites

What Are the Best Ad Blockers?


Top 5 Free Ad Blockers

There are many ad blockers you can use that can be both paid and free. Here is a list of the top five free ad blockers and pop-up blockers:

1. uBlock Origin

Is a browser extension that blocks ads and pop-ups. It is an open-source extension that is compatible with Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Edge for desktop, while for mobile devices, it is only compatible with Firefox on Android. You don’t have to download anything; you just add it to your browser.

uBlock Origin

2. AdBlock

Is a customizable extension that allows users to set their own filters if they want only certain ads to be blocked or if they want to allow some ads to appear. It blocks both ads and pop-ups, and no software downloads are needed. It is compatible with Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Edge on desktop and mobile devices.

AdBlock

3. AdBlock Plus

Is both an application and extension. As an application, you can download it and use it to set your own filters, which enables you to choose which websites you want to show ads and pop-ups and which you wish to block. As an extension, it is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices and blocks ads, disables tracking, and can block entire websites.

AdBlock Plus

4. Stands Fair Adblocker

Is only compatible with Chrome as an extension but is available as a free plugin for other browsers on both desktop and mobile devices. It blocks ads and pop-ups, works with website owners, and encourages users to allow the websites that they trust so that those websites can continue to make money. It works on numerous websites like YouTube and Facebook and blocks malware and activity tracking.

Stands Fair Adblocker

5. Ghostery

Is a privacy extension that is compatible with Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Edge on both desktop and mobile devices. It blocks ads, prevents tracking, and can make your personal data anonymous. However, it is not as good as blocking pop-ups as other ad blockers.

Ghostery

How to install the AdBlock extension on Google Chrome in 3 Steps


1. Open Google Chrome on your computer, which you can find in your Start menu on Windows or in the Applications folder on a Mac.

2. Type in https://getadblock.com/en/ in Chrome’s address bar to go to the AdBlock website. Once you’re on the website, click on the “Get Adblock Now” banner.

How to install the AdBlock extension on Google Chrome

After clicking on the banner, you will be redirected to the installation page of the extension for the browser you use, which is Google Chrome in our case.

How to install the AdBlock extension on Google Chrome 2

3. On the installation page, click on the “Add to Chrome” icon, and the extension will be automatically added and will show in your extensions list once the process is done. Then, you will see the AdBlock icon, i.e., the hand on a red (stop sign) background, in the top right area of your browser. Click on the icon, select settings/options in the dropdown menu, and set your options and settings. After doing this, save the changes. And that’s it.

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome in 5 Steps


1. Open the Google Chrome browser on your desktop.

2. After opening it, click on the three dots on the top-right side of the browser next to the address bar. On the dropdown menu, click on the “Settings” icon

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome

3. After clicking on “Settings,” you will be redirected to a menu with more setting options.

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome 2

4. In the menu that pops up, find and click on “Site Settings,” which is at the bottom of the “Privacy and “Security tab group.

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome 3

5. After clicking on “Site Settings,” you will be redirected to another menu that contains other content setting options. Here, find the “Ads” option and click on it.

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome 4

After clicking on “Ads,” you will be redirected to another set of options. Here, select the “Block ads on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads.” This concludes the process of turning the built-in Adblock on Chrome.

How to turn on built-in Adblock on Google Chrome 5

Final Thoughts


Ads are everywhere and are used heavily and frequently by websites, applications, and networks to monetize their content, which can be quite annoying and disruptive to the user experience. As a result, many ad blockers have been introduced to counter this and make users’ browsing experience better and more enjoyable.

By using any of the ad blockers listed in this article, you can easily block ads, pop-ups, and other components to make your time on the Internet safer and control what you do and don’t see.

Frequently Asked Questions


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Bruno Mircevski
About the Author
Bruno Mircevski

Bruno Mircevski is a web hosting services expert. He has spent years researching the niche, exploring the most diverse aspects of Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Resellers, etc. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he can grant you meaningful insights on our blog, whether you are a beginner or a hosting pro.

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