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Best ad blockers that still work in 2024


Ads are not just annoying; they can also make websites load slower and look cluttered. Worse, some ads contain malware, known as "malvertising," which can infect your device and steal your data. To combat this, using a reliable ad blocker is essential. It enhances your browsing experience by blocking annoying ads, speeding up page loads, and improving online security.

If you're new to ad blockers, consider starting with a list that cybersecurity experts have carefully reviewed to find an effective and cost-effective solution. Keep reading for our best picks for ad blockers in 2024.

Best ad blockers in 2024: our shortlist

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Ad-blocking software vs ad-block extension – which one to choose

Deciding between ad-blocking software and an extension can be challenging as both enhance browsing by removing ads but serve different needs.

For casual browsing, such as reading articles, watching videos, and using social media, a Chrome extension ad blocker might be all you need. These extensions are easy to install and manage, making them ideal for those looking for a straightforward solution.

However, dedicated ad-blocking software offers more comprehensive protection if you need to block ads across all applications and devices, not just your browser. Such software typically includes advanced features like malware protection, parental controls, and privacy tools, providing a more robust defense against unwanted content.

Why you should use an ad blocker?

Ad blockers are definitely helpful to maintain more privacy online as well as ensure uninterrupted browsing, streaming and gaming. Here are the main reasons to use an ad blocker today:

  1. Get rid of content interruptions. Some websites get so overloaded with ads that you can’t even see the content itself. An ad blocker eliminates this annoyance, letting you freely browse through any site.
  2. Prevent targeted ads. Whenever you visit sites, various trackers observe your browsing habits and behavior. This helps companies create targeted ads that subconsciously try to lure you into purchasing something that you’ve already considered buying (or not). With a top-notch ad blocker, you won’t have to worry about being monitored.
  3. Improve page load times. Ads consume a lot of bandwidth which increases the page loading time. This interrupts your browsing. So, an ad blocker helps make your browsing seamless.
  4. Save mobile data. Online ads contribute to mobile data consumption, meaning eliminating them leads to data (and money if you’re traveling) saved for more meaningful activities.
  5. Protect against malvertising. Ad blockers can prevent 'malvertising' – malicious ads that can infect your device with malware, spyware, or other security threats, safeguarding your digital environment.
Block all ads with NordVPN Threat Protection
NordVPN Threat Protection is an excellent tool that blocks all types of ads, trackers, and annoying notifications, and can help you prevent targeted advertising, scams, improve page load times and overall improve your browsing experience.
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Best ad blockers: detailed list

Our ad blocker selection process involved conducting tests both manually and with various third-party tools to ensure top-level ad-blocking performance. Besides overall effectiveness, we also considered other crucial factors, such as price, device compatibility, extra features, and ease of use. You’ll find the winning ad blocker reviews below.

1. NordVPN Threat Protection – overall best ad blocker in 2024

nordvpn threat protection banner new
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Chrome extension:
4.2
Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 72% OFF + get free travel data!🔥

NordVPN Threat Protection is the best ad blocker on the market due to its comprehensive functionality and reliability. It eliminates ads, pop-ups, trackers, banners, autoplay video ads, and malicious content. It features a URL trimming function that removes tracking parameters from links, scans downloaded files for malware, blocks access to malicious sites, and provides a weekly summary to assess its effectiveness.

During our tests, we reviewed NordVPN Threat Protection on Chrome with the NordVPN Windows app. It blocked all ads on YouTube and successfully removed trackers. Plus, it passed the Can You Block It test with flying colors.

NordVPN Threat Protection is compatible with multiple operating systems, including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Basic ad-blocking and anti-tracking functionalities are free, while advanced features like malware scanning are available with premium plans starting at $4.39/month. A 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to start a risk-free trial without a credit card.

In practice, NordVPN Threat Protection effectively blocks ads across Hulu and Paramount Plus, enhances gaming and Spotify listening by eliminating ads, and offers improved browsing on Amazon Prime and Twitch. However, some integrated ads may not be consistently blocked.

2. Total Adblock – affordable and effective ad blocker

Total Adblock banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Chrome extension:
3.4
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get 80% OFF Total Adblock!🔥

Total Adblock is a cost-effective and robust ad blocker for mobile devices and browsers. It excels at removing pop-ups, banners, video ads, and third-party trackers. In our testing with its Google Chrome extension, which holds a 3.4 rating on the Chrome Store, Total Adblock scored 94/100 on the AdBlock Tester and effectively blocked ads and trackers on YouTube and Facebook, improving page load times significantly. This extension is also available for other major browsers.

