Last update: 07.10.2019

Finding the perfect ad blocker is a lot like dating.

Now, hear me out – you’re going to try out a few different ones to see what’s out there. Once you’ve cycled through enough, you’ll probably be able to put them in a few categories:

  • the ones you absolutely love and want to marry immediately
  • the ones that are ok to date, but they’re missing something important
  • and the ones you want to murder and bury in a friend’s backyard

But, unless you want to go through an ad blocker version of the Black Mirror “Hang the DJ” episode, we’ll save you the trouble. We checked out the top ad blockers and grouped them for you.

You can’t go wrong with any of our top 10 ad blockers, and it’s ok to date the next 10 on the list, just for a fling. But you should absolute avoid the bottom 4. They’re on the bottom for a reason, and not in a good way.

Marry: our favorite ad blockers

You need to go ahead and put a ring on these ad blockers. These are our 10 favorite that offer you the biggest set of options for a smooth online experience.

1. Ghostery

Ghostery

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Edge, Safari, Cliqz, Android, iOS
  • Top features: Blocks ads and trackers; anonymizes user data; easy to use

At the top of most ad blocker lists is this exceptionally versatile and well-supported extension. One of the main reasons that it’s so popular is because it simply does what it promises: it blocks ads and trackers.

Ghostery works by identifying and collecting any data that the website has on and anonymizes it. Then it goes on to sell this anonymous data to third parties. This last part isn’t particularly savory to many people, which is why it’s so great that you can opt out of that when you install the extension.

2. AdBlock

Ad block

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Top features: Effective ad-blocking on social media; blocks ad-blocker warning messages

With a rating of between 4.5-5 stars by more than 60 million users, Adblock is one of the oldest and most popular ad blockers currently available. It is, however, often confused with Adblock Plus (which is a bit lower on our list), which actually is the inspiration for this extension.

This ad blocker even has the ability to remove the annoying “please unblock our ads” notification messages that appears on some websites.

3. Firefox Focus

firefox focus

  • Supported platforms: Android, iOS
  • Top features: optimized for mobile; mirrors private browsing mode; no cookies or history saved

Another extension that features highly in the ad remover reviews, Firefox Focus is ideal for iOS and Android. It’s a privacy-focused mobile browser which largely mirrors the private browsing mode which you’ll be familiar with from other browsers. However, this goes one step further by saving no information at all on your cookies or history.

It also bans other sites from tracking you in any way. At the same time, it blocks ads, making it ideal for content reading on small screens and saving your data plan.

4. Opera

opera

  • Supported platforms: Opera (Windows and Mac), Android (for Opera Mini)
  • Top features: built-in (no install needed); faster page-loading

This web browser features an inbuilt ad remover which works automatically. This means that you don’t need to add any extensions manually. Tracking cookies are also blocked, so you’ll get to browse privately and with total anonymity.

The browser is less well known than some, but its developers have added several features recently, including an integrated VPN service. We think that it is equally as good as Firefox and Chrome on a performance level. For your mobile, you can also use the Opera Mini browser to remove ads.

5. AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, iOS
  • Top features: supports most platforms; blocks pop-ups and pop-unders; flexible options

This product has the dual distinction of being one of the most well-known ad remover systems on the market and also one of the most controversial. Adblock Plus blocks a majority of ads, as well as filtering out malware.

But it lets you see “non-intrusive advertising” which is why it has gained some controversy; primarily for sharing revenue for these ads with the website owners who show them. The good news though is that it blocks the overt and irritating adverts which spread out over content that you want to see. It also blocks equally annoying pop-unders and pop-ups.

The system is also available on your Android or iOS operating system phone called the AdBlock Browser. There’s also a very interesting new extension called Trusted News which flags up any fake news that you might come across as you browse.

6. Adguard

AdGuard

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  • Top features: parental control options; has free and paid versions

Adguard is available on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Yandex, and Palemoon. Adguard offers multiple services besides ad blocking: Adguard provides boosted privacy and security while online, as well as parental control options.

The basic Adguard package is free, but if you want premium ad blocking services, these are available for the reasonable fees of USD2.50 per month for Premium, USD1.71 for Standard, or USD0.99 for Mobile.

7. uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Top features: user-friendly; light CPU and memory footprint

uBlock Origin is free and available on Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

UBlock Origin appears with a power button symbol in your browser that allows you to easily switch off ad blocker for that particular site, which benefits those of you interested in supporting certain web pages, rather than a set white list of websites.

