What is Adware?
Adware is basically a developers best friend and the most annoying friend to website surfers. In simple terms Adware is a software that is designed to display advertisements.
So the next time you get annoyed because you are forced to watch a video to collect points in a game or get a pop-up ad from a website you surfed through, you know who to blame.
From a developer’s perspective, Adware is like a hen that gives golden eggs, as it is a major source to generate income.
All this is well and good, however, there is also a dark side of Adware, it is capable of gathering user data, track a user’s interests, browsing habits and location. This personal data is then shared with Advertisers who can use it as they want. Even target you with specific ads.
It is well known that malicious adware can spread if a user clicks on an ad, however in the latest development, a developer can infect malicious adware onto a user’s device even if the user has not clicked on an ad.
This is one of the main reasons why the demand for Ad Blockers has surged in recent times. Below in this article, I have selected the six best Ad Blockers in my opinion which will give you the most protection for your devices. I have also highlighted the names of some of the AdBlockers that you should absolutely avoid at any cost.
Brief about Ad Blockers
The main function of an Ad blocker is to protect your privacy and make sure that your device is not infected by any viruses. It is arguably a better version of any anti-virus software. Other than that, an Ad Blocker can also improve the speed of your device, increase the battery life of your device and ensure that you have a smooth and secure platform for browsing the internet.
There are four kinds of ad blockers, some serve only one purpose, whereas others are multi-purposeful.
Pre-installed ad blocker VPNs
Some VPN services come with built-in apps that protect your device from adware. VPNs do not allow any kind of tracking of your device, as it masks your IP address, meaning that adware would find it impossible to collect data from your device. Also, you will need only one VPN subscription which you can use to protect multiple devices.
Chrome Browser and many other famous web browsers have a built-in ad blocking software, you just need to install it and activate it. While they do have their advantages, most of them have limited features and cannot block all malicious adware.
Device or Router
A DNS filter that will automatically block requests from servers that are known for adware or tracking service can be set up through a virtual router or a dedicated ad blocking router.
An extension is available on the internet as a free and paid software. In general, a paid extension will give you added security and more customizable options in comparison to a build-in browser ad blocker or free extension tool.
Tip: By combining multiple types of ad blockers you can get an added level of protection for your device.
The Best Ad Blockers:
1. CyberSec by NordVPN
The security suite CyberSec is why I have placed NordVPN as the best ad blocker on this list. CyberSec is an optional feature in NordVPN that stops adware and protects your device by blocking DNS requests from any or all servers which are detected with spyware, malware, tracking, and adware. Unless you manually change the settings of your device, any dangerous website cannot spread viruses in your device.
A unique feature that makes NordVPN highly popular is that it protects your device even if it is already infected by any viruses. A colleague once came up to me with his laptop which was constantly lagging, I detected that it had a virus in it, in spite of having an antivirus software. We figured out the problem, later I told him to use NordVPN and so far he said he is really happy with the result. NordVPN automatically detects dangerous servers and blocks it from entering your IP, which eliminates the threat of any potential viruses or malware.
NordVPN charges a monthly fee for its services, they have quarterly, half-yearly and yearly plans as well. Compared to the threats and viruses that it protects our device from I would say that it is actually underpriced. If you wish to check out the prices for its services click on the image below.
If you are a frequent Youtube watcher and find it annoying when your video is interrupted with ads, Adblock is the one software tool you need in your arsenal to avoid this. Along with blocking pop-up ads, Adblocker also blocks ads displayed on websites. It also blocks ads on streaming services so you can enjoy watching your favorite movies or TV shows without having to wait for an ad to end.
A majority of people who use AdBlock have said that the best feature of the software is that it allows a user to customize it. In AdBlock a user can block individual ads, preset filters, display certain ads and whitelisting.
The default version of AdBlock By comes with an optional “Acceptable Ads” feature that allows certain safe and non-intrusive ads. You can also change this if you wish to block all ads. Click on AdBlock>settings>switch off Acceptable Ads.
AdBlock is a free application and is available as an extension on almost every browser.
3. CleanWeb by Surfshark
Surfshark is a monthly subscription-based VPN. It comes inbuild with a feature called CleanWeb which offers user protection from malware, ads, and trackers. To activate the CleanWeb feature you will have to follow a manual procedure. Open SurfShark>settings>enable CleanWeb.
SurfShark is a paid ad blocker tool which stops communication from malicious websites by blocking DNS requests from dangerous servers.
4. R.O.B.E.R.T. by Windscribe
Similar to SurfShark’s CleanWeb, Windscribe has a feature called R.O.B.E.R.T., this feature protects all your devices from malware, harmful ads, phishing, and trackers.
Any domains found with malicious content or are dangerous are instantly blocked unless you manually allow access to the domain.
R.O.B.E.R.T has four different configurations that offer different levels of protection. The paid version of Windscribe offers full R.O.B.E.R.T. protection on multiple devices. Whereas its free version only offers protection on 10GB of data per month.
If you are a regular streamer of free movies, anime or surf through torrent websites the free version is not for you.
CyberGhost’s ad blocker operates by removing part of the code from the server request that tries to pull ads. Unlike other ad blocker on this list which blocks all DNS requests from dangerous and malicious websites.
CyberGhost’s ad blocker is very effective at blocking malicious adware and masking your IP address, however, it does not stop all ads from displaying.
The speed of your browser will have no effect, so you do not have to worry about slowing down or buffering.
CyberGhost is not a free VPN service and charges a monthly fee. It is not one of the best-paid VPN but if you opt for it, it will certainly do its job to the fullest.
AdLock is not a browser extension it is an ad-blocking software for your device.
The feature that makes AdLock unique is that in comparison compared to other similar services that only blocking ads on your web browser, it also blocks ads on any app that connects to the internet. Meaning that even when you are using platforms like BitTorrent and Skype you are still protected by AdLock.
AdLock is available only for Android and Windows, you can use it on a trial basis for 14 days. One drawback is that you will have to pay for its services per device. Meaning you can not use AdLock on your phone and PC simultaneously. You will have to pay for both devices separately.
Ad Blocker Scams – Who to Avoid
It is becoming incredibly difficult to differentiate between legit Ad-Blockers and fake Ad-Blockers. Mostly because the demand for Ad-Blockers is increasing day by day.
Fake ad blockers use the platform to collect a user’s data and study a user’s browsing pattern, which is then sold and misused. Hence, I recommend that you look carefully before installing any ad blocker as you trust these tools with personal and confidential data.
Often we give a blind eye and carelessly install a fake ad blocker, it has happened with me too. The fake ad blocker is made to look so similar to an actual one right from the logo to the name that it is really hard to differentiate.
Given the damage it can cause, I highly recommend that you look carefully before downloading any ad blocker. For me, NordVPN is my go to tool for such use cases. It has helped me ease my mind from such petty yet impactful malpractices. If you wish to check it out I have linked it down below.
List of some of the many fake extensions (Highly recommend avoiding them)
- Adblock Plus
- Adblock Pro
- HD for YouTube
- uBlock Plus
- AdRemover for Google Chrome
- Superblock Adblocker
- HD for YouTube
Overall an Adblockers can enhance your browsing experience and save you a lot of time and stress. The main feature of an Ad Blocker is that it protects you from tracking and malicious adware.
My personal recommendation for the best Ad Blocker would be to use NordVPN and combine it with a built-in browser free ad blocker to get the best adware and privacy protection. If you feel that I have left out any or would like to give your opinion send an email on our official email address.