We’re living in an age of information, which more often than not assaults us from every possible direction in the form of text, audio, images, or video. How many times has it happened for you to just try to read an article just to be bombarded by ads?
And we get it, ads are necessary to generate revenue for websites that create free content, but that’s just a drop in the ocean. A lot of (regrettably not only) sketchy websites have increased the number of ads displayed on their pages, turning a once-enjoyable browsing experience into a dodge-the-ad battle.
You may have stumbled upon websites that have obtrusive ads on the side panels, between paragraphs, the pop-up kind that make you misclick and land on a totally different webpage, or even pop-ups. Thankfully, the latter has been dealt with by most browsers that don’t allow pop-ups by default, so at least we got that going on for us.
However, for the rest of the ads that slither their way into our field of vision, some subtly, while others more like a brick to the face, there are some third-party software solutions that can block ads, as well as their commonly-known domains. We call these ad blockers, and getting them only takes a few seconds if you know where to look.
What are ad blockers?
It’s rather easy to figure out what ad blockers are since their name is quite self-explanatory. If you’re sick and tired of seeing ads wherever your virtual trails lead you to, then it’s probably a good time to get an ad blocker.
These utilities are more often than not available as browser extensions, but you can also find them in the form of installable programs on your PC (system-wide ad blockers), or bundled within antivirus or VPN software.
Although a system-wide ad-blocker could be more effective in the long run, it could end up costing you more than a browser extension, especially if it’s included in an antivirus software solution or a VPN. Furthermore, using a system-wide ad-blocker could end up modifying your hosts file, which could prevent you from accessing certain domains entirely.
Therefore, most of us rely on browser-based ad-blockers, which are not only free, but they keep most of the ads at bay only while we’re using our browsers, which is when most “ad assaults” happen.
We’ve prepared a list of popular free ad-blocking browser extensions that can help you put some distance between you and ads without significant efforts. You just deploy them and forget they’re even there. Unless you reach one of those websites that block their content for ad-blocker users, that is.
Quick overview: what is the best free ad blocker?
- A lightweight ad-blocking extension you can install on various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Yandex Browser. Supports “fair publishers” by allowing “acceptable ads” by default, but you can turn them off manually if you want to. Can also be installed on Samsung Internet (Android) and Safari (iOS) browsers, or downloaded as a standalone browser for your Android device.
- Efficient ad-blocker that can be installed as a browser extension, but is also available as a desktop utility, macOS program, and Android or iOS apps. You install AdLock on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. The Windows version also packs additional features that could protect you from other external threats as well.
Opera Browser’s ad blocker
- Opera Browser has an ad blocker of its own that you can easily enable at the flick of a switch. Whether you’re using this web browser on your Windows PC, Android phone, or tablet, you’ll be able to keep most ads at bay without having to install any additional ad-blocking extensions for the same purpose. Furthermore, Opera Browser also has a tracker blocker component that protects you against trackers, which are not always visible.
Stands Fair Adblocker
- This is a Chrome-built ad blocker that you can use to avert your sight from annoying ads, while also allowing some fair ads to be visible every now and then, so you can support websites that generate revenue mostly from ads. Don’t worry, though, you can set that number to zero, so you won’t see ads even when you’re browsing websites that only display “fair ads,” as the extension puts it.
- You may have heard about uBlock before in two wildly different scenarios: either as being one of the best ad-blocking applications on the market or as being a malicious clone that more than 8 million users downloaded and used on their PCs without a single clue about its true nature. However, uBlock Origin meant to put as much distance between it and the clone, hence the name, which hints at it being the original, the real deal.
- Trustnav’s Adblocker is an effective ad-blocker solution brought to you by Trustnav that was mainly developed for Chrome browsers but is also available as an extension for Mozilla Firefox browsers. It’s lightweight, features advanced ad detection, and enables you to block pop-ups so that they don’t spring up on you when you least expect it and disrupt your peaceful browsing experience.
