It’s not hard to see why you should use privacy extensions and ad-blocking software for your browsers, on both your mobile and desktop computers. There are many annoying ads that clutter up web browsers, and trackers that monitor your online activities. Stopping these practices can increase your online security.
We believe that privacy online is so important that we have divided our guide to the best ad-blockers into multiple sections. We recommend the most popular browser ad-blocking extensions. However, we also look at standalone ad blockers for smartphones and PCs.
- Protect yourself against viruses and malware with the best antivirus software
- The best identity protection services
- Get the best VPN for more privacy tools
Even though companies recognize the need to control who has access to our data, both iOS15 and Android12 have added privacy monitoring capabilities. To improve your browsing experience, you will want to use the best adblocking software. Even the most powerful ad-blocking tools have flaws. They take revenue away from sites that are sponsored by ads (like this one). If you are willing to make the trade-off, there are many extensions and apps available that allow you to browse the web from your computer or mobile device.
What are the top ad-blocking tools?
Adblock Plus, one of the most effective privacy extensions and ad-blocking tools you can use in your browser is available on multiple platforms. It’s available for both desktop and mobile browsers. This is likely to be the first place many people go. Ghostery or AdBlock can be used to block ads in a desktop browser. They work with many browsers.
AdGuard, AdLock, and AdGuard are the most effective ad-blocking apps. Mobile users should look at AdAway for Android and 1BlockerX for iOS. Privacy Badger and Opera web browser are additional tools.
These are the best ad blocking tools you can find today
1. The AdBlock Plus plugin (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Android, iOS)
Adblock Plus (ABP), one of the most popular ad-blockers, is available as an extension for Firefox, Chrome Safari, Edge, Edge, and Opera. ABP is easy to set up and load preset filter lists. This allows users to block most ads quickly. It also offers the ability to filter malware or social media buttons.
To keep their ad revenues in the black, savvy users can add block lists to their favorite sites and set custom filters. AdBlock Plus permits “non-intrusive advertisement” via filters. This may be annoying to some users. However, this feature is easily disabled in the settings.
Adblock Plus Firefox, Chrome Safari, Opera, Edge, Safari, Safari, Chrome
2. AdBlock (Chrome Firefox Safari Edge, Chrome, Firefox Safari Safari, Safari)
AdBlock, which is not related to AdBlock Plus, is another excellent ad-blocking browser extension. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox Edge, Safari, and Safari. AdBlock blocks ad content from known ad servers and provider sites using a variety of filter lists. You can either stick to the default block list, subscribe to more, or create your own.
AdBlock is a trusted extension for Safari and Chrome that has been downloaded over 900 million times.
Download AdBlock Chrome, Firefox Safari, Edge
3. Poper Blocker (Chrome)
Poper Blocker, also known as Pop Up Blocker For Chrome, is not an all-in-one blocking solution. It’s designed to work with other adblockers.
Poper Blocker blocks pop-ups and pop-unders. It also blocks overlays, pops, and pop-unders. You will receive small notifications when pop-ups have been blocked. You can also view your blocking stats. However, Poper Blocker can be kept running in the background without any impact on other adblocker extensions.
Download Poper Blower: HTML4_ HTML5_
4. Stands Fair AdBlocker (Chrome)
Google Chrome users have Stands Fair AdBlocker, which is a light and fast ad-blocking plug-in. This extension does exactly what it says: It blocks ads and pop-ups that clutter up your browser’s view, while also blocking any tracking.
Stand’s Fair AdBlocker allows you to control the types of ads that you want to block. This includes autoplay video ads as well as YouTube ads. Expanding ads can also be blocked. If you wish, it can block Facebook ads.
AdBlocker’s “Fair” feature allows you to block certain ads and whitelist websites that are ad-supported. This will allow you to avoid losing revenue. This ad-blocking tool doesn’t have a burning bush approach to its stated purpose.
Download Stands Fairly AdBlocker
5. uBlock Origin Chrome, Firefox
Ublock Origin, a browser-based ad-blocking tool, focuses on efficient blocking and low overhead. This extension includes a variety of filters for malware and advertising sources. You can also create custom filters from hosts files.
