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Best ad blockers for Android in 2024

Best Android ad blockers

Everything you do nowadays is brimming with adware, whether it’s surfing the web, gaming, watching videos, or even just browsing your own files on your phone. The easiest solution is getting a reliable ad blocker for Android. However, finding the right one is an arduous process of trial and error, leaving most users frustrated rather than ad-free.

Not every Android ad blocker disables ads on other apps, as a majority just work on the browser level. And the Google Play store is littered with hundreds of blockers that show ads themselves. The amount of “free” services that include in-app purchases is also staggering, and reeks of false advertising. Not to mention numerous subpar VPN + ad blocker combos that don’t really do anything.

We tested multiple ad blockers for Android to present only those that actually take down adware without throwing more of those pesky ads at your face. Our team considered both specialized solutions and reputable VPNs that include ad blocking features. Each tool’s features, perks, and effectiveness are also discussed.

Top 5 best ad blockers for Android: shortlist

  1. Most effective Android ad blocker
    9.7
  2. Ad blocker for Android with filter options
    9.3
  3. Affordable ad blocker for Android with a VPN
    9.2
  4. Quick and robust ad blocker for Android
    8.7
  5. 8.4

What to look for when choosing the best ad blocker for Android

With so many tools available today, getting the right ad blocker for you is a tough job. Below, we highlight certain aspects you should pay close attention to:

  • What’s it for. Do you want to get rid of ads on all apps on your phone? Or just when you’re browsing the web? Most ad blockers only work as browser extensions, so to say, so you’ll still be seeing advertisements on other applications. Whenever you’re searching the Google Play store for a solution, always check what the Android ad blocker is intended for.
  • Android compatibility. Not every ad blocker is available on Android, so ensure you can download and enable it on these phones. They should also be intuitive and easy to set up. Also keep in mind that some only come in the form of browser extensions, which won’t solve the problem of in-app advertising.
  • Filtering. Maybe you want to keep certain ads. Then having whitelisting or filtering options is a must, as they let you customize what should be blocked and what can remain.
  • Additional perks. Some tools come with extra benefits. For example, if you pick a VPN with a built-in ad blocker, you may also get a malicious website blocker. Furthermore, these secure your internet traffic, conceal your online identity, let you change your virtual location, etc.
  • Privacy policy. The ad blocker shouldn’t be spying on your internet activities, either. Always look for a strict no-logs policy – it indicates the provider keeps their hands off your information and browsing habits.
  • Price. We wouldn’t trust completely free ad blockers as usually you end up paying for them with your privacy. But there are plenty of affordable solutions worth checking out, often with money-back guarantees that let you get a refund.

Also keep in mind that well-rated Android ad blockers aren’t necessarily good. Some litter your screen with their own advertising. And services that are available for “free” aren’t better, either, as most have hidden in-app purchases. It’s a good rule of thumb to at least check the latest comments since users are quick to note (and complain) when something doesn’t work as intended.

The best Android ad blockers: overview

  1. Total Adblock – the ultimate Android ad blocker
  2. Adlock – ad blocked for Android with customization
  3. Surfshark CleanWeb – ad blocker for Android with great security
  4. Blokada – cloud-based ad blocking tool for Android
  5. Proton VPN NetShield – security-first ad blocking solution

Our recommended ad blockers for Android effectively disable most ads, pop-ups, banners, videos, and so on. We also looked for versatile tools to ensure you benefit from more than just an ad-free browsing experience, for example, data encryption. Furthermore, you don’t have to root your phone to install and use them.

1. Total Adblock – the best ad blocker for Android devices

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$1.59/month
  • Highly effective ad blocking
  • Blocking filters
  • Script-blocking
  • App not available on Google Play

The most effective ad blocker for Android is Total Adblock. It has an application for both Android and iOS devices, and it takes down various types of adverts, user trackers typically used for targeted ads, and malicious websites. Such things as pop-ups, notifications, and video ads won’t be a problem any more.

Total Adblock comes with a few notable perks. First is the blocking filters you can toggle for specific purposes – Base, Tracking Protection, Social Media, and Annoyances. The ad blocker also comes with the acceptable ad whitelisting function if there are adverts you’d actually like to see. Additionally, you can get the Total Security pack that includes an antivirus, safe browsing, and the ad blocker in question for full Android protection.