- Adblocker Ultimate is a Chrome extension that aims to remove all ads completely from your browsing experience, whether “fair” or not. Unlike other ad-blockers on this list, Adblocker Ultimate doesn’t accept the idea of fair ads, so it blocks everything by default. More so, it doesn’t allow you to whitelist websites, or, in other words, it doesn’t tolerate any ads, no matter where they come from.
- AdGuard is a very effective system-wide ad-blocker (we’ve mentioned them above) that you can install on various devices, is also available as a browser extension, and features a VPN, for those who are interested to take their privacy protection to the next level. Although it’s great at what it does, AdGuard is not exactly free, despite the fact that it used to come in two flavors: free and paid. You use it for 14 days for free, but that’s it. More about it below!
- As you may have figured out by glancing at its name, Poper Blocker is actually a pop-up blocker extension. However, it does a pretty good job at blocking other disrupting elements that may get between you and a relaxing news-reading or video-watching session you may have planned. It also features a spam blocker and unobtrusive notifications to let you know about pop-ups it managed to block.
In the following section, we’ll offer you as many details as we can about each ad-blocker we’ve mentioned above so that if you’re in a tough spot and can’t choose just one from our list, by the end of it you’ll understand more about each product’s functionality and be able to pick the one that fits your needs best.
We’ve given our list a lot of thought and figured out a way to showcase only the best products on the market based on the following criteria:
- Protects you against ads efficiently, no compromise (kind of the whole point)
- Is free or doesn’t limit you too much if it comes as both paid and free versions
- User trust factor
- Not abandoned, still receiving updates regularly
- Compatibility with more than just one system (installable on other browsers, for instance)
- Can detect and block streamable ads (for instance on YouTube or other streaming websites)
- Blocks pop-ups and other types of ads (text, floating ads, banners, auto-playing videos, redirects)
The Best Free Ad Blocker Apps in 2021
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the best free ad blockers on the market and see what truly makes them special.
1. AdBlock Plus
AdBlock Plus is currently one of the most popular web browser extensions with ad-blocking capabilities on the market, and for good reason. It’s easy to install, easier to configure, and it’s compatible with more than just one browser. As a matter of fact, from a compatibility standpoint, AdBlock Plus is one of the most versatile ad blockers out there.
It’s entirely free, and open-source actually, so you can rest assured knowing that the project is endorsed by various members of the ad-blocking enthusiasts community on a regular basis. By default, AdBlock Plus allows some ads to pass, as a means of supporting fair websites that rely on advertisements to generate revenue.
That’s not to say that malware websites don’t rely on advertisements, but there’s a huge difference between a warez site and the website of your favorite online news source, for instance. AdBlock Plus allows ads for the latter but blocks ones that operate on shady grounds or engage in unruly practices such as popping out of nowhere to cover the thing you were about to click so that you get instantly sent someplace else entirely.
But don’t get disconcerted just yet. Just because AdBlock Plus doesn’t block “fair ads” by default doesn’t mean you should just sigh and let it slide by if you’re not okay with it. You can just access its extremely user-friendly configuration menu and disable all ads, whether they’re fair or not.
You can also configure AdBlock Plus to allow ads without third-party tracking if you want to support local businesses or whatnot. In fact, it’s in the same section (Acceptable Ads) as the previous type of ads we were discussing. Just uncheck the box and you should be all set.
Some websites still hide between an ad wall and force you to disable your ad blocker in order to access certain data or read some of their articles. Instead of doing that, you can just call AdBlock Plus’s menu by clicking its extension icon, then turn it off for that page specifically. After that, it’s up to you if you want to disable it or keep it like that.
To make things more interesting, you can add entire websites or web pages to a whitelist manually, so that AdBlock Plus will be disabled by default while you’re browsing them. To access the Whitelisting feature, just open the AdBlock Plus configuration menu, then select the Whitelisted websites section.
