The Ultimate Guide To Ad Blockers

The more time you spend online, you would discover more reasons why you should use ad blockers. Most of the websites you visit are free but they have to maintain their servers and generate revenue in one way. Most times those revenues are generated in the form of ads. ads can be annoying and can even take over your browsing in some situations, making internet surfing a nightmare.

Some ad trackers can even compromise your online security and put you at risk and so it becomes necessary to use ad blockers for a better and safer browsing experience. That’s why we have this guide to ad blockers ready for you.

With ad blockers, you can block out annoying ads, avoid intrusive marketing schemes, and also save bandwidth. Ad blockers also block out malicious ads from attackers that seek to steal your data. Even with all these advantages, ad blockers have their downside. They stop revenue generation via ads from free websites so that readers may no longer have free content.

So the choice is yours. If you are okay with the long term detriments of ad blockers and seek complete control of your browsing experience, then this guide is for you.

Table of Contents

1 . How does ad blocking work?

2. Methods of blocking ads

3. Benefits of using ad blockers

4. Disadvantages of using ad blockers

5. The best ad blockers

6. The best standalone ad blockers

7. Ad blocks for mobile apps

8. Other privacy oriented apps and extensions

9. How to choose the best ad blocker for you

10. Guide to ad blockers and whitelisting

11. Mobile ad blockers

How Does Ad Blocking Work?


Ad blockers are not targeted at a particular content or site by default. They rather filter different lists that contain elements that are associated with ads. what this implies in many instances is blocking the domains of ad servers and it can be an issue in the long run as the filtering could also block out original content.

Adblocking also prevents trackers from monitoring website visitors. These trackers are used to create a profile on every website visitor as they collect data on the visitors and use it for personalized advertising. Ever wondered why you search on the best gaming mice and you suddenly start seeing ads on gaming mice?

Methods Of Blocking Ads


1. Browser Integration

Browser integration is one of the most common ad-blocking methods. All commonly used browsers have some form of inherent ad-block as a way of improving user privacy and security, but these ad blocks are mostly unrefined. So for better performance, browser extensions are used and popular examples are AdBlock and AdBlock Plus.

2. External Programs

Some external programs such as customized HTTP proxies can be used to filter out ads before the main content is displayed. The advantage of this method is that they can expand their target blocks; aside from ads, they can also block offensive content.

3. Host File and DNS Manipulation

You can filter ads by editing the host file and its IP address. So when you browse the web, the ad servers are changed to an IP address that doesn’t exist, preventing them from showing up.

4. DNS Cache

Since traffic is generally sent through the DNS cache, you can alter the records and prevent access from unwanted hosts.

5. DNS Filtering

With DNS filtering, users can decide which ads or sites get blocked as they can manipulate their DNS servers.

6. Hardware Devices

Some hardware exists that can help to block out ads.

The Benefits Of Using Ad Blockers


1. Better Performance

Websites have many elements that all add up to give you great performance. the website tries to give you great performance at all times, but the ads do not pay attention to performance. So an ad provider can hit you with tons of ads in the forms of images, videos, audio, and a lot more without caring about the performance even as it increases the website’s loading time. By blocking ads, the loading time is faster and you get better performance.

2. Better Privacy

Ad blockers filter website trackers, thereby increasing your privacy. These trackers seek to collect information on you and build a profile about you, taking away the anonymity that you seek.

3. Increased Security

The ad industry heavily makes use of banner ads. these are usually animated, video, or audio banners and they require third party JavaScript and flash files that allow malicious code to run in the system. So by blocking out ads, you also improve your security by reducing the chances of having malware infecting your device.

4. Good User Experience

If you have visited a website with a lot of pop-ups that seem to linger, you will understand how frustrating some ads can be. These give you poor user experienced and frustrate your every second on the site. With ad blockers, these distractions would be taken care of and you can have a better user experience.

The Disadvantages Of Ad Blockers


The most significant disadvantage of ad blockers is the financial implications ad businesses suffer. Since the publishers and ad agents are paid per ads served, blocked ads won’t count and revenue would be lost. Businesses would also suffer as potential customers won’t see the goods and services they have to offer. In most cases, businesses would have invested money in the ads already, and it’s a huge loss to have these ads blocked and bringing in no returns.

Many websites generate revenue for maintenance by running ads, so when users block ads, these sites lose money. Ad blockers can also keep good information from you as they don’t differentiate between good and bad ads.

The trackers that most sites use is to enhance user experience so that you can easily pick off from where you stopped on your last visit. Search engines also track you so you can be fed the sites you love most when you search on related topics. But with ad blockers, these trackers would be blocked and your user experience would be basic.

