You’re reading a great article, captivated by every word. Suddenly an obnoxious ad plasters itself across your screen. You can’t read your content anymore, there’s music playing, and you can’t even find the X to close the thing. If you are like hundreds of thousands of other annoyed individuals every month, you may go to Google and search for something like “what’s the best ad blocker for Chrome?”
What’s an Ad Blocker?
Ads are everywhere. They are literally unavoidable on most websites. They pop up from the bottom of a page, they creep in along the top of an article, and they adorn the sides of nearly every page on the internet. An ad blocker uses a script to prevent these obnoxious things from appearing at all, giving you a clean, safe experience.
Because ads can not only interrupt your reading experience, but are also a big source of malware, ad blocking has become very popular in recent years. In fact, ad blocking goes beyond convenience and is part of a solid cybersecurity plan.
Due to ad blocking’s popularity, there are countless ad blocking options available. Further complicating matters, many of these ad blockers are great at what they do — and most of them are free! But there are still a few things you should consider: specifically which browser are you using — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari browser or something else?
According to Statcounter, nearly 60% of the world is using Google Chrome to browse the web. This in mind, there’s a good chance you’re reading this article on Chrome right now. There’s a good reason for this: Chrome is customizable, fast, safe, and free.
So, how do you go about blocking ads on Chrome specifically? First, let’s tackle Chrome extensions.
What are Chrome Extensions?
If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, chances are you’re familiar with the Chrome Web Store. There, you can find thousands of free plugins and extensions for your browser. These change or add functionality to the browser, letting you tweak things to fit your liking.
Many extensions will add things like custom screenshot capabilities, session saving, Toggl functionality, and more. With so many extensions available, you can find one for practically any use. (Sometimes you find ones you didn’t even know you needed!)
Among the tens of thousands of extensions in the Chrome Web Store are numerous ad blockers and pop up blockers. Many of these ad blockers have similar features and are fairly reliable. This begs the question, “Which one is for me?”
Picking the Best Chrome Ad Blocker
Let’s get this out of the way: there’s no single best ad blocker for Chrome. There are, however, numerous features you should be looking for in an ad blocker:
It Works on Your Browser
First and foremost, it’s important to note if the ad blocker you’re looking at works on your browser. In this case, does it work on Chrome? For example, uBlock works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Mac OS. This ensures ads are blocked on nearly all platforms.
Whitelisting is the ability to prevent ads from being blocked on specific sites. This may sound strange at first, but if you enjoy a content creator’s site, you might want to whitelist them so they receive ad revenue. uBlock has whitelisting and allows certain sites that follow ad best practices to display their ads.
Certain ad blockers will have a filter list that allows you to customize what kinds of ads you see in general. If you don’t want to whitelist certain sites but would rather allow appropriate ads to be displayed across the web, a filter list will let you do that. uBlock’s filter list is on by default, with only some non-intrusive ads allowed.
Some ad blockers feature a pause button. This temporarily stops ad blocking, allowing you to see a site with the ads. This can be particularly useful if you’re having display issues with a site. The uBlock Safari extension has a pause feature that does exactly this.
It’s Easy to Use
Some ad blockers pack too many features underneath the hood. This can make them unwieldy for new users, and result in a poor experience. Feature-packed ad blockers can also be resource heavy, slowing down your browser and using a ton of memory.
Unlike these Swiss Army Knife ad blockers, uBlock does one thing really well: block ads. This allows it to be small and fast, keeping your browser fast and ad-free.
An Ad-Free Chrome
Now that you know which features matter most when looking for the best ad blocker for Chrome, it’s time to get one and start enjoying the internet as it was meant to be: free of ads.
Ads can be obnoxious, they can ruin your reading experience, and they can be downright dangerous in some cases. Protect yourself, have a better browsing experience, and speed up site performance with an ad blocker today.