Last, but not least, AdBlock Plus has a feature reserved for more advanced users, but we see no reason why you shouldn’t get to benefit from it too. If there’s an element on the page that still obstructs your view, you can use the Block Element feature to remove it from your sight. All you have to do is open the extension’s menu (not the configuration menu), click the Block Element button, and then click the element you want to block.
Note that hovering your mouse on the page where you want to remove a certain element from view will highlight certain sections. Using Block Element on the section will alter the page (only for you), so that you won’t see whatever was bothering you any longer.
AdLock’s greatness comes from the fact that you can install it on multiple devices in your possession. Not different browsers, mind you, but different devices, such as Windows PCs, Mac PCs and laptops, iOS devices, Android phones, and tablets. On top of that, AdLock is also available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge browsers, so that covers up just about everything.
Now for the not-so-good news. Most of the apps we’ve mentioned just before are premium services, meaning that you’ll have to pay up in order to use them. Furthermore, there’s no lifetime license available, so you’ll have to choose from various plans to receive the ad protection you deserve. At the time being, there are three different plans: a monthly plan, a yearly one, and one for 5 whole years, which is incidentally also the most profitable one.
On the bright side, all of AdLock’s browser extensions are and will (hopefully) remain free. According to the official website, if you stick to using the browser extension, you’ll never be asked to purchase or donate to keep the app being developed. The AdLock browser extension can bypass anti-adblocking scripts, so websites won’t throw you the “Please disable AdBlocker” message your way.
However, there are some differences between the browser and desktop versions of this service. Namely, the extension won’t block ads in all browsers by default (unless you install it everywhere) or in apps, and won’t work on all types of ads, due to technical restrictions. So it’s entirely up to you if you want to keep on using the free extension or switch to the desktop version.
When it comes to protecting you against various ads, AdLock is impartial, so it doesn’t do any favors to specific ads, no matter if they’re non-obtrusive and serve as a main source of revenue to your favorite website. Hey, it’s what you paid for. We imagine that paying for a program that should protect you from ads only to discover it lets some ads slide through could be very frustrating.
Among AdLock’s features, you can find non-discriminate ad-blocking of various types. Therefore, whether the ad you’re usually encountering is a video ad, a text-based one, a banner, or a pop-up, AdLock will find it and prevent it from reaching your sight. If you go with the system-wide protection, AdLock will not only protect your browser, but it will also extend its umbrella towards apps installed on your PC, such as your torrenting client, your VoIP app, or your favorite media player.
Another useful feature you can find in AdLock’s toolbelt is its ability to perform thorough checks on links before you get to click them and warn you about any unwanted offer or malware you may suddenly face before you actually do. This feature can come in quite in handy, especially if you’re the hasty type who clicks haphazardly every link hoping to reach your destination faster. In conjunction with the features described above, you can find a handy module that can protect your personal data from spyware and phishing attempts.
3. Opera Browser’s ad blocker
If you’ve never used Opera Browser before or you’re not at least familiar with it, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that it has quite some additional features embedded in its toolbelt. For once, it has a VPN that’s not half bad, considering that it can circumvent geo-blocking if its servers are not too crowded.
We’re not so sure about its data collecting and activity-logging policies, but alas it does what it’s supposed to do: hides your identity while you’re online, does it for free, and doesn’t need you to install any third-party software solutions so that it can do all that. We got a little carried away by Opera Browser’s VPN, didn’t we?
Aside from its VPN, Opera Browser also features a built-in ad blocker that does a great job at keeping various ad types at bay, regardless of the device where you have Opera installed and this feature enabled. Hey, if various websites detected it and asked us to disable our ad blocker, that means it does keep its end of the bargain.
Furthermore, Opera Browser also comes with a service that’s supposed to prevent tracking services from following your every move while you’re online. It should be enabled by default, but you should definitely check and see for yourself. Just press the Easy Setup button (top-right, next to the heart) and make sure that the Block trackers option is enabled.
Incidentally, that’s also where you need to look to check if the ad blocker is enabled. If it isn’t give it a hearty flip and breathe easily in a web environment that’s not obstructed by ads.
