Is there anything more frustrating than trying to browse content online with endless adverts and trackers constantly popping up? If you want to enjoy your time online without endlessly needing to close pop-up ads, then it’s time to use a web browser that offers ad remover or blocker software.
These ad removers work automatically, and can also be installed as a browser extension. But with so many of these products on the market, who has time to trawl through ad remover reviews to find the best! Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you and these are some of our favorites.
The pros and cons of online adverts
If you use an ad remover you’ll find that the websites you visit will look cleaner and easier to read. Page load speeds are faster and if you browse on your mobile phone, you’ll use less of your data plan by not downloading ads you never wanted to see in the first place.
However, there’s a flip side to consider. Paid placement ads basically allow free content to be produced for user consumption. So, if you deny the creators of your favorite website the chance to advertise to you, you deny them revenue that pays them to keep producing that content you love… something to mull over at the very least!
However, there’s a balance that is possible to achieve here. Some ad blocking services offer an option to allow adverts which aren’t intrusive, which could give you a sense of balance by simply banning the distracting ones that pop right out at you. Others simply block every kind of advert and on-site tracker, which assesses your behavior on the site and which then follows you as you travel to other sites.
A lot of people don’t like the idea of trackers from a privacy perspective, but again, they provide revenue for websites. Bear in mind that all ad blocking products will let you set your own “ads allowed whitelist” so you can actively support those sites which you enjoy. This includes exceptions for the YouTube channels that you want to support by allowing ads to be shown to you.
But without further ado, we’ve trawled through the ad remover reviews and selected our pick of the bunch:
Of all the ad remover reviews, Ghostery is always up there as a top pick. It’s been available for a number of years and is a great privacy extension. You can use it on Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Edge, and also on iOS and Android.
We like it because it’s free and it effectively blocks any kind of advert or tracker. It works by gathering the data that the website tracker has collected on you, makes it entirely anonymous and then sells it on to a third party. However, you can opt out of this if you like when you install the extension for the first time so that your data is kept completely secure.
As with all extensions, the icon will sit at the top-right corner of your chosen browser and you’ll just click to view the interface. There are options to pause ad blocking and also to select an option to “trust” the site that you are on so that trackers and ads are allowed in the future.
Don’t mix this up with AdBlock Plus, which is actually owned by an entirely different developer. You’ll be asked for a donation of at least £5 when you install it on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari as an extension. Now, you don’t need to pay for it as the fee is optional, but seeing as this ad-blocker is one of the best on the market, it’s well worth supporting the developers behind it! The extension blocks every website advert, including those found on social media websites.
You can even remove the ad-blocker warning message that inevitably appears on some websites. Another feature is the exceptions list, so you can still use those websites which tend not to work once the blockers are in place, such as some online banking systems.
Again, there’s a whitelist feature so that you can continue to support your favorite websites and make sure they still receive an ad revenue for making the content that you love!
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.
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.
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. It’s free to use and quick and easy to get up and running on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Adblock Plus blocks a majority of ads, as well as filtering out malware.
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. So again, it’s a sales revenue model from advertising, albeit a less intrusive one!
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 flexible format lets you toggle your preferences for websites that you are viewing so that you can support some sites and block ads on others. The whitelist option allows you to manage this more permanently according to your choices.
The system is also available on your Android or iOS operating system phone called the AdBlock Browser. It shares most features with the desktop version. 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.
If you’re concerned about denying certain organizations your advertising dollars, but are willing to view ads that are considerate and not too distracting, Adblock Plus might be for you, as they allow ads that meet these criteria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So, whichever of these ad remover reviews floats your boat, it’s good to know that you can quickly and easily download an effective ad blocker that allows you to enjoy your browsing experience all that bit more. Whether you choose to pay for your ad blocker or continue to allow your favorite websites to earn money from the content you consume, you can regain full control of your time on the web.