8. Adlock

Adlock

  • Supported platforms: Windows, Android
  • Top features: protects entire device; wide variety of controls

Adlock is available on Windows and Android, and is an application rather than browser extension. Because they aren’t only attached to your browser, Adlock blocks advertising across your entire computer. A one year license for Adlock costs USD20.47, and there is a 30 day money back guarantee.

This is the ad blocker for you if you dislike any ads whatsoever, use Windows or Android devices, and desire intensive control over your personal information online. They are planning an iOS Mobile release in the future, so stay tuned if you are a Mac user but like the look of Adlock.

9. Incognito Adblocker

Incognito Adblocker

  • Supported platforms: Firefox
  • Top features: select elements of webpage to block; allows for complete customization

Incognito Adblocker is a free extension you can add if you use Firefox, that blocks ads very effectively across your browser. Incognito stops all ads and allows for complete customization online, as you can select elements of your web page to block, and create a tailored browsing experience. Incognito is relatively new, but has made enough of an impression to make it into our list of the top 5 ad blockers.

This is the extension for you if you use Firefox and enjoy being able to tailor your ad blocking depending on the site you’re using, and the types of ads they employ.

10. Adblocker Ultimate

Adblocker Ultimate

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, iOS
  • Top features: free and open source; no whitelisted ads; avoids Firefox looping problems

This ad blocker has been around for a few years and gained some traction as being a wonderful solution for blocking ads, adware, and tracking. It’s completely free and open source, meaning it has a great community behind it that can improve and audit the code at any time.

Another great aspect of Adblocker Ultimate is that there is no whitelist of acceptable ads, which means you can block ads anywhere and everywhere.

Kiss: medium-quality ad blockers you can try out

It’s OK to flirt with these ad blockers. They’ll satisfy you in one or two aspects, but they definitely have their faults. They’re not anything we’d recommend you take home to meet your mom, is all we’re saying.

11. NoScript

NoScript

  • Supported platforms: Firefox (desktop and Android), Tor Browser, Chrome
  • Top features: blocks JavaScript (unless trusted); stops clickjacking
  • What’s not great: as a script blocker, doesn’t block all ads

One great option in the “best ad blocker” discussion is NoScript – which, in actuality, is not an ad blocker. Instead, it’s a script-blocker, and it will allow you to block JavaScript, Java, Flash and a variety of plugins on a site unless you’ve marked the site as trusted. As a consequence, you’ll be blocking most display ads.

However, NoScript isn’t able to block ads on videos, including the annoying autoplay video ads.

12. Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Android
  • Top features: blocks third-party tracking
  • What’s not great: doesn’t block all ads; aggressive approach can break websites

The Electronic Freedom Frontier (EFF) has developed its own extension to help users experience the web without being tracked. Privacy Badger blocks third parties from tracking you, which in that case doesn’t make it an ad blocker per se. Instead, it uses an aggressive heuristic approach that learns which trackers to block – in that case, you’ll be shown ads on some websites. Beyond that, it does sometimes break websites, especially those that use Content Distribution Networks (CDNs), which help to load websites faster by hosting content on dedicated domains.

13. Google Chrome

google chrome

  • Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Top features: blocks “intrusive” ads
  • What’s not great: doesn’t block most ads

Google’s Chrome browser has a built-in ad blocker that will block the most egregious of ad-pollution you can find on many websites. However, its main goal is to block “intrusive” ads – but it allows all “non-intrusive” ads to go through. This is also kind of a given, since Google has a very lucrative ad business.

So, if you hate absolutely horrible ads on low-quality sites, this would be good for you. But if you want to stop seeing ads altogether, we wouldn’t recommend this for you.

14. Poper Blocker

poper blocker

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome
  • Top features: blocks ad pop ups, pop unders, and overlays
  • What’s not great: only blocks popups, not all ads; annoying blocking notifications

Poper Blocker (terrible name, we agree) is a popup blocker that helps users to have an enjoyable experience online. It blocks all ad popups, popunders, and overlays so you can explore sites unencumbered. Unfortunately, it also constantly notifies users whenever it blocks popups, which can be quite annoying.

In addition, since it’s mainly focused on blocking popups, embedded ads or video ads are able to roam free. So if you want to block popups – we can recommend this. If you want to block all ads, we recommend you go with another ad blocker.