Opera Browser’s ad blocker and tracker blocker both have some configuration sections you could use to customize the way they work. It’s nothing fancy but gives you a bunch of options regarding things you want to block and stuff you need to make an exception for.
In order to access these configuration sections, press the Easy Setup button, scroll down to the end of the menu, and click the Go to full browser settings button. The first two options in the configuration menu should be the ad blocker and the tracker blocker. You can manage exceptions and lists for each of these services, so if you have some websites where you want to see ads or be tracked, feel free to add them to these lists. Maybe you own a site and want to check the way ads are displayed on it, who knows.
The bottom line is that Opera Browser does an excellent job as a browser, considering the impressive collection of additional features that are non-standard for a browser it has in its toolbelt. If you want an ad-free experience, you should definitely consider using Opera Browser as long as you don’t forget to enable its ad blocker and tracker blocker.
4. Stands Fair Adblocker
Stands Fair Adblocker might be a bit confusing when it comes to how you can call it. Chrome’s web store calls it Fair AdBlocker, its official website calls it Stands, and I guess that the rest of us should just use its full name: Stands Fair Adblocker. Its name is no coincidence either, mind you.
The Stands part is proprietary, but the Fair AdBlocker segment is meant to inform us that this utility has a knack for filtering fair ads and displaying them on your browser, just to give the ones who generate revenue from them a fair chance.
There’s a Fair Ad program that you can participate in by simply allowing Stands Fair Adblocker to do what it does best: block intrusive, obstructive, unsafe ads from getting in your sight and allow safe ads that respect your choice of not wanting to be forced or mislead to click ads just so you can read an article that’s probably a clickbait anyway.
You’ll probably think that you may be better off without an ad blocker than using one that lets various ads invade your personal space while you’re just trying to enjoy a quiet evening. However, Stands Fair AdBlocker allows you to configure the amount of “fair ads” you want to see while browsing the Internet and get this, that number can very well be 0 (zero).
Stands Fair AdBlocker is quite fast and doesn’t slow down your connection while preventing ads from coming in your line of sight. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that it can block a wide variety of ads, including pop-ups, pop-unders, webmail, search, and Facebook ads. According to the developer, this ad blocker “uses smart algorithms to identify and block malware and popups.”
Unfortunately, you can only install Stands Fair AdBlocker on Google Chrome, so if you’re using a different web browser, you may want to turn to a different alternative. On the bright side, Stands Fair AdBlocker is and will (hopefully) remain free, so it costs you nothing to give it a try and decide if it fits your ad-blocking needs entirely.
5. uBlock Origin
We’ve mentioned a few details about uBlock Origin a few paragraphs above, mainly because it’s one of the most known ad blockers on the Internet. uBlock was originally developed in good faith to block ads and shield the average Internet user against ads, malware, pop-ups, and everything that falls in that category.
However, at some point, a clone app called uBlock Plus AdBlocker spawned in the Chrome web store, and more than 8 million mistook it for an upgrade to uBlock. This “new app” was in fact a malicious clone and was shortly removed after Google caught wind of its wrongdoings, but the damage was already done and people were looking at uBlock (the original one) with a raised eyebrow.
That’s when uBlock became uBlock Origin, to signal the fact that it’s the original program, the real deal so that people won’t accidentally mistake it for its malicious counterpart that was removed from Chrome’s web store since it was discovered three years ago. Storytime over, hope you enjoyed it, now back to our presentation.
uBlock Origin is an efficient tool that can get you rid of various elements that may prevent you from enjoying your browsing experience, including pop-ups, scripts, ads, and malicious components. It uses a preset list of filters to keep unwanted things out of your browsers, and its ad-blocking component is based on AdBlocker Plus by featuring support for its filter syntax.