Our testing has shown that Total Adblock blocks around 96% of adware on Android devices. While it had trouble with error trackers and GIF images, it’s still an exemplary result. Furthermore, it worked great while disabling auto-play YouTube ads, widgets, push notifications, and even ads in mobile game apps.

Total Adblock isn’t available to download from the Google App store. The app store, unfortunately, has a policy against system-wide ad blockers. Still, you can get it from the ad blockers official website and install it manually. And no worries, it’s a fairly easy process.

Those in need of an Android ad blocker that seemingly takes care of all adware can get it for 80% less. The free 7-day trial also lets you test the service before committing. And after that, there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee, just in case.

2. Adlock – Android ad blocker that works with YouTube

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
Company location
Company location:
Slovakia
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$1.05/month
  • Whitelisting
  • Multiple filtering options
  • HTTPS filtering
  • Doesn’t work simultaneously with VPN

Adlock is another specialized Android ad blocker that works on the device level. It detects most pop-ups, trackers, and banners in an instant and wipes them from your screen. It doesn’t matter whether they appear on the browser, mobile game, YouTube, or any other app. This solution can even take care of cryptocurrency mining ads.

This system-wide ad blocker disables adware on the DNS level by blocking unwanted traffic and stopping queries from malicious websites. Moreover, Adlock lets you choose how it behaves with the help of whitelisting and filtering toggles that affect system apps. The Android app comes exclusively with the HTTPS filtering function which takes down ads on pages that utilize this protocol.

Adlock fared very well during testing, coming to approximately 90% effectiveness. There were a few hiccups concerning the error monitoring test, but otherwise we enjoyed an ad-free Android experience. What’s notable about his ad blocker is how it works with the YouTube app. It has its own media player that you can use with a quick press of the Share button.

As is the case with Total Adblock, Adlock can’t be found in the Google App store, either. And for the same reason to boot. Instead, you’ll have to download the APK file and upload it to your Android phone. We must also note that this tool doesn’t work simultaneously with other VPNs.

Adlock can be used on five devices simultaneously and costs $1.05/month (70% discount). The subscriptions are protected by the 30-day money-back guarantee and there’s 24/7 customer support, just in case.

3. Surfshark CleanWeb – a comprehensive Android ad blocker

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
Company location
Company location:
The Netherlands
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$2.19/month
  • No more YouTube ads
  • Whitelist feature with CleanWeb 2.0
  • Comes with a VPN
  • Some apps lack features

Another ad blocker for Android worthy of your consideration is Surfshark’s CleanWeb. It’s bundled with the VPN software, and you must be connected to a server to enable it. Working in tandem, this combo effectively masks your online activities and stops ads in their tracks.

CleanWeb takes down advertisements, disables user trackers, and even blocks malicious websites. If you tend to be bombarded with spam, it will be a problem no more, either, since the feature is capable of detecting phishing attempts. Furthermore, Surfshark’s browser extension comes equipped with CleanWeb 2.0, and it includes a bypass list to allow ads on websites of choice.

The ad blocker works fairly great, blocking about 80% of adware. But it wasn’t able to pass all tests with flying colors, for example, Google Analytics tests or static image ones. Still, CleanWeb is suited for disabling all those long and boring YouTube ads, so there’s that. We even noticed that it saved us some mobile data. And it makes sense, as loading them is pretty data-intensive.

Surfshark is among the top companies that offer cybersecurity measures. Its VPN runs on RAM-only servers, the no-logs policy is tested and verified, and there are other robust tools available. One of them is Surfshark One, which includes an antivirus, a private browser, and a data breach monitor.

CleanWeb + Surfshark VPN come together for a decent price. Currently, those interested can purchase it for 86% less. Of course, the subscriptions are protected by the 30-day money-back guarantee, so refunds are on the table. And testing the waters first is an option with the 7-day free trial (Android and iOS).

4. Blokada – open-source Android ad blocker

Support
Support:
email, support forum
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$7.49/month
  • Tracking fingerprinting prevention
  • Encrypts DNS queries
  • Can combine with a VPN
  • Expensive

Blokada is an ad blocker for Android that can either be used as a standalone blocker as Blokada Plus, which comes with a VPN. In each case, it disables intrusive advertisements and trackers utilized to create personalized adware. And since it’s a system-wide solution, you can finally browse, play, and stream on your phone without pesky nuisances.