Interesting read: Top 5 methods to unblock Instagram

The Best Ad Blockers


1 . Adblock Plus (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Android, IOS)

Adblock Plus is one of the most known and used ad blockers right now. It has extensions for use with most browsers like Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, And Edge. Its setup is quick and easy, and there is a filter list that allows you to block ads and malware quickly. Tech-savvy users can choose to create their list in addition to the default filter or whitelist their most visited site. There is a feature in AdBlock that allows for non-intrusive ads but it can be disabled if the user isn’t comfortable with it.

When using AdBlock on android, the AdBlock Browser which is a Firefox-based browser blocks incoming ads automatically. While on iOS, the AdBlock Plus app merges with the system content blocker to automatically block ads on safari without requiring any additional setting.

Download AdBlock Plus: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Edge

2. AdBlock (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox)

This AdBlock service is an ad filterer and blocker that is available for use with browsers like chrome, safari, edge, and Firefox. It is not related to AdBlock Plus, and also has its filter list that automatically blocks ads from known ad providers. Users of the service can choose to stick to the default list or create their own, as well as whitelist their most visited sites.

Download AdBlock: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari

3. Poper Blocker (Chrome)

Poper blocker isn’t an all-sufficient ad blocker, but it rather serves to complement other ad blockers for chrome specifically. It focuses only on filtering pop-ups, overlays, pop-under, timed pop-ups and scrolled pop-ups. It’s also meant to catch other types of ads that may slip past the adblocker you are using. you can keep this program running in the background, or check your blocking stats to know the number of pop-ups that have been blocked.

Download Poper Blocker: Chrome

4. AdBlocker Ultimate (Chrome, Opera, Firefox)

AdBlocker Ultimate is an ad blocker that is strict about letting no ads through. You can also be sure that they won’t let whitelisted ads through. Apart from blocking ads, it also blocks known adware, malware, and also trackers.

Download AdBlocker Ultimate:  Chrome, Firefox, Opera

5. uBlock Origin (Chrome, Firefox)

uBlock Origin is an ad blocker for web browsers that gives you simple and efficient ad-block services. It has its filter list of known ad companies, malware sources, and options to customize and make your list.

Download uBlock Origin: Chrome, Firefox

6. Fair AdBlocker (Chrome)

Even though Fair AdBlocker blocks obtrusive ad pop-ups, overlays, and other annoying ads, it allows less annoying and unobtrusive ads. so instead of a huge list of blocked domains, Fair AdBlocker uses an algorithm to select which ads to blocks and which to let through.

Download Fair AdBlocker: Chrome

The Best Stand Alone Ad Blockers


1. AdGuard (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

For a robust ad blocking experience, users can try out this subscription-based ad blocker that helps both mobile and desktop devices to have uninterrupted web surfing. On windows and mac, AdGuard is compatible with the most popular web browsers. You can configure its tracking features, ads, content blocking, as well as parental control to block out adult content. For android, AdGuard is a no root ad blocker that filters all ads that pop up on games and other apps. For this to work, however, you would have to install the apps through AdGuard’s site instead of using google play. For iOS, AdGuard filters out every ad on safari.

Download AdGuard: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

2. AdLock (Windows, Android)

Unlike most ad blockers that are browser-based, AdLock blocks out ads that pop up in other programs you run on your device like games. It runs in the background and blocks ads, pop-ups, automatic playing videos, thereby speeding up web page loading. It also prevents your access to known malicious sites.

The app isn’t available on Google play store, so you will need to sideload it if you want to use it on android.

Download AdLock: Windows, Chrome, Android)

3. Wipr (macOS, iOS)

Ad Blockers

If you are an iOS user and you love using safari, Wipr would effectively block out ads on your mac and iPhone. It’s very compatible with safari and other apps that open web pages using Safari. Wipr has many interesting features that make its paid services not so bad after all. It blocks ads and trackers and also blocks cryptocurrency miners, GDPR notices, EU cookie, and any other pop-ups that would restrict a seamless browsing experience.

Wipr runs in the background and updates its blocklist twice a week. All the blocks enhance your browsing performance as web pages now load faster giving you better browsing experience.

Download Wipr: macOS, iOS

Ad-Blocks For Mobile Apps

1. AdAway (Android)

AdAway is an open-source ad blocker for rooted android devices that works on the host’s file level. So when an app or webpage requests an ad server, it goes to a blank IP address preventing pop-ups and slowed down bandwidth.

With AdAway, you can use the host file from different sources, or you can make yours. AdAway isn’t on google play store, so you will need to allow the installation of third-party apps on your phone.

Download AdAway: Android

2. 1Blocker X (iOS)

Ad Blockers

1Blocker is optimized for use on safari and is one of the best ad blockers on iOS. By blocking ads and pop-ups, trackers, and other online inconsistencies, it makes your browsing faster and improves your security. It doesn’t block the content of a downloaded page but rather works with a safari to tell the browser what to block in advance saving you time.

