Advertisements are a necessary evil in order to keep many websites free to access, with income instead provided by external partnerships. Unfortunately, this business model has become increasingly abused, with intrusive pop-up ads, trackers within cookies and scammers causing significant fatigue from users. Luckily by using an Adblock, Chrome users can avoid annoying ads and stop advertisers from tracking what they do online!
The best AdBlock Chrome extension
It can be confusing to know where to start given how many Chrome Adblock extensions there are out there, so we’ve listed the best 5 ad blocking extensions currently available for Google Chrome:
- uBlock Origin - Is a free and completely open-source adblock software which is fantastic for privacy conscious users - 10 million+ downloads.
- Adblock Plus - is an easy-to-use adblocker that can be customized by users - 10 million+ downloads.
- Ghostery - is fantastic for privacy, this adblocker makes Chrome users aware that they may collect anonymous data on users and lets you opt-out - 2.6 million downloads.
- AdGuard - is a lightweight adblocker that regularly performs competitors for speed - 5.7 million downloads.
- AdBlocker Ultimate - Support over 20 languages and block all ads, from banners, pop-ups, pop-under, overlays or video ads - 842,000 downloads.
Why do I need an adblocker?
Every website provides a different experience, but most have one thing in common: they are all trying to build a personal profile of your interests by tracking your data or doing their best to coerce clicks on advertisements. These ads are sometimes intrusive and can be taxing to your system when trying to load them. Other times they are deceptive and are used to distribute data-stealing malware. Some websites are even utilizing crypto-jacking code to mine cryptocurrency in the background, at the expense of your hardware and your electricity.
How will an ad blocker protect your browser?
The ad blockers on this list are built with privacy and security in mind, helping to preserve your anonymity online and keep you safe from malicious code. A wide selection of filter lists helps to identify trackers, block advertisements and blacklist hundreds of thousands of known online scams. It’s important to choose your ad blocker carefully, as their one-click accessibility has prompted many copycats and scammers over the years, making research like this list essential. If our list doesn’t do the trick for you, looking at reviews and seeing just how many people have installed an extension can help settle your suspicions.
best ad blocker for chrome
For more information about the best Google Chrome Ad Block extensions, take a look at the summaries below.
1. uBlock Origin
uBlock Origin is completely free, much like the other extensions on this list, and is completely open-source. It maintains unparalleled transparency which sets it apart from the rest, featuring a statistical breakdown of how well the ad blocker has performed across the current session.
- 10 million+ downloads
- 49 languages supported
2. Adblock Plus
Originally making a name for itself on Mozilla’s Firefox, Adblock Plus has since become one of the most popular extensions on Chrome. Its open-source approach has prompted a number of notable competitors, with the similarly named but unaffiliated ‘AdBlock’ using Adblock Plus’ source code. The organization behind it is responsible for establishing the most comprehensive filter list, support for 52 different languages and the extension sits among the most frequently updated.
The organization has run into criticism in recent years due to its ‘Acceptable Ads’ program, which whitelists partnered companies and advertisement agencies. It is enabled by default in order to allow legitimate websites to earn revenue in a more natural way, however, it can be disabled and customized at your discretion. It is also relatively taxing with multiple tabs open which isn’t good when Chrome itself can sometimes be resource hungry.
- 10 million+ downloads
- 52 languages supported
Ghostery is built with a privacy focus, designed to stop trackers and block advertisements. The extension blocks ads, site analytics, and adult advertising trackers by default but this can be deeply customized depending on your needs. Unblocked and unknown trackers are also anonymized with enhanced anti-tracking turned on.
While all extensions collect anonymous Human Web data in order to better their service, Ghostery is one of the few add-ons to make you aware of this and allows you to opt-out during the setup. The extension is completely free, although some minor features have been locked behind a paywall. For $2 per month, subscribers get access to new themes for the sleek-looking user interface, historical blocking statistics, and priority support but this requires you to create an account with your email.
- 2.6 downloads
- 14 languages supported
With over 5 million downloads, AdGuard’s user base is approximately half that of uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus, but its respectable 4.7 out of 5 rating across 39,000 users speaks for itself. Its claim of being “the world’s most advanced ad blocker” is certainly up for debate, but AdGuard’s lightweight approach regularly outperforms most of its rivals.
AdGuard’s Tracking Protection filter is designed to remove all forms of tracking with a filter list even larger than that of Ghostery. This is a double-edged sword as more time is then required to customize. This option is particularly good for those sick of video advertisements on Facebook and YouTube but AdGuard advises users to opt for its desktop and mobile applications to get the most of its service, as browser extensions have their limitations.
- 5.7 million downloads
- 46 languages supported
- Blocks YouTube ads
5. AdBlocker Ultimate
AdBlocker Ultimate promises to remove all advertisements completely, trackers and malware, showing no mercy across the board. It doesn’t matter whether it is a banner, pop-up, pop-under, overlay or video ad, the extension endeavors to get them all gone. This leaves your whitelist entirely in your hands.
It has the highest rating on this list at 4.8 stars, but its user base sits firmly under 1 million for the time being. Being a non-profit project, AdBlocker Ultimate relies on donations from its user base and therefore doesn’t update as frequently as its competition. Despite this, the developers have managed to support as many as 20 languages already with the ongoing support of community localization projects.
- 842,000 downloads
- Community-driven localization
Alternatives to Extensions
Extensions will always be beholden to the browser they’re attached to, even sharing the same cryptographic limitations. Even though Google assures users that it isn’t trying to kill off ad-blocking extensions, the company’s Manifest v3 released in October 2018, proposes a long list of rules that could eventually hinder these particular add-ons. The document is still being adjusted by the advertising company, but Ghostery has threatened an anti-trust lawsuit if it goes through in its current state.
While this could mean tough times for browser extensions, there are still plenty of alternative ways of ad-blocking when surfing the web, such as desktop applications, VPNs with extra features and router-loaded ad blockers.