The app is compatible across various platforms, including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Total Adblock allows users to whitelist certain ads and pop-up notifications, offering a customizable experience with free basic blocking filters. Advanced filters like tracking protection and social media blocking are part of the paid plan.

As our Total Adblock review shows, it performs well across various platforms. It effectively blocks Amazon Prime ads, reduces ad interruptions on Hulu and Paramount Plus, and efficiently handles game and Spotify ads. However, its performance on Twitch can vary, with some ads slipping through its filters. Total Adblock is a versatile option for users looking to enhance their online viewing and browsing experience.

You can test Total Adblock using its 7-day free trial (credit card is not required), which includes certain limitations. Meanwhile, the complete feature package costs $1.59/month and includes a 14-day money-back guarantee to prevent buyer’s remorse.

3. Surfshark CleanWeb – Best budget-friendly ad blocker for multiple devices

Surfshark cleanweb banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Chrome extension:
3.4
Supported platforms:Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TV
Current deal:🔥86% OFF Surfshark CleanWeb 2.0 + 3 months FREE!🔥

As our Surfshark CleanWeb review shows, it offers a comprehensive ad-blocking service that's both convenient and affordable. CleanWeb blocks ads, pop-ups, banners, trackers, and even malicious content as a proprietary DNS feature. Notably, it functions differently when used as a browser extension compared to its integration in the dedicated app. The Chrome extension, rated 3.4 on the Chrome Store, is also available for other major browsers like Firefox.

This service is compatible across various platforms, including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Features of CleanWeb include a cookie pop-up blocker that eliminates annoying consent requests, data breach alerts, and Surfshark’s private search engine that prevents biased search results. The Bypass list allows users to whitelist specific sites and content.

In terms of use cases, CleanWeb efficiently blocks ads on platforms like Amazon Prime and Hulu. It also handles ads during gaming and on Spotify well. However, its performance may vary slightly on Twitch, with some ads occasionally bypassing the filters. Surfshark CleanWeb is a versatile tool for enhancing online experiences across various activities.

The CleanWeb 2.0 Chrome browser extension blocked everything in the Can You Block It test except for Direct Link Ads. Plus, it managed to remove trackers, YouTube ads, Facebook ads, and accumulated 100 points in AdBlock Tester. If you want the ad blocker with Surfshark VPN, the prices start as low as $2.19/month for unlimited devices. You can even make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee to see if the service meets your expectations. The service does not require a credit card to start the free trial.

4. Proton VPN NetShield – solid customizable ad and tracker blocker

Proton VPN adblocker
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Chrome extension:
No
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows
Current deal:🔥Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN NetShield!🔥

The NetShield ad blocker that comes with Proton VPN is a convenient and well-performing option for blocking ads, trackers, and malware.

NetShield works by blocking DNS requests and offers three protection levels. On the NetShield Privacy Panel, you can monitor how many ads, trackers, and malware the software has blocked. Then you can select a protection level and choose if you want to block only ads, trackers, and malware or turn off NetShield. It also doesn’t load trackers or ads and simultaneously speeds up your browsing experience. Proton VPN NetShield is unavailable as a standalone Chrome extension or on any other browser.

The Proton VPN tests we performed with NetShield showed solid functionality results. The feature blocked most YouTube ads on the browser and scored 62 points out of 100 in the AdBlock Tester. What it couldn’t remove is push notification requests, pop-under ads, and images.

The ad blocker works well on platforms like Amazon Prime but has varied results with Hulu, Spotify Ads, and Twitch. For gaming ads and Paramount Plus, NetShield's performance can depend heavily on the specific ad types encountered. Proton VPN, along with the NetShield feature, is available on a variety of platforms, including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.

You can get Proton VPN completely free, yet it won’t include NetShield. If you want to get rid of commercials and malicious threats, premium prices begin at $4.99/month. As with most services, you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, and starting a free trial does not require a credit card.

5. Avast Secure Browser – web browser with built-in ad blocking

Avast ad blocker
Free version:Yes
Chrome extension:
No
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, and Windows
Current deal:🔥Get Avast AntiTrack, now $54.99/year!🔥

Avast Secure Browser is one of the most feature-rich solutions for ad blocking. While it’s a secure browser, it uses the built-in Privacy Guard feature to remove banner, video, social media, and other types of ads, as well as browser fingerprints and trackers.