There are a lot of blocker rules, ad blocking settings, and easy to use custom rule settings on 1Blocker to give you the best service.

Download 1Blocker X: iOS 

3. Firefox Focus (Android, iOS)

Firefox Focus is under Mozilla and it focuses more on preserving user privacy. With this app, your browsing speed is improved as ads that take up bandwidth are blocked, and your privacy is maintained by the automatic clearing of cookie and browsing history.

Users can choose to block ads, analytics, social trackers, and content by turning on stealth mode and setting a default search engine.

Download Firefox Focus: Android, iOS

Other Privacy Oriented Extensions And Apps

1. Opera (Desktop, iOS, Android)

Ad Blockers

The opera browser provides ad-blocking features without the use of extra ad on while also ensuring your privacy with tools like an inbuilt VPN service, fraud and malware warnings for suspicious links, and incognito mode. There are many available extensions available to you for better customization of your browser to suit your preferences.

The android version of opera has almost every feature the desktop version provides. You can find the iOS version on Apple’s App Store as Opera Touch.

Download Opera: Mac or Windows, Android, iOS

2. Privacy Badger (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Ad Blockers

The Privacy Badger was made by The Electronic Frontier Foundation due to their concerns about the models of some ad blockers and privacy tools. It is similar in function to other adblockers like AdBlock Plus as it observes the tracking tools third parties might use to track your activities and then block them from acting. Its built-in trackers adapt to the sites you visit, and learn about any new tracking tools that are discovered.

Even though it’s not completely an ad blocker, Privacy Badger can also block ads depending on how aggressive the ads pop up when you visit a website.

Download Privacy Badger: Chrome, Firefox, Opera

3. Tor Browser (Desktop, Android)

Ad Blockers

Tor network keeps you anonymous by sending your traffic across a network of routers to thwart the effort of your ISP or those monitoring your online activities. Simply put, no one would know what you are doing online or the sites you visit. The Tor browser is easy to install and has all you need to stay anonymous as you surf the internet. The package includes a tweaked version of Firefox, with privacy features like NoScript included. It also has an automatic setup that makes creating Tor circuits easy.

Download Tor Browser: Desktop, Android

4. Onion Browser (iOS)

Ad Blockers

The onion browser is the iOS version of the Tor browser and it lets iOS users browse anonymously. It was once a premium app but is now available to everyone for free while still retaining its security features. As usual, your browsing experience would be slowed down as your traffic has to be sent across multiple nodes for privacy.

Download Onion Browser: iOS

How To Choose The Best Ad Blocker For You


Most ad blockers are free, while some would charge a fee for their services. Compare the services that both offer and decide if it’s good enough for you. does the free version meet up with your needs? Or would the paid version be more beneficial?

Also, consider the performance of browser extensions. Would they help you in efficiently blocking ads or would you need to switch to another browser with better privacy features?

What’s important is for you to determine what you hope to achieve as it will help you narrow down your choice. If your priority is blocking pop-ups, or you want the complete package including privacy features, go for the ad blocker that fulfills all these.

Some adblockers still let unobtrusive ads in, while others are more aggressive and block out all ads. so make your choice accordingly.

Guide To Ad Blockers And Whitelisting


Since AdBlockers are now commonly used, it is affecting free websites’ revenue margin negatively and some have moved further in detecting the use of AdBlockers by visitors. Once an AdBlock is detected, the user would be prompted to either disable the AdBlock or add the website to their whitelist to continue on the site. This way the sites still generate revenue and provide free publications.

Whitelisting is easy generally but can be complicated in some circumstances that’s why we have this guide to walk you through everything. If these instructions don’t prove effective, try refreshing the web page as its sometimes necessary to implement the changes you have made.


1 . Desktop AdBlockers

1 . AdBlock Plus

How to whitelist a website for AdBlock Plus

  • Click on the AdBlock Plus icon in the extension bar
  • Click on the toggle beside ‘Block ads on’
  • Click on ‘refresh’ at the bottom

2. AdBlock – Chrome

How to whitelist for AdBlock – Chrome

  • Click on the AdBlock icon
  • Click the ‘pause on this site’ button

3. AdBlock – Firefox and Edge

How to whitelist for AdBlock – Firefox and Edge

  • Click on the AdBlock icon
  • Click on ‘don’t run pages on this domain’
  • On the pop-up, click on ‘exclude’

4, AdBlocker for Chrome

How to whitelist for AdBlocker for Chrome

  • On the extensions bar, click on the AdBlocker for Chrome icon
  • Click on ‘Pause on this site’

5. AdBlocker Ultimate

How to whitelist for AdBlocker Ultimate

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdBlocker Ultimate icon
  • Click on the toggle button beside ‘enabled on this site’

