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. This article will cover the basics, the benefits, and the drawbacks of installing an adblocker.

What Is An Ad Blocker?

Ad blockers are programs that can remove advertisements from websites online when users visit them. Each ad blocker is different, and they can target different types of ads. Pop-up ads, banner ads, and large ads that take up most of the page are a few of the more common targets of ad blockers. Ad blockers help users use the Internet with fewer interruptions.

There are also several kinds of ad blockers that a user can choose from. Some ad blockers are downloadable programs; some work only for a specific browser as an add-on. Each ad blocker has their own way of cutting out ads, so the ad blocker that one user employs may not be the best for another user and their technology.

Why Use an Ad Blocker?

Ad blockers are obviously useful for getting rid of intrusive ads that crowd your browser window. However, they have other purposes that make using one even more appealing. Your browsing experience will be faster; ad blockers allow pages to load faster and also help reduce 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.

They also keep you protected from ad tracking, which gathers bits of information about you based on the online ads you interact with. Overall, using an ad blocker gives you a cleaner browsing experience—and potentially even a safer one, since some ads are put out as malware in disguise.

That being said, there are also benefits to keeping ads running on certain supported websites that you visit. In the next section, you can find a more complete breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of using an ad blocker.

The Advantages of Ad Blockers

1. No Ad Interruptions

The most obvious advantage of using an ad blocker is that it will do just that: block ads! Advertisements can get in the way of smooth scrolling on a webpage. They can make it hard to get the content that a user is looking for. Most of all, ad interruptions can simply be annoying. Installing an ad blocker will cut out a number of different ads that interfere with users’ website experience.

2. Less Ads, Faster Webpages

Having less advertisements on a webpage allows it to load faster. Ad blockers don’t always help speed up webpages—not all slow web speeds are due to advertisements.

Ad blockers can help significantly with any ad-related speed issues. Loading times for websites and programs will be shorter. Fewer ads will allow the website to work faster on a technological level and on a user-specific level, as the user can scroll through the webpage quicker without advertisements.

3. Ad Tracking is Also Blocked

Ad tracking 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. This tactic is somewhat controversial, and many Internet users are uncomfortable with the idea of a third party tracking their activity online.

Ad blockers also have the added benefit of preventing further ad tracking. This keeps your information more secure and also helps prevent your computer from malware attacks that come in the form of advertisements.

The Disadvantages of Ad Blockers

1. No Ads = No Revenue For Websites

While it may seem like there couldn’t possibly be any downfalls to using ad blockers, there is actually a big impact on the Internet as a whole. As obnoxious as advertisements can be, they are a large source of revenue for many websites. A lack of advertisements means a lack of funding. This, in turn, can lead to websites eventually shutting down if they don’t have enough money to be kept up.

One way to keep your browsing experience ad-free and to keep your favorite websites alive is to make donations to the groups in charge of the sites. Some websites also get their funding in other ways, but for most, advertisements are a way of collecting revenue. Ad blockers threaten this income.

2. Ad Blockers Collect Data, Too

Ad blockers can save you from ad tracking, but be aware that some ad blockers 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.

Ghostery, another popular ad blocker, blocks ad trackers from picking up your personal information, but it does collect that anonymous data for itself. This data can then be sold to other companies and websites to improve their site performance.

Each Internet user can decide for themselves whether or not an ad blocker is worth it. However, knowing both the advantages and disadvantages can allow users to make an informed choice either way.

Ad Blocker Recommendations

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


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

By default, AdBlock allows what they refer to as “Acceptable Ads" (ads that are respectful and non-intrusive to the user’s browsing experience, as per the AdBlock Plus Acceptable Ads committee) but these can be turned off in AdBlock’s settings. Users also have the ability to 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—which means that it can block annoying ads in order to stop ad tracking. Ghostery has a free version and a paid version, which means it can remove ads at all price points.  


AdLock works to guard 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 webpages and links, cost about $20 a year. AdLock advertises over two million users and many reviews from satisfied customers.


AdGuard is another highly rated ad blocker. It isn’t free, but AdGuard does offer different plans depending on the number of devices you’re looking to protect for just a few dollars a year, making it incredibly affordable. In terms of Internet safety, AdGuard goes beyond just blocking ads; it also stops users from accessing malicious websites and has kid-friendly settings if that’s what you’re looking for.

How to Install an Adblocker in a Browser

Most ad blockers work as browser extensions. Whatever browser you use, it’s fairly simple to install your browser ad blocker of choice from their web pages. 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 + 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.