15. Adaware Ad Block

Adaware Ad Block

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome
  • Top features: blocks ads, including Facebook and video ads
  • What’s not great: sometimes doesn’t work

Good-but-not-great ad blockers like Adaware come in the millions. They are able to block ads, including even the ads you see on Facebook or on videos. However, as many users have found, the extension can be quite buggy at times, and can often stop working entirely.

16. Easy AdBlocker

Easy AdBlocker

  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome
  • Top features: blocks popups, malware, phishing sites
  • What’s not great: slows down browser; spotty performance

This middle-of-the-road ad blocker claims to do a lot of things:

  • block video ads
  • block pop-ups
  • block annoying banners
  • block malware
  • block phishing websites
  • block crypto miners
  • speed up your navigation
  • save on bandwidth

However, many users have found that instead of speeding up navigation, after a while it can slow your browser down to a crawl. And, as with most average ad blockers, its performance is spotty, with the extension at times deciding not to work at all.

17. Adblocker for Chrome – NoAds

noAds

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Top features: removes “anti-adblocker” banners or detectors
  • What’s not great: doesn’t block all ads; only works for Chrome; mediocre

A good selection if you’ve found the top 10 above not to your liking. This extension works well on Chrome and performs well in blocking most ads. Fortunately, it doesn’t have any whitelisted ads or websites, so you’ll be blocking ads across the board. However, its reputation isn’t spotless when it comes to blocking ads, as some get through from time to time. Users have also noticed that the extension can stop working on occasion.

18. Adblocker Genesis Plus

Adblocker Genesis Plus

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Top features: lightweight; wide variety of features
  • What’s not great: only for Chrome; can cause video sync errors; doesn’t block Facebook ads

This is a pretty good option as far as middle-of-the-road ad blockers go. The first thing you’ll notice, however, is that it’s limited to Chrome, so if you have any other browsers, you’re pretty much out of luck. That being said, however, it is a pretty lightweight ad blocker that comes with a pretty clean, easy-to-understand interface and lots of features.

Users, however, have complained that it can cause audio/video sync errors on YouTube videos, and that it simply isn’t able to block Facebook ads.

19. Video Ad Blocker Plus for YouTube™

Video Ad Blocker Plus for YouTube™

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Top features: removes video ads and pre-roll ads
  • What’s not great: doesn’t always work; hard to uninstall; doesn’t block other ads

This is a pretty specific ad blocker, since it’s aimed mainly at YouTube video ads (but works on other video ads as well). It is more often than not successful at blocking annoying video ads and pre-roll ads. However, many users have complained that it is difficult to uninstall and, most importantly, doesn’t seem to work at all sometimes.

Besides that, there’s the intrinsic problem: it only blocks video ads, so it isn’t really a complete ad blocker.

20. Social Network Adblocker

Social Network Adblocker

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Top features: lightweight; blocks all ads on Facebook
  • What’s not great: only works sometimes

This is another use-specific ad blocker, similar to the YouTube blocker from above. The only difference here is that at least the YouTube blocker above works most of the time. The promised results for this extension sound great: block all ads on Facebook.

However, it seems that Facebook was able to outsmart the developers here, since users are claiming that most of the time it doesn’t actually work. So, if you want to block half of the ads on Facebook half of the time, download this. If not, go with our top 10 from above.

Kill: the absolute worst ad blockers you should avoid like the plague

Just kill all of these with fire. Indiscriminately. Not only will they not work at all, but they’ll probably infect you with something nasty.

21. uBlocker – #1 Adblock Tool for Chrome

uBlocker

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Worst part: doesn’t work; potentially malicious

For some reason, this extension has the top spot when looking for “ad block” in the Chrome store. It appears to have a lot of high ratings, but when you filter by “Recent,” you get a clearer idea of what kind of extension this is.

As one user writes,

Everytime I install this extension i get hijacked by hostzealot.com

Clickjacking and redirects – kill it with all the fire.