Privacy Guard blocks ads by filtering scripts. It allows adjusting ad blocking modes – from basic to balanced or strict blocking – and includes whitelisting. With the pro Avast Antivirus version, you also get a built-in VPN feature for information privacy as well as more security on public Wi-Fi.

We tested Avast Secure Browser and its ad blocking capabilities on Windows. Using strict mode, it blocked everything, including YouTube video ads and Facebook ads and trackers. It only missed direct link ads and analytic tools. Moreover, it garnered 86/100 points on AdBlock Tester.

Avast Secure Browser is available on multiple platforms, including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Regarding use cases, it blocks ads on platforms like Hulu, Spotify, and Amazon Prime. However, its effectiveness varies on Twitch and during game ads, and it may not fully block ads on Paramount Plus without the strictest settings.

You can get the Avast Secure Browser for free. But to take advantage of everything it has to offer, you should opt for the Pro version. Its prices start from $4.58/month and include a 30-day money-back guarantee. No credit card is required for the free trial.

6. Malwarebytes Browser Guard – reliable free ad-blocking browser extension

Malwarebytes ad blocker
Free version:Yes
Chrome extension:
4.0
Supported platforms:Windows, Android, macOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get Malwarebytes Browser Guard for free🔥

Malwarebytes Browser Guard is an ad blocker extension that you can use for free. Aside from ads and pop-ups, it blocks cryptocurrency miners, scams, and third-party trackers. Plus, the provider claims to speed up website loading. You can get it alone for free or you can get it with the Malwarebytes antivirus.

The Chrome extension, rated 4.0 on the Chrome Store, is also available for other browsers like Firefox and Safari. Malwarebytes Browser Guard blocks access to malicious sites containing phishing scams and viruses. There’s also Advanced Skimmer Protection – it secures your bank card number at checkout pages. Meanwhile, the whitelisting feature lets you enable or disable ad, tracker, malware, or scam blocking.

We tested Malwarebytes Browser Guard with the Chrome extension. It blocked various ads, scoring 71 out of 100 points on AdBlock Tester. The only exceptions were GIF and static images, direct link ads, and YouTube ads. That being said, it did block some ads and trackers on Facebook. Its performance on Hulu and Twitch was limited. It also showed varying results in blocking game ads, Spotify ads, and content on Amazon Prime and Paramount Plus. Malwarebytes Browser Guard is a solid choice for general web browsing and basic ad blocking.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard is free. That is unless you also want the benefits of a premium Malwarebytes antivirus plan. In this case, the prices start from $3.75/year. A generous 60-day money-back guarantee is available as well and no credit card is required for the free trial.

7. AdLock – secure ad blocker for multiple devices

AdLock ad blocker
Free version:Yes (Free 14-day trial)
Chrome extension:
4.3
Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox
Current deal:🔥Get up to 77% OFF Adlock!🔥

AdLock is a secure ad blocker that allows using it on 5 devices per plan. It can block various pop-ups, banners, crypto miners, trackers, and video ads.

The Chrome extension, currently rated 4.3 on the Chrome Store, is also available for other browsers including Firefox and Safari. AdLock is not just limited to browser extensions; it’s a comprehensive app available on multiple platforms including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.

The AdLock toolset includes plenty of filtering options for customizing your browsing experience. Plus, the app offers the Safebrowsing feature, which is based on Google’s Safe Browsing service and uses its database to avoid unsafe websites. You get notified about a malicious page before accessing it. Whitelisting is also available.

When tested on Chrome, AdLock blocked everything possible, even invisible trackers. The service accrued 93/100 points on AdBlock Tester. What it didn’t pass was blocking flash banners and error trackers. Yet, you can be sure of an ad-free YouTube and Facebook experience. It's also effective on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Paramount Plus, reducing interruptions significantly. However, its effectiveness varies for game ads on Twitch and Spotify Ads, where some content may still appear.

You can try AdLock for free for 14 days without needing a credit card. However, once the time is up, you can get it for as little as $0.73/month. The 30-day money-back guarantee still stands.