This tool comes in two forms – Blokada 5, which is free to use, and Blokada 6, subscription-based, but with customizability options. With Exceptions, you can manage blocking of particular websites. Then there’s Blocklists, which includes dozens of separate lists for different purposes. These curate what they disable by checking various malware, tracking, phishing, spam, cyber attack databases.

Blokada proved to be robust by taking care of 77% of adware. Since it runs on DNS filtering, sometimes you’ll see the frames of the ads, just without the content usually in it. Another quirk we ran into was in regards to the YouTube app. While we saw a general decrease in the amount of advertising shown, it still let through some of the video ads.

The free version, with limited customizability, can only be downloaded from Blokada’s website. And version 6 is freely available in the Google Play Store. As is the case with Adlock, Blokada also doesn’t work when other VPNs are turned on.

If extensive block lists are something you need, you can get Blokada for $7.49/month. And if you’re wary of committing from the get-go, a 7-day free trial is also on the table.

5. Proton VPN NetShield – great Android ad blocker with security focus

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$4.99/month
  • Customization
  • Phishing protection
  • Built-in VPN
  • Doesn't stop YouTube ads in the browser

Proton VPN Netshield is another Android ad blocking solution that comes bundled with a VPN. The combined effect results in protection from those who want to spy on you online and advertising, user trackers, and shady websites. Furthermore, you’ll benefit from increased browsing speeds.

NetShield utilizes DNS filtering to prevent adware from ever showing up on your screen. Users can pick from three blocking modes – Don’t block, Block malware only, or Block Malware, ads & trackers. Now it even comes with a Privacy Panel that shows statistics of the tool’s robustness.

Equipped with Netshield, you’ll see 68% less ads. But the service noticeably struggles with static images, GIFs, direct link ads, and sometimes Google Analytics tools. Another caveat worth mentioning is that it dependably blocks ads on the YouTube app, but runs into a roadblock concerning YT browser adware.

As for Proton VPN itself, the company hails from privacy-respecting Switzerland, a country with no data retention laws. It boasts an independently-audited no-logs policy and open-source apps as well. Finally, the VPN app includes plenty of other security-oriented features, like obfuscation, Tor Over VPN, multihop, and so on.

NetShield, which comes along with the VPN, is available with a 55% discount. And the commitments are risk-free, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee. You can essentially use it to try the service for free for a month.

Best Ad blockers for Android: comparison

ProvidersTotal AdblockAdlock
Surfshark CleanWebBlokada
Proton VPN NetShield
Price$1.59/month$1.05/month$2.19/month$7.49/month$4.49/month
Malware filteringYesYesYesYesYes
Tracker blocker
YesYesYesYesYes
Blocks YouTube adsYesYesYesYesYes
App for Android
YesYesYesYesYes
Browser extension
Chrome, Firefox, EdgeChromeChrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, OperaNoChrome, Firefox

How we tested the best Android ad blockers

While the main testing factors were functionality and effectiveness, these weren’t the only aspects we considered. Our research criteria also included the following:

  • Ensured privacy. Always get those specific ads weirdly catered to your interests? Thank various user trackers for that. We selected ad blockers for Android that not only disable adware but these tracking tools as well.
  • Additional features. Everyone can benefit from extra protection. Thus, our chosen services come with perks such as malicious website blockers, phishing detection, data breach monitors, malware protection, VPN software, etc.
  • Provider reliability. It’s nice knowing that you’re using a tool from a service that doesn’t have a vested interest in your browsing habits. A no-logs policy is one of the most important indications of that. Another crucial titbit is jurisdiction – that’s why we can’t, in good will, recommend such tools AdGuard, which has ties with Russia.
  • Provider reliability. It’s nice knowing that you’re using a tool from a service that doesn’t have a vested interest in your browsing habits. A no-logs policy is one of the most important indications of that.
  • Third-party tools. We also ran the Android ad blockers through such testing tools as canyoublockit.com, the AdBlock Tester, Coveryourtracks.eff.org, and so on. And since YouTube is getting out of control with all those ads, we checked if they efficiently blocked them.
  • App-level blocking. Our team also checked whether the ad blockers work on various other apps, not just the browser. We tested them on YouTube, social media applications like Facebook, various mobile games, and so on.
  • Ease of use. Best case scenario, the Android ad blocker can be downloaded from the Google Play store and used right out of the box. Some are unavailable and require users to upload the APK file to their phone and install it that way, which is still pretty easy to do. But rooting your mobile device takes knowledge, effort, and time, so we forwent such solutions as AdAway.
  • Pricing. You shouldn’t break the bank to get rid of pesky ads. Our options are affordable and come with plenty of perks useful for more than just ad blocking.

