Ad-blocking is a simple way to block annoying ads that make your browsing experience worse. Those ads clutter large parts of websites, slow downloading speeds, and might be sources of malware. So what is ad blocking and how does it work?
An ad blocker is any app (usually a browser extension) that removes advertising material, including intrusive ads, from websites. While a site is loading, the ad blocking software checks the domain names of the elements loading on the web page against massive blacklists. If any site component is flagged as advertising material, the ad blocker stops it from loading. An effective ad blocker will block commercials from every media player in your browser.
After the page content is displayed, the ad blocker looks for elements that meet certain rules, e.g., images in common banner dimensions, and hides them from the screen.
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to block ads. While websites will specifically curate what they show or advertise to consumers, it’s up to user behavior to determine how they want to consume that content. It just so happens that the perfect user experience is without ads.
Ad blocking is generally safe, but you should always choose a reliable ad blocking software. However, you should also note that ad blockers don’t replace anti-malware software and won’t fully protect you from malware and viruses. All they do is hide online ads from you.
The good thing about blocking advertisements is that it significantly improves your browsing experience by removing intrusive ads, video ads, and tons of content that doesn’t interest you at all. However, there are more benefits of installing ad-blocking software:
With an ad blocker turned on, you can finally read your favorite articles, watch YouTube videos, and browse in peace without flashy ads popping up on your screen. However, publishers don’t get paid for ads that don’t reach you. That’s why some publishers will unfortunately invest in intrusive ads.
Sometimes, the content you are used to accessing for free is actually paid for by ads – and advertisers only pay for ads that get served. If an ad doesn’t appear on your mobile or desktop screen because you blocked it, the site you love to read simply won’t get paid if you block ads.
Publishers, of course, try their best to find ways around ad blocking. Some of them produce sponsored content, while others offer paid subscriptions or ask you politely to whitelist their website or pause your ad blocker for a while. Some even prevent readers from accessing their content if an ad blocker is turned on. Blocking ads can unfortunately hurt some publishers.
Ads can be intrusive and annoying, but they are also the reason some of your favorite websites and online services exist. Ad blocker statistics show that they are generally worth it, but you can also consider shutting them off while browsing reputable sites you’d like to support. They may be aggravating, but some annoying ads here and there will help your favored publishers.
Ad-block software is not fool-proof protection and might not work in the following cases:
YouTube celebrities used to heavily rely on the income that pre-roll advertisements and mid-roll advertisements could provide. After a change in policy, this isn’t the case anymore. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel too guilty even blocking the ads on your favorite influencer’s channel. Blocking ads on YouTube is as easy as installing the latest ad-blocking extension of your choice. Some browsers will even have access to specific YouTube tools, where you can block annoying pre-roll ads with just the click of a button.
Blocking ads on Facebook unfortunately isn’t as easy as setting up an ad-block extension. The developers at Facebook configured their website to outmaneuver a lot of ad-blocking technology.
1. Log in to your Facebook and get to the “Settings” menu.
2. Once there, go to your “Account Settings.”
3. Find the selection called “Ads.”
4. Click on it and go into “Ad Settings.”
5. Change both ad options you see to “Not Allowed.”
While this will help block targeted ads and the occasional mid-roll ad while watching a Facebook video, it won’t completely cleanse the site of adverts. Facebook has it’s own unique brand of behavioral monitoring that can’t be outsmarted by a lot of ad blocking technology.
Fortunately, for most platforms, blocking ads isn’t a complex process. However, some websites and platforms will have ways to work around ad-blocking extensions.
Here are a few ways to block Twitch ads:
As there is a wide variety of ad-blocking programs and browser extensions available, here are a few aspects to pay attention to when choosing the right one:
Ad blocking is not VPN’s primary function, but some premium VPN services have additional features that block ads.
PRO TIP: Use a VPN with a built-in ad blocker to prevent ads from following you online and keep your browsing activity private. Premium VPNs with ad blockers (like NordVPN) work on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and more.
Check out our video on how to block ads with a VPN below.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection technology efficiently blocks suspicious domains so that no malware or other cyber threats can infect your device. It also effectively blocks annoying ads on mobile. On top of that, it will hide unwanted pop-ups, autoplay video ads, and other advertising material the moment you enter a website. Just make sure you download our VPN for Android from our official website as it no longer blocks ads if downloaded from Google Play store due to Google’s policies.
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