If you’re an advanced user, you can set uBlock Origin to work in a default-deny mode, which will reject all third-party network requests by default, unless you want to allow them.
uBlock Origin makes use of several lists of filters and rules to decide which requests/content should be blocked and which should be allowed. You can manage these lists if you believe that uBlock Origin simply blocks too much and want to give requests more elbow room.
By default, this tool comes with a series of lists, including EasyPrivacy, EasyList, Online Malicious URL Blocklist, Peter Lowe’s, and some uBlock Origin proprietary lists, but you can always download more of them to block analytics, trackers, and more similar elements. uBlock Origin also supports hosts files, if you know how to work them properly.
uBlock Origin works with various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari, but it’s worth mentioning that this tool works best with Chromium-based browsers. It’s entirely free to use, and constantly receives updates from the community that works tirelessly on this project.
6. Trustnav AdBlocker
Trustnav AdBlocker aims to provide you with a distraction-free browsing experience by detecting and removing ads from your sight wherever you may roam. Virtually, of course. The tool is lightweight, so you know it won’t put a huge strain on your computer and/or your Internet connection.
As opposed to other ad blockers on the market, Trustnav AdBlocker is capable of blocking video ads, which, let’s face it, are some of the most annoying ones. You can’t watch YouTube videos or listen to your favorite music without being interrupted by various ads.
Another great feature of Trustnav AdBlocker is the frequent updating that the ad detection database receives. It works like this: Trustnav AdBlocker engineers do their research on ad types, and as soon as they figure out how to block it, your ad blocker will automatically receive an update so you can start blocking it, as well.
So far, Trustnav AdBlocker is capable of detecting and blocking pop-up and pop-under ads, obtrusive banners (you know the kind), Facebook ads and sponsored stories, Instagram ads and sponsored stories, YouTube video ads (the ones that completely ruin your music-listening experience), communities that are reported as advertisements or spam, as well as ad-network trackers.
It’s easy to install this ad blocker on your system, considering that you can only deploy it as a browser extension. As opposed to some other products on our list, Trustnav AdBlocker is not available on a wide range of browsers. You can either install it on Chrome or on Firefox browsers, so you’re quite limited as far as flexibility is concerned.
It’s also worth mentioning that Trustnav AdBlocker enforces a strict policy regarding the collection of your private data and selling it to third parties, used or transferred for various, non-ad-blocking purposes. In other words, Trustnav AdBlocker won’t engage in such activities, so you can rest assured knowing that your personal data is in good hands.
Last, but not least, you should know that Trustnav offers a SafeSearch extension you can use to remove trackers from search engines so that your future results won’t be affected by previous searches. It also has an antivirus in store for you, but you’ll have to register for the pre-release.
The best part? Trustnav AdBlocker, as well as the SafeSearch extension and the antivirus, are totally free, so you don’t have to worry about either of these products burning a hole in your pocket.
7. AdBlocker Ultimate
AdBlocker Ultimate a near-perfect score on the Chrome Web Store and has rounded up more than 900,000 users, which probably means it’s doing something good, right? Keeping ads at bay is no easy job, and AdBlocker Ultimate rises up to the challenge by providing us with a free, fast, efficient service that works on a broad variety of browsers, so you won’t need to worry about compatibility.
You can use AdBlocker Ultimate to increase your level of online privacy and boost your computer’s security by dodging sketchy ads that often hide malware or collect your personal data without your knowledge. This product can detect and block ads regardless of the type of content you may be viewing, thus keeping you protected against a wide range of potential privacy violations.
More so, unlike other similar tools, AdBlocker Ultimate doesn’t come with a predefined list of trusted websites, so you’ll get to manage them manually. In other words, AdBlocker Ultimate will block everything by default and allow you to decide whether or not it should trust a website enough to let it display ads while you’re browsing it.
It’s worth mentioning that aside from the browser extensions we’ve briefly mentioned above, AdBlocker Ultimate is also available as a standalone app on Windows, and you can download it for iOS and Android devices, as well. While the browser extensions and mobile apps are entirely free, unfortunately, the Windows version of AdBlocker Ultimate is not, and you’ll have to choose from 3 plans to use it (1 month, 12-months, and lifetime).