Total Adblock passed our tests with flying colors. It reliably disabled all kinds of ads, stopped user trackers from collecting data, and prevented us from visiting pages known for hosting malware. Best of all, it blocked adware beyond the browser, letting us enjoy ad-free YouTube, mobile gaming, and more.

Benefit from the best Android ad blocker

Enjoy an ad-free online experience with Total Adblock. Plus, it disables user trackers and prevents you from visiting malicious websites. And since it’s a system-wide solution, you won’t be seeing any advertisements on other Android apps, either.

9.8 /10
Excellent at blocking ads
Malware filter
7-day free trial

Why do you need to block ads on Android devices?

Blocking ads that are seemingly everywhere is just one part of it. Getting an ad blocker for Android is beneficial in other ways, as well:

  • Improving browsing. Bloated adware usually makes most pages barely legible since they take up most of the screen. Some websites even have annoying pop-ups that have no visible buttons to close them. Well, intrusive ads won’t ruin your browsing experience anymore with an ad blocker.
  • Saving on mobile data. Advertisements take up space and consume data to load. And when there’s lots of them, you might find yourself running out of mobile data fast. And ad blockers prevent that and, in some cases, even save your phone’s battery life.
  • No more cookie pop-ups. Almost every website now pushes visitors to approve or deny cookie tracking with cookie notifications. It’s a hassle since you can’t browse the page without approving or declining them, and they usually take up the whole screen. A reliable Android ad blocker hides these nuisances before they even manage to load.
  • Preventing phishing. Another problem with adware is that most of it contains scams and targeted threats. One accidental click and your data can be compromised in seconds. But with an ad blocker in tow, these online dangers will be detected and disabled in one go.
  • Securing your phone. Most ad blockers come with additional perks for enhanced privacy and security. It can be VPN software for hiding your online identity, antiviruses for stopping malicious software, and more.

How to change DNS to block ads on Android

There’s also a way to block ads on Android phones by changing your Private DNS to that of an ad-blocking service DNS. You don’t need any special app to do it, but it only works with Android 9 Pie and newer versions of the OS. If your smartphone operates on an older version, you’ll have to resort to ad-blocking applications.

Many online users recommend using NextDNS. There’s a free and a paid version of it, with the difference being that free-tier users are limited to 300,000 queries/month. And combined with a proper system-wide ad blocker, along with an ad blocking browser like Brave, you’ll be enjoying an ad-free Android experience.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Network and Internet > Advanced > Private DNS
  2. Select Private DNS Provider Hostname
  3. Enter nextdns.io
  4. Press Save, and you should no longer see ads while browsing

We must note that NextDNS and other DNS level solutions require other ad-blocking tools in order to work properly. As a standalone solution, it’s not powerful enough to prevent adware from showing up on your screen.

Moreover, you’ll only be able to use one VPN at a time and will need an additional app to enable such ad blockers. And DNS servers shut down from time to time, leaving you to deal with advertisements for an indefinite period. Worst of all, there’s a significant battery drain.

Best Android ad blockers based on your needs

Not every Android ad blocker works great in different use cases. One tool might be great in one department but weak in another. Because of this, you have to identify why you’re getting an ad blocker in the first place:

  • YouTube ad blocker for Android. One option to stop all those video advertisements on YouTube is by subscribing to Premium. A much cheaper method is getting a YouTube ad blocker that works both on the app and browser versions. Our chosen best Android ad blockers are perfect for this.
  • Ad blocker for Android TV. Smart TVs are another hassle; getting an ad blocker that works on them is a trial-and-error process. Thankfully, some tools support Android TV, for example, Surfshark’s CleanWeb. Keep in mind that the process of setting them up depends on the provider. Some work from the get-go once connected, and for others, you’ll have to tweak the TV’s DNS settings.
  • Ad blocker for Android tablet. These devices can also benefit from a proper ad blocker as they tend to be as bloated with adware as Android phones. Once again, most tools that work on mobiles perform just as well on Android tablets.