Download Ublock Origin: Firefox, Chrome
6. Ghostery (Chrome Firefox, Opera, Edge, Opera)
Ghostery, like the other extensions in our top ad-blocking software, can remove ads from websites so that you can concentrate on content and navigate more efficiently. Ghostery’s privacy protection features are what really make Ghostery great. Ghostery allows you to see trackers. This lets you know who is trying to gather data about you. Ghostery allows you to stop this tracking from happening. Ghostery’s enhanced anti-tracking can be used to protect your privacy.
Ghostery is a free download that provides basic web protection. Advanced protection is available for $4.99 per month, while the $11.99 monthly tier includes a built-in VPN. Ghostery also works with iOS and Android devices.
Ghostery: Chrome Firefox, Opera, Edge, Opera
7. Adblocker for YouTube (Chrome and Firefox)
YouTube is becoming more aggressive in its advertising, and so have the developers of ad-blocking extensions. Adblocker for YouTube, a Chrome extension, promises to block YouTube ads automatically. This includes the pre-roll ads appearing before the video and any banner ads that appear on it.
You can also use the AdBlocker extension for YouTube on Firefox if you prefer Chrome to Firefox. The functionality to remove video and display ads is the same, though it’s made by a different developer. This version is also compatible with Android devices.
Download Adblocker for YouTube: Chrome, Firefox
Stand-alone ad-blocking applications that work best
1. AdGuard (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
Users looking for a better experience may consider an AdGuard subscription. It offers desktop and mobile options that reduce the number of ads you see while surfing the internet.
AdGuard for Windows and Mac protects popular browsers with highly configurable options to block ads, trackers, and content. There is also a parental control module that restricts adult content. AdGuard Android is an ad-blocker without root that blocks ads on apps and games. However, you will need to download it from AdGuard’s website instead of Google Play. AdGuard iOS works in conjunction with Safari to filter ads from the default browser.
Download AdGuard: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
2. AdLock (Windows, $22/year; Android, $11/year)
AdLock does not use a browser-based approach. Instead, AdLock runs as a separate program that can block both browser-based ads and advertising in other programs, such as Skype or games.
The app runs in the background and uses filters to block popups and ads. It also speeds up loading times. Safe Browsing features are used to automatically block unsafe sites.
The mobile version of AdLock is not available on the Google Play Store. You will need to sideload it if you wish to install AdLock onto your Android device.
Download AdLock: Windows, Chrome, Android
3. Wipr (macOS and iOS; $1.99
Wipr is a great ad-blocking tool for your iPhone and Mac if you love Safari. Available for iOS and macOS, Wipr costs $1.99 and works with Safari and other Safari apps.
Wipr has a wide range of features. It not only blocks trackers and apps, but also cryptocurrency miners, EU cookies, GDPR notices, and any other thing that might get in the way of your surfing the internet. The blocklist is updated twice per week and requires very little configuration. You can load Wipr, forget it’s there, and it will do its job.
Wipr will make Safari pages load faster if you are surfing from an iPhone. Ads and trackers can slow down your browser’s performance.
Download Wiper for macOS and iOS
Mobile apps that block ads
1. AdAway (Android)
Android users can download AdAway, an open-source ad-blocker that works at the file level of the host. This means that when an app or website requests a specific ad provider, it instead goes through a blank IP address (127.0.0.1), which saves bandwidth and prevents you from being spammed with advertising.
AdAway allows you to use hosts files from many sources or one of your own. You can blacklist or whitelist specific addresses and add your redirects.
Installing third-party apps will be required (or downloading AdAway through F-Droid) since AdAway isn’t available on the Google Play Store.
Download AdAway: Android
2. 1BlockerX (iOS).
1Blocker was the first ad-blocking tool on iOS when Apple made it available to all users. 1BlockerX is a Safari-optimized version.
This app blocks ads, popups, and trackers to speed up browsing and make it more secure. 1Blocker does not block content from a page downloaded. Instead, it works with Safari’s Content Blocker API to tell Safari what to block ahead of time, which saves both time and resources.
1BlockerX has more than 115,000 blocker settings, regional adblocking settings and simple-to-use custom rule settings. The app is free to download. Premium features are available in-app.
