All publishers need to run ads to keep the lights on, but sometimes we can go too far. Opera CTO Bruce Lawson recently quoted a report to say that over 50 percent of all Internet traffic is just ads. That means that half of your limited FUP is probably wasted on advertisements. If you want to take control of this and lower your bills, then you've probably thought about installing an ad-blocker.
If you're wondering about how to block ads on the Internet, the best option is to just install an ad-blocker on your browser. For this article, we're specifically looking at ad-blockers for Google Chrome since it is the most popular Web browser, but the options and steps are pretty simple and pretty similar even for other browsers such as Safari, or Firefox.
On your phone, many popular browsers such as the Opera browser and UC Browser come with built-in adblockers, but on your PC you'll need to install an extension. We looked at some of the most popular adblock extensions available by seeing what all was being recommended by others online, looking at user reviews, and then trying out the extensions ourselves.
Here are the ad block extensions for Chrome that we liked, and why we liked them.
- AdBlock Plus
One of the best known ad blockers on the market is AdBlock Plus or ABP. It's available on most browsers and has its own Android app as well. Setup is fast, and after that you can forget about it altogether.
ABP does allow some ads through - the advertisers have to meet some requirements to be 'non-intrusive' but you can change this in the settings. ABP also blocks video ads in YouTube, and all noisy ads, and you can set it to block tracking, malware, and social media buttons.
Get AdBlock Plus on the Chrome Web Store.
Both AdBlock, and then AdBlock Plus, came up as two separate adblockers for Firefox. When Chrome came along, AdBlock was launched for Chrome by another developer, before the AdBlock Plus team started to support the browser. And so, despite not being connected, the two most popular adblockers ended up with similar names.
AdBlock works a lot like AdBlock plus. Install, leave the defaults on and just get browsing. With AdBlock, malware protection is on from the start. You can also disable AdBlock on individual pages, not just sites, and you can see all the resources it is blocking. It also allows you to whitelist specific YouTube channels, so you can support the creators you want to.
Get AdBlock on the Chrome Web Store.
Perhaps the most comprehensive tracker blocker available, Ghostery has a slightly involved setup process. Once you've added it to your Chrome browser, you're taken to the setup page, and shown all the different types of trackers that it can watch for, and given the option of choosing which ones to block.
Most users will typically opt to block all, but do note that this can also disrupt some site functionality, such as chat assistance on sites, or comments sections. Ghostery is extremely popular, not just for the blocking, but also the analytics it does - at any time, you can click on its icon to see how many trackers are on the site you're visiting, and get updates on what these trackers do.
Get Ghostery on the Chrome Web Store.
- Privacy Badger
Created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group based in the US, Privacy Badger isn't exactly an ad-blocker. Instead, it focuses on disallowing any visible or invisible third party scripts that can track you over the Internet. As it happens, most of these trackers are used for advertisements.
This means that Privacy Badger does not block ads that are not otherwise harmful or tracking you. As a result, some ads will still show up. But at least you'll know that companies you've never heard of aren't spying on you through ads.
Get Privacy Badger on the Chrome Web Store.
To install any of these extensions, just go to its page on the Chrome Web Store, and click on the + Add to Chrome button. Follow the on-screen instructions (if any) and you're set. Once again, publishers depend on advertising to stay in business, and if there's a publisher whose content you like, whitelist it in your adblock.
Do you use any adblocker? Which one do you use, and why? Tell us via the comments.