Are free Android ad blockers safe?

Very few free Android ad blockers are safe, so we don’t recommend risking it. First and foremost, costless services usually are ineffective as they are designed to stop only certain ads. And most aren’t updated frequently to battle the ever-evolving ad campaigns. Another caveat is that while most say they are “free”, in fact, they contain in-app purchases or, worse yet, adware.

Of course, the free ad blocker for Android might also be tracking your online actions. Why would they require permission to access such data as your contacts, camera, map, etc.? That’s the problem with free software – if you don’t pay for it, you end up being the product. There have been cases where such ad blockers were caught logging user data and selling it to, ironically, third-party advertisers.

Advertisements are already getting out of hand, and a free ad blocker will hardly stop them. If you’re willing to risk it with this kind of solution, at least carefully read over their privacy policy. But if you really want an ad-free experience, going premium is the safer, better choice. Most paid ad blockers have trials and money-back guarantees, letting you test them before committing full-time.

Visit Total Adblock

Browsers with built-in ad blockers for Android devices

If you want to disable ads solely on your mobile browser, you don’t necessarily need to resort to ad blocker apps for that. Some come with built-in ad blockers, which should be enough for the job. However, we advise against using the default Chrome browser. While it manages to block the majority of adware, it lets a significant amount of them through.

Here are some alternative Android browsers with built-in ad blockers:

  • Brave. Includes a built-in ad blocker that prevents tracking, and is generally optimized to save on mobile data and battery life.
  • Opera. The ad blocker is free, and you don’t have to install any additional add-ons for it. It even comes with a filter, letting you choose which advertisements you want to see and which not.
  • Pure. A lightweight browser with an ad blocker that is capable of even filtering push notifications.
  • Dolphin. The browser’s ad blocker can disable banners and pop-ups besides the usual advertisements. It also blocks tracking from certain websites. You have to enable Dolphin Jetpack in the Settings for it to work.
  • Vivaldi. The integrated ad blocker stops ads and disables user trackers.

Just keep in mind that with these browsers, you won’t be running into ads only when surfing the web on them. All other applications on your phone with in-app advertisements won’t be affected. If you want an ad blocking solution that disables ads on a system-level, you need an Android ad blocker designed for this.

Get Total Adblock today

Conclusion

Yes, advertisements can be incredibly annoying, but you don’t have to suffer through them. There are many tools available that help combat this issue, from ad blocker add-ons to full-fledged protection suites that ensure your Android phone’s security as well.

If you want a robust Android ad blocker, we recommend Total Adblock. It effectively disables various adware and prevents websites from tracking you. Furthermore, it’s a system-wide ad-blocking solution that blocks adware on YouTube, mobile games, and other Android applications.

What do you think is the best Android ad blocker? Let us know in the comments below!

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You may also like to read:
Best ad blockers for iPhone
Best ad blockers for Chrome
Best free ad blockers
Best ad blockers for Spotify
Best ad blockers for Edge
Best ad blockers for Safari


FAQ

What is the best ad blocker for Android devices?

The best Android ad blocker is Total Adblock. It effectively takes down adware and prevents user trackers from monitoring your browsing activities. And because it’s a system-wide ad-blocking solution, you won’t see ads in other applications, like YouTube.

Does Android have an ad blocker?

No, Android doesn’t have an ad blocker. The closest thing to it is the Chrome browser’s built-in ad blocker. But the problem with it is that it isn’t reliable and lets most of the adware through. If you want to disable all ads, you’re better off getting a proper Android ad blocker.

Is there a free ad blocker for Android?

Free Android ad blockers exist, but we don’t recommend using them. More often than not, they barely disable any ads. Furthermore, the tool might be tracking your online movements and selling that data to third parties. We strongly suggest opting for premium ad blockers instead.

How do you activate an ad blocker on Android?

Depends on the ad blocker. Some let you enable it in the Settings menu of the app. Others require you to manually configure the DNS settings for the Android ad blocker to work.

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