However, you may not even need the Windows version, especially if all your Internet usage patterns revolve around using a web browser. The Windows app can make sure ads won’t find you anywhere on your PC by blocking them system-wide through various techniques. That being said, whether you’re using a web browser, a messenger app, a torrenting client, or any other ad-supported program, you won’t see ads while the Windows version of AdBlocker Ultimate protects you.
If you’re planning to keep your Internet usage exclusively within the confines of your web browser or you don’t mind seeing the occasional ad when you’re using a free program, you should be fine with the browser extension versions of AdBlocker Ultimate. You can also add AdBlocker Ultimate to your mobile devices so that you won’t get as many ads while browsing the web.
Note that on Android and iOS AdBlocker Ultimate is still a browser extension, so unfortunately it won’t be able to remove the countless ads you’ve been encountering in your favorite F2P (free to play) game that’s not exactly F2P. Most system-wide ad-blockers on Android require a rooted device, and for iOS, there are only a few alternatives, and all of them are premium (you need to pay for them).
If you decide to stick with the browser extension version of AdBlocker Ultimate, you’ll be glad to know that all major browsers support it. Therefore, you’ll be able to install it effortlessly on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Yandex. Unfortunately, there’s no Safari version or any mention of it on the official website.
We’ll start with the obvious; AdGuard is simply one of the best ad blockers available on the market, so why would we put it this low on our list? The reason is simple: you asked for free ad blockers, and although AdGuard is one of the best ones, it’s not exactly free if you want to use it system-wide.
You can install it on various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, and Yandex, and use it for free. In its extension form, AdGuard is entirely free and you won’t have to worry about paying to unblock any of its features. Everything is there, we’ve checked and they work great.
However, if you want to unleash the full potential of AdGuard and enjoy an ad-less experience each time you’re spending time on your computer, whether you’re torrenting some files, chatting with your peers, or using Skype to call your relatives, you might want to use the paid version of AdGuard.
Now back to our free AdGuard browser extension: it has an impressive range of customization options, so you can use it to block virtually any type of ads that may interrupt your peaceful browsing sessions. AdGuard can block interstitial, floating, banner, text, and video ads in a very effective manner, and its built-in element blocking feature can help you single out and block any component that you don’t want to be displayed on any page.
The configuration section of this ad blocker lets you choose which filter should it use to detect and block ads. These include ad-blocking, privacy, social widgets, security, annoyances, language-specific, other, and custom filters. Therefore, whether you’re annoyed by video ads or you’re concerned about being tracked while using social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, AdGuard has got your back.
You can also enable a stealth mode that can protect your online identity and sensitive personal details by blocking trackers and thus preventing them from following your online whereabouts. Additionally, you can set a time after which third-party and first-party cookies will self-destruct, prevent third parties from knowing which website you’re accessing, block websites from tracking you by sending Do-Not-Track headers, and even hide your search queries.
Truth be told, AdGuard is quite complex, and even buying a paid license can be justified considering the amount of privacy and security features it encompasses.
9. Poper Blocker
Poper Blocker is not an ad-blocker, which is part of the reason why it’s so low on our list. You may have guessed judging on its name, but Poper Blocker is actually a pop-up blocker, and we all know that pop-ups are merely a type of ads you may encounter while you’re browsing the Internet, so this product will only offer partial protection.
According to the official website, you can run Poper Blocker in conjunction with an ad blocker to increase the level of protection. However, given that most ad blockers have implemented pop-up and pop-under protection modules by default, pairing them with Poper Blocker may seem a bit redundant, although we assure you it’s not.
As with any other detection system, even when running a tight ship things may fall through the cracks. Pairing Poper Blocker with your ad blocker of choice could increase the chance of annoying pop-ups being detected even before they begin spawning and ultimately blocked.
