Since the dawn of the internet, there has been a thorn in the side of every user.
Like gnats, pop-ups are easily squashed, but their persistence and their vast numbers can result in extreme levels of annoyance.
In recent years, ads have become more covert. Many have forsaken the ill-fated pop-up technique and, instead, wormed their way onto the edges of a website or into your social media feed, attempting to pass as just another post.
Luckily for you – and all of us – premium ad blockers exist, which can deter online ads from clogging your internet experience. But who knows anything about downloading ad blockers?
If you keep reading, you will become an expert!
Here are some important things to know about ad blockers before downloading one.
Why Should you Download a Premium Ad Blocker?
Before choosing an ad blocker, you should have some idea of what an ad blocker can offer.
Chances are, you’re already using some kind of ad blocker, as most modern web browsers have an internal program that blocks ads. However, the functionality is limited, in that they specialize in blocking ads that are especially annoying or pervasive, such as the ones that make sounds or have countdowns.
For some, this might be enough, but others would like to see the internet completely ad free. After all, in the days of fast-forwarding through the commercials, this doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
In addition to blocking all of the content that built-in ad blockers handle, premium ad blockers will carve out the ads that take up precious space on websites and clog your internet browsing.
For instance, you might search Amazon for a leather jacket, and now every time you go on Facebook, you’re seeing advertisements for leather jackets. If you not only find this annoying, but intrusive, then you should probably consider taking the leap to a premium ad blocker.
Not only do premium ad blockers make your web browsing experience much less annoying, but they also speed up your browsing.
By ridding sites of their ads, the sites have less to process when loading, which means you can breeze through sites like never before. If you thought ads were irritating based solely on their appearance, wait until you realize how much their dragging down your web surfing.
How Do Premium Ad Blockers Work?
When you’re innocently browsing the web, there’s a million things happening that you never see. Much of this is the accumulation of information, based on your behavior, and the regurgitation of that information back into your web browsing.
As Consumer Reports’ Andrew Chaikivsky explains, this is done through cookies and web beacons, both of which are invisible aspects of a website designed to track you. What these things find out about you goes into what ads you see.
There’s also the fact that malware is lurking on the web and tracking your information in the same way that lawful advertisers are.
Using the same information-intercepting technology that stops advertisers from taking your information and using it, ad blockers also prevent nefarious programs from taking your information.
Ad blockers will intercept the delivery of your information by checking for certain giveaways in the code, thereby blocking ads, along with other attempts to track your browsing behavior. This makes ad blockers not only a source of greater convivence, but also a practical application to quell privacy concerns.
Which of These Top 5 Premium Ad Blockers is Right for You?
As with any product, there’s a number of ad blockers to choose from, some better than others.
Separating the good and the bad can be an arduous process and might even become so frustrating, you give up the search altogether. But that’s not going to happen, because here’s a list of some of the best premium ad blockers available and what they can offer.
Read on, and start blocking those ads today:
AdBlock is an extension for Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Firefox, Opera and Microsoft Edge, which means it can be downloaded from their respective app stores.
AdBlock is easily one of the most popular ad blockers, as it’s garnered over 200 million downloads.
Not only does it block ads from websites, but it also blocks YouTube ads, as well. If there’s certain websites that have advertisements you’re actually interested in and you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, AdBlock provides the ability to selectively unblock specific sites.
While it won’t automatically block what it deems to be “unobtrusive” ads, users can block them with ease by disabling the feature in settings.
Image by: adblockplus
Despite the similarities in name, Adblock Plus is not a souped up version of AdBlock. It’s a totally different program, although it does a similar job.
It blocks banner ads, pop-ups, tracking ads, and fake ads that lead to malware.
Just like AdBlock, its default setting is to allow unobtrusive ads, because those provide monetary support to the websites you’re visiting. However, this setting can be turned off.
This software works on Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari, Yandex Browser and Android.
Wow, these ad blocker developers are terrible at coming up with names. Name aside, AdBlocker Ultimate is a free download for Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
It automatically blocks all of the especially intrusive ads, just like the others. What makes it different is that its default is to block all of the ads, not just the really bad ones. This means that if you have a zero-tolerance policy for ads and don’t care if they monetize the sites you love, AdBlocker Ultimate is the ad blocker for you.
Image by: ghostery
It will also go out of its way to inform users of elements that are being blocked, but might be of note, such as a comment section beneath an article.
For what it’s worth, this happens to be Edward Snowden’s go-to software for ad and tracker blocking, so it must be somewhat good at what it does. With this in mind, Ghostery seems to be the ideal program for those who aren’t simply looking to streamline their internet browsing, but to do so with complete privacy.
Image by: theinquirer
Privacy Badger is an add-on that prevents any and all tracking of your personal information online, including – but not limited to – ads.
As soon as it picks up an advertiser tracing your information across websites, the add-on severs them and they’re unable to locate you again. Privacy Badger is so thorough, in fact, that it actually blocks the “like” button on Facebook, because it is used to track your information.
Since Privacy Badger doesn’t block ads specifically, but, rather, severs any third-party trackers from your cyber coattails, some ads will continue to appear, as long as they’re not collecting information on you. So, even though you’ll still see some ads, at least you’ll know they’re benevolent.
Not All Ad Blockers Can be Trusted
In trying to create an ad-free world for yourself, it would be a shame if you downloaded an ad blocker only to find out it’s infected your computer.
This is known to happen, as it is known to happen with any downloadable product on the internet. Web surfers must remain diligent and always do background checks on products before downloading.
Avoiding these bad downloads can be difficult, especially considering the fact they can be downloaded in the same place as the good ad blockers.
For instance, five programs claiming to be ad blockers were removed from the Google Chrome store in 2018, But, not before millions of users downloaded them. These fake ad blockers are designed to look and work exactly like other ad blockers, but send the hackers your browsing information and can allow them to manipulate your browser, according to TechRepublic’s Alison DeNisco Rayome.
Even though these fake ad blockers have been removed, it’s important to stay vigilant for potential scams, as is always the case on the internet.
Don’t Be Driven Mad By Ads
Despite their prevalence in our everyday, web-browsing lives, ads don’t need to be seen as a necessary evil.
As we’ve learned, there are numerous ways for ad blockers to rid your life of them once and for all. Plus, there are a number of benefits from doing so, such as greater privacy. In many ways, it seems like a no-brainer.
This is assuming you keep your eyes out for fake ad blockers, which can trick even the savviest of internet dwellers. For good measure, it might be smart to stick with the ad blockers listed above, which have been vetted and are proven quantities.
The ad free life is out there. All you have to do is take it.