Chrome contains a secret. Inside it is a set of tool settings for blocking pop-ups. Problem is, Google is in cahoots with a number of these advertising websites, who pay them a commission (alarming privacy statistics).
Even with these settings on, many ad types still display. Even less known, sometimes cybercriminals embed these ads with malicious software.
From adware to phishing schemes, disguising themselves as legitimate advertisements—to properly stop them, you need yourself a reliable ad-blocker that can’t be paid off.
Table of Contents:
Best Chrome Ad Blockers 2021 👈
Our team selected the 3 best ad blockers for Chrome based on the below qualities:
- ☑️ How well it blocks every type of ad.
- ☑️ Anti-malware/anti-phishing safeguards.
- ☑️ Blocking pre-roll ads on YouTube videos.
- ☑️ Respecting all of its user's personal privacy. Including minimal data requested before and after installation.
- ☑️ Features, eg. blocking cookies/ad-tracking on social media. And commercials from auto-playing, eg. on Facebook.
VPNs: Remember, these are best used with a good VPN (most include ad-blocking!).
Most Popular Kid For 9 Years & Running 👶
‘Open Source’ Service That is Free 🆓
Open source software is visible to the wider internet community. Coders who aren’t affiliated with the creators of the software can see how it works, and the core code structure. They even offer additions. This is the basis of cryptocurrency. There are pros and cons to using this decentralized model.
The main benefit is that you get a well-formed product that doesn’t require a huge conglomerate to fund it. It’s free and does what it says on the tin: blocking annoying ads.
The “James Dean” of Ad Blockers 😎
AdBlock has the double power of having a cool reputation. It’s the internet’s go-to ad blocker. But it’s also been around for a long time. So it’s stable and trustworthy. Acceptable Ads are one of its cool features. If an ad is annoying or intrusive, and doesn’t interfere with the content—it’ll be placed on a whitelist.
But if you don’t want any ads at all, you can deactivate Acceptable Ads too.
Blocks YouTube, Blocks on Social Media ❌
As well as blocking commercials on static web pages, it works on the other types of ads. It’s hard to find something that is effective on YouTube. This is why many people end up paying for YouTube Premium.
But AdBlock goes further, allowing you to defend yourself against potential malware cyberattacks; remove unwanted web page components like social networking links and get regular updates, to keep yourself insulated against new internet-ad tactics.
2. uBlock Origin
Best Low-Resources Ad Blocker ⛵
Great for Super Internet Users 💨
If you’re the kind who has a 1000 tabs open in your web browser in one go, this is the best ad-blocking software you’ll be able to find. While the newest reviews are from quite some time ago, on the official Google Chrome website, they’re overwhelmingly positive.
You’ll also notice that the creators have taken care to reply to queries. So there are plenty of very recent tips and pointers from the uBlock team. With a five-star ratings average from over 10 million users, it’s a trustworthy brand for the average web user.
Although we would still recommend using a VPN. Some people have issues with YouTube being unplugged, while others have smooth sailing. So you’ll have to test it out for yourself. This will only take a minute. Simply press the ‘Add to Chrome’ button and restart your browser.
Subjective Privacy Practice 🔒
Whilst not clear exactly what data is being tracked, the creators have made an official statement that they do not collect or use your personal data. This suggests that anything that falls into the “personal” category won’t be collected. Such as your web browsing activities and IP address.
They’ve also declared they won’t sell your data to third-parties. However, they’ve made a stipulation that they may need to do this if it will be needed to comply with applicable laws, to protect against malicious online activities, or during a merger and acquisition process.All in all, you’ll have to decide what your threshold is for privacy.
For a free piece of software, the interface is pretty clean. You’ll be able to set yourself up in a few minutes. As for getting support for a technical issue, head to this page and submit your query.
Best Advanced Ad-Blocker for Performance 🔧
While uBlock does what it says on the tin. But it’s a one-trick pony. It’ll give you the ability to block commercials. Along with a few handy additions that you can tweak. You get the same, and more, by going with AdGuard.
It’s designed to speed up your Google Chrome browsing experience. You’ll also get 24/7 support from our paid agent, as opposed to waiting a few days for a response on the Google app page. This is your provider of choice if you want a more service-based solution:
- See commercials blocked before they get loaded into the browser. (Saving your internet connection. And speeding up page loading times.)
- End up with her pretty-looking webpage. (Rather than a disjointed page, where empty spaces—from blocked ads—end up looking like a Frankenstein collage.)