6. AdGuard

How to whitelist for AdGuard

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdGuard icon
  • Click on the toggle button beside ‘protection on this website’

7. AdLock

How to whitelist for AdLock

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdLock icon
  • Click on the toggle button beside ‘show ads on this page’

8. AdRemover

How to whitelist for AdRemover

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdGuard icon
  • Click on ‘disable on this website’

9. Ghostery

How to whitelist for Ghostery

  • From the extension bar, click on the Ghostery icon
  • Click on ‘Trust Site’

10. uBlock/uBlock Origin

how to whitelist for uBlock/uBlock Origin

  • From the extension bar, click on the uBlock or uBlock Origin icon
  • Turn off the Adblock extension for the page by clicking on the blue power button
  • Refresh the page

12. SuperBlock AdBlocker

How to whitelist for SuperBlock AdBlocker

  • From the extension bar, click on the SuperBlock icon
  • Click on ‘don’t run on pages on this domain’
  • Click the ‘exclude’ button

13. AdAware

How to whitelist AdAware

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdAware icon
  • Click the large orange button then refresh

14. AdBlock Genesis

How to whitelist AdBlock Genesis

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdGuard icon
  • Click on ‘whitelist website’

15. UltraBlock

How to whitelist UltraBlock

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdGuard icon
  • Click on the checkbox that reads ‘disable UltraBlock for a domain name here’

16. Stands/Fair Adblocker

How to whitelist for Stands/Fair Adblocker

  • From the extension bar, click on the Stands icon
  • Click on ‘whitelist site’

17. Brave

How to whitelist for Brave

  • From the extension bar, click on the Brave icon
  • At the top right you will find a toggle. Click to shift it from up to down

18. Opera

How to whitelist for Opera

  • From the extension bar, click on the Opera icon
  • Click on the toggle beside ‘ads are blocked on this site’

19. Firefox Tracking Protection

How to whitelist for Firefox Tracking Protection

  • From the extension bar, click on the shield icon
  • Click on ‘disable protection for this site’

20. Disconnect

How to whitelist for Disconnect

  • From the extension bar, click on the AdGuard icon
  • Click on ‘whitelist site’

21. Malwarebytes Browser Guard

How to whitelist for Malwarebytes Browser Guard

  • From the extension bar, click on the Malwarebytes icon
  • Click on the blue-colored toggle

22. Privacy Badger

How to whitelist for Privacy Badger

  • From the extension bar, click on the Privacy Badger icon
  • Click on ‘disable privacy badger’

23. DuckDuckGo

How to whitelist for DuckDuckGo

  • From the extension bar, click on the Privacy Badger icon
  • Click on the toggle beside ‘site privacy protection’

24. ScriptSafe

How to whitelist for ScriptSafe

  • From the extension bar, click on the ScriptSafe icon
  • Click on ‘Trust’

25. NoScript

How to whitelist for NoScript

  • From the extension bar, click on the NoScript icon
  • Click on the S icon with the menu below that says ‘TRUSTED’

2. Mobile AdBlockers

1 . Opera

How to whitelist for Opera?

  • Click on the red ‘O’ at the bottom right hand of your screen
  • Click on the block ads toggle

2. Firefox Focus

How to whitelist for Firefox Focus?

  • Click on the Menu button located at the right-hand side of the address bar
  • Click on the toggle for ‘trackers blocked’

3. CM Browser

How to whitelist for CM Browser?

  • Click on the green shield located at the left side of the address bar
  • Click on the toggle for ‘disable adblocker for this website’

4. Brave

How to whitelist for Brave?

  • Click on the orange lion located at the top right hand of the browser
  • Click on the toggle beside ‘Shields’

5. AdBlock Browser

How to whitelist for AdBlock Browser?

  • Click on the menu icon at the top right hand of the browser
  • Click on ‘block ads on this site’

6. Free AdBlock Browser

How to whitelist for AdBlock Browser?

  • At the bottom right hand of the browser, you will see a shield icon. Click on it
  • Click on the toggle that reads ‘AdBlocking on …’

7. UC Browser

How to whitelist for UC Browser

  • At the bottom center of the browser, you will see a menu button. Click on it
  • Click on ‘tools’
  • Click on ‘ad-block’ from the resulting menu
  • Click on the ad-block toggle button


Ads can be a nuisance when surfing the web as they can restrict your operations, and some can even take over your device. Such intrusions reduce user experience hence the need to use ad blockers. Apart from how obnoxious ads can be, they are also a threat to your privacy and security. Even though some trackers that store your information are to improve your experience when you visit the sites, it could also be for malicious purposes. So to stay on the safe side, this guide to ad blockers will help you prevent intrusive ads and the action of trackers.