Ad Blocker: How to Block Ads in Any Browser

Most Internet users agree: ads are annoying. They interfere with your browsing experience, keep you from scrolling with pop-ups, and show up at the most inconvenient times when watching videos. Fortunately, an ad blocker can help to cut down the number of frustrating distractions users face when surfing the web. In this article, learn why you should use an ad blocker, how to install one in your browser, and the five ad blockers we most recommend.

What is an ad blocker?

An ad blocker is a program that removes advertisements and malvertisements from websites online when users visit them. Each ad blocker is different, and they target different types of ads. Pop-up ads, banner ads, and scrolling ads are a few common targets for these programs. Ad blockers aim to help users browse the Internet with fewer interruptions.

An ad blocker blocking ads from a browser

Why use an ad blocker?

Ad blockers help eliminate intrusive ads, but they have other purposes as well. They can improve your browser speed and device life, as eliminating ads allows webpages to load faster and preserves your device’s battery usage and bandwidth. Even the best privacy-focused web browsers don't stop ads, but ad blockers effectively resolve annoying advertisements.

Ad blockers also keep you protected from ad tracking, which is the process of gathering information from users who interact with online ads. This information gives marketers insight into what products users might be interested in. Overall, using ad blockers gives you a cleaner browsing experience – and potentially even a safer one, as some advertisements are actually malware in disguise.

Advantages and disadvantages of ad blockers

As obnoxious as ads are, there are also benefits to keeping ads running on certain supported websites that you visit. In this breakdown, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of using an ad blocker so that you can make an informed choice.


The most obvious advantage of using an ad blocker is that it will do just that: block ads. Many Internet users feel that advertisements disrupt their web experience.

Ads get in the way of smooth scrolling on a webpage and make it difficult to get the content that a user is looking for. Most of all, ads are simply annoying. Installing an ad blocker will eliminate most ads that interfere with users’ online experiences.

Fewer advertisements also allows for webpages to load faster, since all ad-related speed issues will be resolved. Fewer ads allow the website to work faster on the technological level as well as on the user level, as the user can scroll through the webpage quicker without advertisements.

Blocking ads also prevents ad tracking, as mentioned above. This tactic is somewhat controversial, and many Internet users are uncomfortable with the idea of a third party tracking their activity online. But ad blockers have the added benefit of preventing further ad tracking, which keeps your information more secure and also helps prevent your computer from malware attacks that come in the form of advertisements.


While it may seem like there are no downsides to blocking ads in your browser, it actually impacts the Internet as a whole rather significantly. As obnoxious as advertisements can be, they’re a large source of revenue for many websites. A lack of ads means a lack of funding; in turn, this can lead to websites shutting down if they don’t have enough money for maintenance.

Furthermore, while ad blockers can save you from ad tracking, some also collect your data themselves. AdBlock Plus, one of the most popular ad blockers, states on their FAQ page that they do collect some limited personal data. The page doesn’t specify what kinds of data, but it’s worth considering that you aren’t going completely under the radar. Other ad blockers collect similar information from their users.

How to install an ad blocker in your browser

Most ad blockers work as browser extensions, meaning they operate from your browser to eliminate ads. It’s a fairly easy process to install a browser ad blocker. You can do it from your web browser’s add-ons page—for example, Mozilla Firefox’s add-ons site or Google Chrome’s web store. Just search for the extension of your choice and download.

You can also do a Google search for the name of the adblocker you want along with the name of the browser you use. This brings up the ad blocker’s website and their direct download link for your browser, if it’s available. As for how to disable ad blockers, each program has their own method; check out the website for the ad blocker you choose for disabling and customizing instructions.

If you’re wondering how to block ads on YouTube, Twitch, or other specific websites, ad blockers installed in your browser are comprehensive. They’ll function on all websites you visit in that browser, including YouTube and other popular sites.

There are a lot of ad blockers on the market. Finding the one that works best for you might require some research, but here are our five recommendations for the best ad blockers.

uBlock Origin

PCMag named uBlock Origin their top ad blocker pick for 2023, and understandably so. It blocks almost all ads across the board, from webpages to YouTube videos.

It’s supported in the most popular browsers and aims to neutralize invasions of privacy via advertisements in an efficient and user-friendly way. As a bonus, this program is free. Therefore, all users can take advantage of the same ad-blocking level at no cost.


AdBlock was created to “provide a worry-free and distraction-free Internet experience for everyone.” It’s an open-source, free ad blocker that effectively nixes annoying content, blocking pop-up ads and automatic YouTube ads, among others. They also have their own extension in the form of an AdBlock browser.

By default, AdBlock allows what they refer to as “Acceptable Ads.” These are ads they consider to be respectful and non-intrusive to the user’s browsing experience, as per the AdBlock Plus Acceptable Ads committee. However, even these can be turned off in AdBlock’s settings. Users also can customize their ad experience and choose to allow ads on certain websites.


Although not primarily an ad blocker, Ghostery gets excellent reviews for its ad-blocking abilities. Its focus is Internet privacy; it made our list for one of the best browser extensions for privacy. This means that it can block annoying ads to stop ad tracking. Ghostery has a free version and a paid version, so it works for all budgets.


AdLock guards against pop-ups, video ads, and other advertisements that interfere with the user’s Internet experience. Their services, which also include tracing spyware and bugs and checking potentially harmful web pages and links, cost about $30 a year. AdLock advertises over two million users and has many reviews from satisfied customers.


AdGuard is another highly rated ad blocker. It isn’t free. However, AdGuard does offer different plans depending on the number of devices you’re looking to protect for just a few dollars a year.

In terms of Internet safety, AdGuard goes beyond just blocking ads. It also stops users from accessing malicious websites and has kid-friendly settings, which is a bonus for those with children.