What is an Adblocker? How to Browse Without Bombardment
The vast majority of commercial websites on the Internet generate their income by showing consumers ads. That means if you spend a few hours in front of your computer each day you’re likely to be exposed to thousands of ads in varying degrees of quality.
While many of these ads are annoying but harmless, some ads include malware in them, and many websites (and their ads) include tracking information in them to help keep track of your behavior. If you’ve ever looked at a pair of shoes on one website, and then seen ads for that same pair of shoes follow you around the web, you’ve experienced what this tracking looks like in practice.
That’s why ad blockers have become an essential tool for not only having an enjoyable browsing experience, but also to maintain some level of privacy and security. While adblockers can’t protect you from everything malicious on the web, they do stop most ads you will encounter, including pop up ads that are obtrusive, annoying, and chock full of tracking code or malware. Want to block annoying 15-second video ads on YouTube? An ad blocker is the answer. Want to stop pop up ads from appearing every time you browse? Install one of the many ad blockers you can find online.
Do I need an Adblocker?
It may seem self-serving, but the short answer is: yes! Reputable ad blockers will help protect your privacy on the internet, prevent sites from collecting your data, and can improve browser speed and computer performance. In this day and age you can never be too safe on the internet, and an adblocker is a great way to keep you and your loved ones (and their personal information) safe online. They’re free, easy to set up, and don’t require any personal information to get started.
The best part: once you’ve finished installing your ad blocker all you’ll notice is a quieter, less annoying web experience. No autoplay video ads screaming at you, and no flashing website banner ads or ads that cover the content you were looking for. It’s easy to set up, but the benefits of having an ad blocker installed will be instantaneous – you’ll wonder how you ever browsed without one.
Not only does an adblocker make your web experience safer, it makes it faster, too! When your computer doesn’t have to load ads, the content you’re trying to see loads that much faster. We all have that family member or two that seems to fall for every internet scam in the book. These scam ads can install malware that make computers run slowly and collect personal information. Chances are they won’t even notice that an ad blocker is working silently in the corner of the screen to keep their browser safer and faster, and that means less headaches for everyone! Ad blockers are simple to use, and are available for most major browsers.
What if I Want to See Some Ads?
Not all ads are created equal — in fact, some ads can be really fun or informative. Furthermore, most people understand that their favorite websites often depend on advertising revenue to survive, so while most people may ask how to block ads, there are also times when you want to allow ads.
If you want to allow ads on a certain website, it’s easy and you usually have two choices: ad blockers like AdBlock or uBlock give you the option to either pause your ad blocker, or “whitelist” the website or page you want to allow ads on. Just click on the icon of your ad blocker that you see in your web browser, and select “pause” or “whitelist” to tell your ad blocker to stop blocking ads on the page you are visiting. Both AdBlock and uBlock also participate in a program called Acceptable Ads, which helps identify non-intrusive ads (think Google search ads). Publishers participate in this program by having their ads reviewed to ensure they respect the user experience, and then those ads are allowed to be show to people that are using either AdBlock or uBlock.
How Do I Install an Adblocker?
If you are ready to experience the web without ads, the good news is that you will be ready to go in just two or three clicks. Setting up an ad blocker may be the easiest thing you do today. Since ad blocking has become so popular, most popular web browsers like Google Chrome, or Mozilla’s Firefox browser have dedicated software to block ads in that browser. Just follow the instructions for how to install an ad blocker and you’ll be all set.
Once you’ve completed the initial setup, that’s really all you need to do. uBlock will refresh itself automatically every time we have a new update to the software, and we will constantly modify the list of ads that we block to keep up with the ever changing ad landscape.