- And filter out the most annoying pop-up elements. (In high-quality efficacy, including on your mobile/tablet apps.)
Good Ad Blocker for YouTube (And Any Platform) 💻
Once you have a personal account, filters will work on static content as well as social media and YouTube. Although they offer a VPN, the blocker itself works similarly in controlling your IP address. You can also remove “acceptable ads” for YouTube, so that none show at all.
This works on all of the major platforms. So your desktop apps, android or iOS devices are all protected by a single account. For those interested in a few technical ins and outs: unwanted content is filtered via Content, DNS, HTTPS and network channels. A network driver is installed, in order to accomplish this.
It’s more substantial than an extensions-based solution. Simply install and reset your device after. Uninstall to remove.
Chrome Ad Blocker Buying Guide
A last provider who didn’t make the cut. But they’re well-worth a look at:
Ghostery is a bit different from other ad blockers on our list. But it’s useful for customising your browsing experience. Trim the annoyances:
Block web trackers, analytic devices collecting personal data about you—and of course, use its powerful ad blockers.
Ghostery stands out in how comprehensive it is. If there are particular ad types or trackers that you don’t want to give your information to, you can target them. Ghostery pre-loads you with information boxes as you visit webpages. You can explore the various ads/trackers being used by that site.
Choose to eliminate specific ad elements or make a single, nuclear block.
The main disadvantages:
- You’ll need to spend a bit of time getting the service to work how you want it to. Make an incorrect tweak, and you may find that some unexpected function no longer works.
- Take a little time to get things right and this could become your preferred tool for customising your web browsing experience.
How Do Ad Blockers Work? ❓
The tools mentioned in this guide block ads using two main methods:
#1 HTTPS Request Blocks
For instance, many companies use ‘header bidding,’ in order to churn up revenue.
Note: This method can be ham-fisted, filtering out content that isn’t an ad. Both programmed ads and in-house content will be blocked if both are delivered through the same tag.
#2 CSS Rules for Hiding
CSS rules can be used to hide certain elements. This is needed because some brands display their custom native ads using an in-house ad server. There is no third-party HTTPS request.
Ad blockers that can use CSS rules to hide elements can still sniff out specific CSS components or “different classes” and then stipend CSS rules to the stylesheet so that the browser hides that content.
Ad Blocker Chrome FAQs
Let's answer some of the frequently asked questions, and get rid of any concerns.
Are VPNs Better Than Ad Blockers? 🔩
We’ve written before about how even a budget VPN (that you can trust) will cost you something. They need to maintain a competitive service. You may therefore see the problem with going for a free Chrome blocker, or a free version.
Free blockers are also often “open source.” This gives cyber attackers an unmitigated view into the code structure of the service. They can find the chinks and flaws, exploiting it and infecting your device.
At the very least, it’s best practice to use a VPN with your ad blocker. Keep your activities and IP address safe.
Does AdBlock Slow Chrome? (Do Ad Blockers Slow Chrome?)
As mentioned earlier, we might not recommend using AdBlock if you intend to fire up more tabs in your web browser than cylinders in a space rocket.
But ad blockers generally speed up your web browsing experience and adventures by the very fact of blocking many resources from loading in your browser. These include scripts, images and much more.
The main downside is that plugins need time to find these components. So while the initial loading may take longer, you can enjoy the webpage better once it’s fully loaded.
Which Is Better: AdBlock or AdBlock Plus?
Tests seem to show that the standard version of AdBlock is slower, both in Firefox and Chrome. This is especially true if you have a ton of tabs open. The difference isn’t major but it’s noticeable. You’ll get a faster browser speed if you go for the premium version.
But does AdBlock slow the internet?
Other than when you first open your browser (as the provider loads up your filter lists), and if there aren’t an immense number of tabs open, your browser pages should overall load quicker because you’re not having to download each ad component each time.
Is Ublock Origin Better Than AdBlock?
If you need as much internet speed as you can muster, then uBlock is likely your best choice. This is particularly true if you intend to do a lot of heavy internet use. For instance, high-definition streaming.
If you only need to do very selective blocking of ads—such as for YouTube—then AdBlock Plus is probably a better choice.
A quick summary:
AdBlock is our best choice to ad-block for free. AdBlock is well-rated and anti-malware. But if you like to fire up a ton of tabs when browsing, AdBlock can struggle; in that instance, uBlock may be best.
What about being catered to, with 24/7 customer support? AdGuard is your go-to, fully professional choice service. Rather than waiting for updates, answers and more. Note, AdBlock does have a paid version called AdBlock Plus.