8. Ghostery Ad Blocker – great ad block solution for desktop devices

Ghostery banner
Free version:Yes
Chrome extension:
4.6
Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari
Current deal:🔥Get Ghostery Ad Blocker for free🔥

If you need a simple ad blocker that focuses on tracker blocking, Ghostery Ad Blocker is for you. Aside from trackers, it also blocks pop-ups, ads, and even cookies. Rated 4.6 on the Chrome Store, Ghostery is available as an extension for other major browsers including Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It's also offered as an app for platforms like Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.

With this app, you can customize tracker blocking and see statistics of what has been removed. Plus, the Never Consent feature removes annoying requests to accept cookies. You can also whitelist websites of your choice.

Ghostery scored 71 points out of 100 in the AdBlocker Test. It couldn’t block GIF and static images as well as error trackers. It also couldn’t remove YouTube ads, but Facebook trackers were a piece of cake. Ghostery is particularly effective on Hulu, Paramount Plus, Spotify Ads, and Amazon Prime, consistently reducing ads and enhancing the viewing experience. However, its performance on Twitch may cause some ads to slip through.

Ghostery is a completely free ad blocking and private browsing solution. However, you can donate to their cause of fighting for accessible web privacy for all.

Best ad blockers compared


NordVPN
Total AdblockSurfsharkProton VPNAvastMalwarebytesAdLockGhostery
Price$4.39$1.59$2.19$4.99$4.58Free$0.73Free
Free versionYes (Free 7-day trial)Yes (Free 7-day trial)Yes (Free 7-day trial)No (Only the VPN has a free version)YesYesYes (Free 14-day trial)Yes
Chrome extensionYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
Streaming servicesYouTube, Hulu,
Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+
YouTube, Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, TwitchHulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+YouTube, Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, TwitchHulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+
YouTube ad blockingYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
Passed ad blocking testsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AppsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSAndroid, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TVAndroid, iOS, Linux, macOS, and WindowsAndroid, iOS, and WindowsWindows, Android, macOSWindows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS
BrowsersChrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and EdgeChrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and EdgeChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, and EdgeChrome, Edge, Safari, and FirefoxChrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari
Comes withVPNStand alone or antivirusVPN or VPN+antivirus bundleVPNPrivate browserAntivirusStand aloneStand alone

How we selected and tested these ad blockers

We started our tests by filtering out unreliable ad blockers, including most free ad blockers. After that, it came down to how well the ad blockers did what they’re supposed to – block ads.

We evaluated this aspect using the main apps (desktop, mobile, browser extensions) available with the services to see if the results are consistent across devices. The tests were conducted using third-party websites (listed below) that bombard the service with various ads and provide a summary of the results.

Ad blocker testing websiteTesting criteria
canyoublockit.comPop-under ads, interstitial ads, push notification requests, page push ad, video ads, banner ads, native banner ads, direct link ads
adblock-tester.comContextual advertising, analytics tools, banner advertising, error monitoring
Coveryourtracks.eff.orgTracking ads, invisible trackers, fingerprinting

Naturally, we also had to enable the ad blockers and assess them by visiting ad-filled websites and taking note of the overall user experience. Below is a rundown of everything we took into account while selecting the top ad-blocking services.

  • Ad blocking test results. All of the ad blockers on our list show solid ad-blocking results, guaranteeing an improved browsing experience.
  • Additional features. Whitelisting, malicious site blocking, data breach alerts – these are only a few useful additional features of an ad blocker. Also, ad blockers that come with high-quality VPN or antivirus software are a huge plus as well. Our top 5 apps all have at least some additional privacy measures to offer.
  • Supported OS and browsers. If you’re investing in an ad blocker, you want to make sure it’s available on your preferred OS and browsers. Especially when some of them allow you to use the account on multiple devices simultaneously. The options we offer support the most popular OS or browsers.
  • Price. Ad blockers shouldn’t cost a fortune, that’s why we researched and provided you with the best value for your money options.

What to look for in the best ad blocker?

