The Best Adblocker Software for Android, iOS, PC and Mac

Navigating the online space can be difficult, with pop-ups interrupting your experience and websites cluttered with advertisements – some of which are entirely irrelevant or inappropriate. By simply downloading an adblocker, you can strengthen your privacy, performance, and protection.

Increasing popularity has caused the market to saturate in recent years, and when combined with how many different types of adblockers there are, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, there is something for everyone in our list of best adblockers around.


What are the best adblockers?

  1. uBlock Origin - Best Browser Extension
  2. CyberSec (NordVPN) - Best VPN with an Ad Blocker
  3. AdFender - Best Desktop Application
  4. AdLock - Best ad blocker for Android
  5. 1Blocker X - Best ad blocker for iOS
  6. Adblock Plus - Honourable mention

Companies tend to prioritize profit over user satisfaction, making deals with dodgy advertisement firms and slowing their webpages down with too many ads by filling them to the brim with animations, audio, and text. These can redirect you to malicious websites when clicked on or slow your system to a crawl.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is where the tool’s functionality ends given its namesake, but certain products can be capable of so much more. They help to protect users from malicious advertisements known as ‘malvertising’, as attackers utilize them to disseminate harmful code. This can be done by redirecting the user to a compromised website or piggybacking a stealthy download to unsuspecting victims, in some cases without a click on the advertisement itself.

Adblockers also prove instrumental in the battle for privacy as websites continue to siphon user data. A number of advertisements are infamous for tracking each click a user makes, building a profile of interests that include intimate information such as age, location, friends and more.

Types of Adblockers

Like always, not all programs are built equal and can come in a variety of different forms. While some types are distinctly more popular than others, it’s imperative to weigh up the pros and cons to determine the best adblockers for browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari, operating systems such as Windows 10, Android or iOS and the myriad of devices out there.

Browser Extensions

Whether a user opts for a company-owned piece of software such as Google Chrome or open-source offerings, almost all browsers come with built-in adblocking features to avoid adware. Sadly, these measures are often limited, with most turning towards extensions to make the most of a browser’s capability.

By far the most popular type of adblocker, extensions are the easiest to install with just a few clicks and offer a range of customization. Ads are usually blocked by default; with users having to whitelist trusted websites manually should they wish to contribute to a company’s revenue.

Of course, Chromium-based browsers have the largest selection of adblocking extensions thanks to Chrome cornering most of the global market. Although Firefox has a good range available, support for others listed in our top 5 most secure browsers built for privacy is fewer and further between. Users also risk vulnerability to browser fingerprinting when utilizing many extensions, resulting in a need for extra protection such a Canvas Defender for Firefox.

Free isn't necessarily good

At first, it might seem like a blessing that many ad blockers are free to use, but unfortunately, not all of them can secure the level of privacy a consumer expects. Some make their money by discretely whitelisting the advertisements for companies that opt-in to share revenue with the developer, while others sometimes operate by collecting and selling the data of users themselves.

Pros of Browser Extensions

Cons of Browser Extension

  • Support ranges per browser
  • Vulnerability to browser fingerprinting without added protection
  • Some free adblockers aren't as private as they seem

VPNs with Adblockers

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are vital when it comes to online privacy with their ability to hide what you get up to, which makes them the perfect tool to couple with adblockers. Some developers have taken away the middle-man by offering adblocking features within their service, leaving more time for privately browsing the web and less time hunting for the perfect software.

As a one-stop shop, users reap all the benefits of a traditional adblocker alongside the function of a VPN, making it incredibly difficult for adware to form a profile. The bundles are often a part of premium subscriptions, which enables a user to protect multiple devices at once.

With the built-in program being a paid feature, there is no funny business as to how the company is making money but this does make it less accessible than some browser extensions. The primary drawback, however, is that adblocking cannot be used independently as the function only activates when connected to the VPN

Pros of VPNs with Adblockers

Cons of VPNs with Adblockers

  • Requires a premium, paid subscription
  • Ad blocker functionality cannot be used independently

Ad blocker desktop applications

Although it’s a much more unconventional method of getting rid of advertisements, there are a few adblocker applications that can be directly installed onto desktops.

Unlike extensions, these programs have the ability to prevent advertisements from appearing on multiple browsers at once – which is handy given that having more than one browser installed is always encouraged. Even advertisements baked into other applications and Windows 10 have a hard time against these adblocker apps.

Also, in contrast to extensions, adblocker apps have a tendency to take up a larger amount of system resources such as memory, even when not in use. Strictly free versions of the programs also remain restricted or have fallen behind on development compared to their paid alternatives, leaving them a little less accessible.

Pros of Desktop adblocker applications

Cons of Desktop adblocker applications

  • Resource heavy
  • Free versions are usually restricted or out-dated
  • Not much of a selection

Router-loaded adblockers

With a little know-how, it is possible to load adblockers onto dedicated or virtual routers, preventing advertisements at Domain Name System (DNS) level. Implementation depends on the interface of each individual router, and while they are often trickier to set up than alternatives, they yield the biggest results.