Download 1Blocker X: iOS
3. Firefox Focus (Android, iOS)
Firefox Focus is another addition to Mozilla’s browser family. This privacy-oriented Firefox version combines anti-tracking and ad-blocking into a lightweight and functional package. Firefox Focus blocks ads, speed up browsing, and includes privacy-friendly features such as automatic history and cookie clearing.
With simple toggles, users can block ads, social trackers, and analytics. They can also turn on “stealth” mode and choose a default search engine.
This Best Android Browsers article has more information about the different flavors of Firefox.
Download Firefox Focus: Android, iOS
Apps and extensions that are privacy-oriented
1. Decentraleyes (Chrome and Firefox)
Sometimes blocking ads can prevent websites from pulling the required libraries and resources from third-party sources. This can lead to broken web pages. Decentraleyes acts as a local content distribution network emulator, serving up the files websites require. This extension will prevent websites from sending requests to Google Hosted Libraries.
Decentraleyes can be considered a compliment to adblocking software. The extension actually states that it can be used with AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin. We recommend both.
Download Decentraleyes Chrome, Firefox
2. Opera (Desktop, Android, iOS)
Opera browser embeds ad-blocking capabilities into the browser without the use of an add-on. It also offers privacy-friendly tools like an unlimited, built-in VPN service, incognito mode, and fraud and malware warnings for pages and links that are suspicious. Opera can be further customized with an extensive range of extensions.
Mobile users don’t have to worry, because the Android version includes almost all the same features as the desktop version but is optimized for touch-screen interfaces. Opera Touch is the iOS mobile version.
Opera for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS
3. Privacy Badger (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)
Privacy Badger, the browser extension by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was created out of concerns over the business models behind some privacy tools and other adblocking programs.
Privacy Badger works in the same way as extensions such as AdBlock Plus. It monitors and blocks third-party tracking tools and advertisers to track your online activities. The built-in learning algorithms adjust to your site visits and consider any new tracking tools.
Privacy Badger is not an ad-blocker but it does block some advertising depending on how aggressively you are tracked across different websites.
Chrome, Firefox, and Opera: Privacy Badger
4. Tor Browser (Desktop, Android)
The Tor network anonymizes your internet activity by sending and receiving data through distributed anonymous network routers. This helps to foil traffic analysis, a popular online surveillance technique that can reveal what sites you visit and who you are communicating with.
The Tor Browser is a portable, all-in-one package that includes everything you need for surfing the internet through Tor. This package contains a modified Firefox version with privacy features such as NoScript embedded and an automated setup aid that makes it simple to connect to new Tor circuits.
You can download Tor Browser for Windows, macOS, or Linux from the desktop. Tor Browser for Android is also available. This replaces the OrBot + OrFox combination that was recommended for Tor browsing on Android.
Download Tor Browser: Desktop, Android
5. Onion Browser (iOS).
iOS users can browse the Tor anonymizer network using the Onion Browser, which is one of the most popular options for Apple’s mobile OS.
Onion Browser was a premium app. However, the donation model has allowed everyone to download the app without any restrictions on security or features. There are some caveats: Browsing Tor will slow down your web experience. Some features, such as video streams or video files, won’t work to protect anonymity.
Download Onion Browser: iOS
How to find the best ad-blocking software for you
While many of the top ad-blockers are free as extensions or standalone apps, AdLock and others charge fees. You should decide if the free apps provide enough ad blocking to meet your needs, or if a paid app offers more value for money. Also, consider whether a browser extension can provide adequate ad-blocking or if you need to switch browsers with better privacy features.
By deciding what you want to do with an extension or app, you can narrow your choices in adblocking software. Are you looking for privacy features, a way to block annoying pop-up ads, or a full suite of services that stop ad-tracking? Get the ad-blocker that checks all your boxes.
Adblock Plus, for example, has filters that allow you to let in advertising that isn’t too intrusive. AdBlocker Ultimate takes a more aggressive approach, while AdBlocker Ultimate uses a filter and allows in non-obtrusive advertising. Choose the one that best suits your needs and comfort.