It’s not a good practice to choose just about any ad blocker available. Prior research helps make sure that you’re investing in a high-quality and secure option. So here’s what you should consider before getting an ad blocker:

Types of ads blocked:Pop-ups, banners, social media ads, in-video ads, etc.
Security:VPN, antivirus
Features: Whitelisting, tracker blocker, data breach monitoring
Supported platforms:Browser extensions, apps
  • Great ad blocking capabilities. Take time to test the ad blocker of your choice and see whether it fulfills your needs. If anything, you can always make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Reputation. It’s worth skipping the free ad blockers, such as Nano Adblocker, that have had past reputational issues. This includes malware injections or user data collection. Especially when the market has plenty of time-tested ad blocker picks.
  • Additional features. An ad blocker isn’t just there to block ads. Getting it with a VPN or antivirus is an excellent way to improve your online privacy and security overall.
  • Apps or extensions for your devices. Before investing in an ad blocker, do your research and find out whether it supports your device or preferred browser.
  • Price. Evaluate whether the ad blocker of your choice is worth the money. Ad blockers with VPN or antivirus services are usually optimal choices, as you also get powerful security and privacy measures at a similar monthly price range. But if you only want to block ads, even some free ad blockers can do it just fine.

Video review: Best ad blockers in 6 minutes

Visit our YouTube channel if you’d like to learn more about cybersecurity. You can start with this 6-minute video about the best ad blockers.

How do ad blockers work?

Ad blockers use filtering rules that help hide ads on websites. The apps have a list of scripts and sites they’ve gathered that display ads. They review the website’s scripts and compare them to their own list of scripts and sites.

This happens while the page is loading. Ad blockers look for ad requests, and if they find any, they reject them. Also, some ad blockers can’t differentiate between acceptable ads and intrusive or malicious ones. Instead, they block everything.

Meanwhile, others allow whitelisting if the ads agree to the Acceptable Ads Committee (ACC) standards. Acceptable Ads don’t interfere with your browsing and clearly state that they’re commercial ads.

Depending on the device you’re using, the best ad blocker apps may differ. Our tests and research showed that the best ad blocker overall is NordVPN Threat Protection. It has apps and extensions for many popular OS and browsers, guarantees great ad blocking results, and comes with a market-leading VPN.

Is ad blocking ethical?

Online advertising is an integral part of the internet that keeps it free and unobstructed by paywalls and other monetization schemes. To be precise, running ads on websites allows independent creators and organizations to make a living. Thus, ad blocking can be considered unethical because it takes away the livelihood of the people working on these projects.

At the same time, we understand the need for ad blockers to improve the overall browsing experience because many ads are designed to distract you. Additionally, cybercriminals frequently use online adverts to distribute malware or promote scams. This can even happen to well-established services that don’t manually select the ads that run on their sites.

Ultimately, the ethics regarding ad blocking don’t have a clear right or wrong answer. It’s up to you to decide which stance better fits your worldview.

Are free ad blockers safe?

It shouldn’t surprise you that paid ad blockers are superior to free ones. They’re typically maintained by larger teams comprised of well-paid and motivated developers. Thus, the software is of higher quality and contains more features on average.

Conversely, while it’s possible to find trustworthy and good free ad blockers that don’t do anything malicious, their quality simply isn’t up to par with premium options. Let’s overview the key differences between free vs paid ad blockers.

  • Ad blocking effectiveness. Various tests clearly indicate that paid ad blockers deliver the best ad-blocking results against all types of advertisements.
  • Performance impact. In theory, removing ads should result in improved page load times and better overall performance. However, inefficient free ad blockers usually hog more resources and result in increased load times.
  • Customization options. Paid ad blockers are more suitable for ethics-conscious users because they allow whitelisting of various websites and services from ad blocking.
  • Compatibility. It’s difficult to find free ad blockers that work on all desktop and mobile operating systems. Meanwhile, premium options develop options for all platforms.
  • Simultaneous connections. Premium providers permit using the same account to protect multiple devices, while free services don’t have this luxury.
  • Bonus features. The best cybersecurity services typically bundle ad-blocking benefits with other essential tools, such as VPNs, password managers, and identity protection features.

Naturally, these rules aren’t set in stone, meaning you’re likely to find high-quality free ad blockers and ineffective premium options alike. In any case, there’s no need to conduct your own research because we did the hard work and concluded that NordVPN Threat Protection is the best ad block solution currently available.

Conclusion

When you decide that you’ve had enough of all the ads lurking in every corner online, it’s time to look into ad-blocking apps. They get all of the commercials out of your way as well as block trackers that don’t respect your privacy.

Our top recommendation is NordVPN Threat Protection. It’s an ad blocker that comes with a VPN, offering powerful security and privacy measures. So your data is secured from third-party peeks, including your ISP or threat actors, and you’re protected from all kinds of ads.


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