While previously mentioned adblockers stop advertisements from appearing, most do nothing to prevent the web page from downloading personalized banners, images, and videos based on a user’s browsing history and stored cookies. Prohibiting these advertisements from loading at DNS level not only maximizes performance but caters to multiple devices in the household, let alone multiple browsers.

Preventing advertisements using DNS is usually a blanket-wide block that can sometimes be customized by the user based on how strict their settings are. There is a risk of select webpages breaking and commercial sites being caught in the crossfire, both of which can be remedied by manually whitelisting. No router-based solution is as accessible as its local brethren, but as mentioned earlier, this is particularly dependent on the router’s user interface.

Pros of router-loaded adblockers

Cons of router-loaded adblockers

  • Can be fiddly to set up
  • Not as user-friendly to manage

The best adblockers services

1. uBlock Origin

Best Browser Extension

  • Free option


uBlock Origin doesn’t cater to every browser out there, but it does support the core desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, and other Chromium-based browsers. It is lightweight in comparison to the competition and we were met with the fewest detection messages from websites pleading to whitelist them, enhancing my experience.

2. CyberSec (NordVPN)

Best VPN with an Ad Blocker

  • Free option


Although the CyberSec security suite isn’t free, it is included within a subscription to NordVPN, giving incredible value for money. Users are able to access all the benefits of our highest-rated VPN service, including adblocking and malware protection.

3. AdFender

Best Desktop Application

  • Pricing

    From $15.95

While AdFender no longer offers a free version as of version 2.50, it remains one the best ad blockers for Windows Vista through to Windows 10 thanks to its relatively cheap $19.95 per year subscription. It has been tried and tested using a wide range of browsers, including Waterfox and Pale Moon, two of the most privacy-focused offerings.

4. AdLock

Best ad blocker for Android

  • Pricing

    From $10.00 - $36.00

AdLock’s desktop version isn’t quite as competitive at $22 per year, but its $11 Android subscription proves a treat. It’s a little more intensive on resources than browser-based alternatives for mobile, but as a separate application, it can prevent auto-playing videos, pop-ups and general advertisements mobile-wide. Adblocking services are prevented from Google’s Play Store, meaning users will have to side-load this one onto their device.

5. 1Blocker X

Best ad blocker for iOS

  • Free option



    From $2.99 - $14.99

As one of the first acclaimed ad blockers for iOS, 1Blocker X has picked up a trick or two that keeps advertisements at bay for iPhone and iPad devices. Acting as an optimization for Safari, 1Blocker X won’t work on applications, but it will save system resources with its 115,000+ blocker rules and settings preventing content from downloading in advance. This is available directly from the App Store for a one-time payment of $4.99.

6. Adblock Plus

Honourable mention

  • Free option


AdBlock Plus, otherwise known as ABP, is one of the oldest extensions around, established as the most popular adblocker plug-in for Firefox. Unfortunately, the extension has received criticism in recent years for its ‘Acceptable Ads’ scheme, allowing some paying advertisers to slip through onto a whitelist. This option can be turned off in the options but given that this is a conflict of interest and there are better, more private services out there, it didn’t quite make our list.

Written by: Damien Mason

In his first year with ProPrivacy, Damien found himself quoted in Forbes, Digital Spy, Reader’s Digest and several other publications before stepping up as Content Editor. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Film & Television Production, he is familiar with all areas of writing and often produces scripts for ProPrivacy’s own YouTube channel. Outside of the company, he can be found playing video games, binging television shows and writing about both.


on May 13, 2020
Hi, great review. I personally find Brave browser to do a fantastic job at blocking ads. For desktop version STANDS extension worked far better than others.
on February 7, 2020
Please... Pretty please!... Don't say "PC", say Windows! 'cause that's what you really mean... And also, mention Linux on this article. Is the second article I read TODAY that doesn't mention anything about Linux as a supported platform for several of the software you recommend and also, this is a site about "privacy"... Linux should be mentioned pretty much in every single article that is not devoted to a specific Operating System. I'm starting to question myself as a reader of this site's RSS feed.
Douglas Crawford replied to Snowden
on February 12, 2020
Hi Snowden. Damien points out that this was the first article he ever wrote for us, and was very much finding his feet. We will adjust it to include reference to Linux as soon as time permits (most ad-blockers are browser-based, and therefore agnostic anyway). And in fairness to us as a website, ProProivacy does give Linux a great deal of prominence, something we only plan to expand moving forward.
on October 23, 2019
I use firewalls: LiitleSnitch on the Mac and Weblock on iOS. But my goal is not to block ads so much as tracking. I'll accept ads that are hosted on a website's own servers, but if they use an ad server, it acts like a web beacon. Of course I also block all web servers owned by that great master of evil on the Web, Google.
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