If you’ve decided once and for all that you can’t stand another video pre-roll commercial or flashing and blinking ad on the side of the article you’re reading, it may be time to install an ad blocker. But which one? There are plenty of apps and extensions that block popups, so we dug through them all to pick out the best ad blockers for Chrome.
It’s important to note, when you install an ad blocker, that many of the world’s free websites, Digital Trends included, rely on advertising revenue to operate. If you want your favorite sites to continue working as you see them now, make sure to whitelist the ones you love.
As one of the most widely used ad blockers in the world, we would be remiss if we didn’t at least give a passing mention to Adblock. With its very on-the-nose name and long-running availability, it’s often what people turn to when they consider blocking adverts online today.
The AdBlock extension for Chrome works automatically, blocking ads on static web pages and online video sites like YouTube. It also lets you set up whitelists of sites and ad types to allow through the filter if you so choose. Through its filter list subscription system, you can customize your web browsing experience so that only ads you like are shown, or untick everything and have just about everything blocked.
You can even have the app remove other web-page aspects you find distasteful, like social networking links, and protect yourself against some potential malware attacks.
Adblock does participate in the “Acceptable Ads” initiative, so there are ads it allows through (if you choose) that meet certain requirements. AdBlock is also known to a be little resource heavy, especially if you like to have a lot of tabs open at one time, and there have been some claims of it not blocking YouTube ads particularly well.
Though arguably not the best ad blocker on our list, AdBlock remains a solid choice, but don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
AdBlock Plus is the original granddaddy app for blocking ads online and it’s still just as popular today as it was when it first took the web by storm. Combining blocking technology that takes out banner ads video pre-roll ads, social networking ads, and popups, it offers a comprehensive ad-blocking service to all who install its Chrome extension.
With an easy-to-navigate interface and customizable filter list, you can decide exactly what ads you want to see and which ones you never want to see again. Its whitelisting function lets you make sure your favorite sites still display ads so they can continue to operate and if you allow acceptable ads you can let a few through automatically to help sites that stick to the rules.
Note that around five years ago, AdBlock Plus was accused of secretly offering to push ads through in exchange for under-the-table payments, which AdBlock Plus didn’t exactly deny. The organization appears to make unique deals with larger organizations that may let some extra ads through.
Entirely free and open source, UBlock Origin is another popular ad blocking extension for Google Chrome because it does a great job at blocking the ads without taxing your system in the process. With more than 10 million users as of 2017, it remains one of the most well-used ad blockers out there today.
Utilizing similar block lists to AdBlock Plus, UBlock offers comparable blocking capabilities, but by leveraging surveys of what style resources are required for individual web pages, it is able to be more efficient in its operation. It has also been noted for its specific ability to counter pesky pop-under ads which have become more common as more browsers come with their own pop-up blockers.
Users can also leverage UBlock’s own filters for ads, malware, and privacy concerns, as well as their own custom-created filters. Individual sites can be whitelisted by hitting the big power button inside the tool itself, and there are detailed stat breakdowns to let you know how effective a tool it has been since installation.
Another popular ad blocker for Chrome is AdGuard. Capable of effectively blocking almost all ads across static web pages, video streaming sites, and social networks, AdGuard keeps an eye out for pop-up and pop-under ads, too.
The lightweight Chrome extension has additional options for blocking tracking and the installation of nefarious software like dialers, adware, and other malware. One of its biggest claims to fame is its ability to speed up your web browsing experience and reduce your bandwidth by cutting back on all the needless clutter that comes along with some ads and trackers.
Some users have reported annoying notifications that try to encourage you to purchase the premium version, but other than that, AdGuard has near universally positive reviews from its millions of users.
Although it operates a little differently from some of the other ad blockers on this list, Ghostery is still a very useful tool for customizing your web browsing experience to how you like it. Its primary function is blocking web trackers and analytics tools that harvest information about you, but it also has its own effective ad blocker.
What really draws people to Ghostery over some of the other available alternatives is its deeper options for users. If you want to block specific trackers or ad types, you can. To make that easy, even for those new to the idea, Ghostery breaks down every page you visit with detailed information of the types of trackers and ads being employed by that particular site. You can then remove elements at will, or make wider, sweeping blocks.
The only real drawback of Ghostery is that you do need to spend some time to tell it how you want it to operate. While other ad blockers function well enough all-in, if you try to do that with Ghostery you may find many aspects of the web non-functional. Take a little time to get it right though and Ghostery may become your favorite tool for customizing your web browsing experience.