Additionally, it might help you to know that Poper Blocker doesn’t only work against pop-ups; in fact, it also does a great job against pop-unders and overlay ads, so that you can have a cleaner experience that doesn’t feel as intrusive as the page randomly asking you about your favorite products (you know, targeted ads).
You may have also encountered those “disable your ad blocker” messages that strategically spawn in front of all the content so that you can’t read it or view it anymore. Well, surprise surprise, Poper Blocker can also get you rid of those, which can come in extremely handy if you’ve been using an ad blocker that was usually detected by those overlays and harassed by it.
This extension is based on an algorithm that detects the right block for each pop-up by cross-checking through a URL database. This can help you avoid pop-ups that spawn in new tabs and even new windows without too much effort. Just install Poper Blocker and forget it’s even there.
If you’re wondering whether Poper Blocker is working or not, this product provides you with unobtrusive notifications, letting you know if and when a pop-up has been stopped. It’s possible to access a history of blocked content, as well, if you want to.
Furthermore, if you feel like supporting certain websites by allowing their ads on your browser, Poper Blocker also lets you do that by offering you a whitelist feature. Just add the website of your choice to the list and Poper Blocker will stop blocking its pop-ups, pop-unders, and overlays. If you encounter an overlay that Poper Blocker didn’t block automatically, you can now right-click to select and remove it manually without great effort.
Last, but not least, Poper Blocker is entirely free, so you won’t have to reach for your credit card in order to use this tool in your browser. On the other hand, Poper Blocker is only available for Chrome, which means you won’t be able to benefit from its capabilities on Firefox, Opera, Edge, or Safari.
NoScript is an extension that was originally designed to work exclusively on Firefox and Mozilla-based browsers (Iceweasel, Seamonkey, etc), but has made the jump to Chrome browsers as well, in the meantime. As its name says, NoScript aims to detect and block scripts that run on pages, especially those that could hide malicious code used to attack you, track you, or violate your privacy in any manner.
Although this product is great at keeping malicious and/or abusive scripts at bay, it’s not an ad blocker, although it may be able to block certain ads even now and then. However, if you’re installing it deliberately to get rid of ads, you’re probably going to be disappointed to discover that many ads may fall through the cracks and get in your line of sight.
You should know that scripts on web pages are not inherently bad. For instance, you may not be able to check your bank account’s balance or make an online payment without running scripts, most of which are meant to increase security in this case. So in the situation depicted earlier, you may need to whitelist the website and make NoScript skip blocking it.
NoScript uses a whitelist-based pre-emptive script blocking approach, which means that you’ll get all the protection against security vulnerability exploits such as Spectre or Meltdown while losing none of your browser’s functionality. This product also has a powerful anti-XSS component, as well as an anti-clickjacking module, so that you can rest assured knowing that you’re less likely to be targetted by these types of threats.
Now as far as whitelisting a certain website goes, the process is quite simple. You just have to click NoScript’s extension icon and select the websites you want to exclude from NoScript’s merciless blocking. Alternatively, you can use the right-click menu while you’re visiting a website that you don’t want to be blocked by NoScript.
NoScript is entirely free and open-source, so you can enjoy its full functionality without paying a dime. Unlike other similar programs, NoScript doesn’t limit the time you can use it for, nor does it hide its features behind a paywall.
Best ad blocker – Conclusion
All things considered, it goes without saying that we’re living in an age where advertisements generate a considerable amount of revenue to various online services, so it’s easy to see why avoiding them or blocking them altogether gets harder by the minute.
However, dedicated services such as the ones we’ve presented in our list can help you at least curb the number of ads displayed by your browser, if not eliminate them altogether. Some services available here can also be deployed directly on your PC, without piggybacking on a host app, in order to offer you system-wide protection which extends beyond the confines of your web browser.
Keep in mind that some of the solutions we’ve included on our list are not exactly ad blockers, although they might be able to remove some of the ads you would normally see, to some extent. Make sure to read carefully each product’s description if you want to get the best protection against abusive, obtrusive, and annoying ads.