22. uBlock Plus Adblocker

uBlock Plus Adblocker

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Worst part: doesn’t work

You can install this extension and see how it goes for you, but we can save you all that time and trouble: it just doesn’t work. So why does it have such a lot of good reviews on the Chrome store? As one user writes:

Well they ask you to rate it as soon as you install it now thats not fair

Optimistic user reviews are submitted before the users have even tried the extension, but after the users have actually tried it, they come to the same conclusion:

23. Hola ad remover

Hola ad remover

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Worst part: from the makers of 💩 Hola VPN

We’ve mentioned before, in no uncertain terms, why you should say “Adios, Felicia!” to Hola VPN. Shady doesn’t begin to describe that company and how they sell your bandwidth. From those same makers comes the Hola ad remover.

But, as one user so succinctly writes:

Absolutely useless, didn’t work

24. Adblocker Lite for YouTube™

Adblocker Lite for YouTube™

  • Supported platforms: Chrome
  • Worst part: possible malware; doesn’t even work

With an average 2.5 rating and lots of bad reviews, Adblocker Lite for YouTube is a keyword-stuffed mess you should only approach with a flamethrower and/or missile launcher at hand.

Not only does it not actually work for most users, some reviewers reported that it is possible malware.

Adblockers inside

It’s only a matter of time before Google removes it from the Chrome store.

Back to basics: what is an ad blocker?

Like it says on the tin, an ad blocker stops that disruptive pop-up ad from appearing in the middle of your article. Ad blockers are also designed to stop banner ads, video ads, and even ads hidden in articles that trick you into clicking them.

The ad blocker usually works as a browser extension you add to your browser that stops certain media from appearing on websites. It can also be a separate software you download that effectively filters media across all the applications on your computer.

Why should you use an ad blocker?

Ads affect our online experience visually, as well as our computer’s performance, security, and privacy.

Ad blockers are used for four main reasons:

  1. Avoid seeing distracting, ugly, and disrupting ads. Whether you’re sharing your screen in a meeting and want to look professional, or are simply trying to unwind after work by scrolling through your social media feed. Ads that flash colors, play videos, or take up your whole screen are inconvenient and just plain annoying
  2. Performance issues. Ads slow web pages by taking up bandwidth and battery life, which is especially inconvenient when trying to load videos or complete online work within a time limit.
  3. Security. Ads pose the risk of transmitting viruses to your computer, and as we all learn the hard way – it’s easy to accidentally click on a pop up ad. There’s even a recent trend online of malware-infused advertising that damages your device without you doing anything wrong.
  4. Privacy. Online users want to choose what information we give to websites or advertisers, and it’s uncomfortable to think that these ads deny us that control over our own privacy.

When should I turn off my ad blocker?

While there are many compelling arguments to install an ad blocker, many people choose to turn their ad blocker for these reasons:

  1. Supporting content creators. Sometimes people want to support content producers who make their living off ads, prompting their fans or followers to turn off ad blocker in order to help them continue their work.
  2. Viewing your favorite sites. some sites such as Forbes might require visitors to deactivate their ad blocker in order to view their site at all. Luckily, on most browsers, you can also add certain web pages to a “white list”: a list of organizations you consent to receiving advertising from.
  3. Controlling your digital footprint. You might want certain sites or advertisers to know some of your details, to understand the demographic of consumers who value their content. Otherwise, you might want to control who receives your advertising dollars, which you do by turning ad blocker off for certain sites you wish to support in this way.

Add an extra layer of security with a VPN

How to unblock websites at schoolIf your goal is simply to stop seeing ads, then any of the top 10 above would do fine for you. But in reality, there’s a lot more going on: websites are tracking you, identifying your location, and some suspicious websites can even compromise your security and steal your data.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes in our browsers, and that’s why – if you want real privacy and security – you need to go beyond just the simple (though effective) ad blocker.

You need to start looking at VPNs. After all, VPNs help to hide your real location, plus encrypt all your data so that no one – not Facebook, Google, the government or anyone else – can see what you’re doing online.

Our #1 pick, for its brilliant combination of great price, great speeds, and unbeatable security is NordVPN. Not only that, but NordVPN already has an ad blocker built right into its software. Their CyberSec feature allows you to not just block annoying ads, but also avoid botnet control of your device and block dangerous websites.

Flawless privacy practices, advanced security features, and reliable geo-unblocking capabilities make NordVPN the undisputed industry leader. Whatever your needs, this VPN has you covered – all starting from just $3.49/month.
  • Excellent security
  • Largest server list on the market
  • Awesome for Netflix
  • Good for torrenting
  • Very easy to use
  • Affordable prices

That’s privacy and security above and beyond any ad blocker, and we couldn’t recommend it enough.