© 2024 CyberNews- Latest tech news,
product reviews, and analyses.

If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

Best ad blockers of 2024: most trusted ad blocking solutions


Using the most trusted ad blocker is vital if you want to improve your online experience without any risks. The software will eliminate online advertisements that cause increased load times, excessive tracking, and are cybersecurity risks.

But how are you supposed to know what is the best ad blocker if you’ve never tried one? Well, you check a list of reliable ad-blocking solutions that were thoroughly tested by cybersecurity experts. We evaluated numerous providers using in-house methods and third-party tools to find the most effective tools at affordable prices. Read on if you want to know more about the best ad blocker options in 2024.

Best ad blockers in 2024: our shortlist

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 67% OFF + gift!

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. lo
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.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

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)
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 67% OFF + gift!🔥

NordVPN Threat Protection is the best ad blocker on the market because of its functionality and reliability. It delivered excellent results when dealing with ads, pop-ups, trackers, banners, autoplay video ads, and even malicious content.

Features. NordVPN Threat Protection includes the URL trimming feature for removing tracking parameters usually found in URL links. Plus, on top of removing ads, it scans downloaded files and blocks malware, as well as protects users from visiting malicious sites. You’ll even find a 7-day summary of what the service blocked, allowing you to personally assess it’s effectiveness.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. Threat Protection is included in all NordVPN subscription plans, which start at only $3.39/month. You can test the service without worry because it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Total Adblock – affordable and effective ad blocker

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

Total Adblock is a cost-effective and powerful ad blocker app for mobile devices and browsers. The service easily deals with pop ups, banners, video ads, and third-party trackers.

Features. Total Adblock allows you to whitelist certain ads and pop-up notifications if you want to be selective. Additionally, mobile users can configure various blocking filters, such as base, tracking protection, social media, and annoyance filters.

Test results. Our in-house tests of this service’s Google Chrome extension yielded excellent results. It had no trouble eliminating everything during the Can You Block It test and garnered 94/100 points on AdBlock Tester. Moreover, YouTube and Facebook ads and trackers were no match. Crucially, we noticed improved page load times while Total Adblock was running.

Pricing. You can test Total Adblock using its 7-day free trial that includes certain limitations. Meanwhile, the complete feature package costs $1.99/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)
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
Supported platforms:Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TV
Current deal:🔥81% OFF Surfshark CleanWeb 2.0 + 2 months FREE!🔥

Surfshark CleanWeb is another convenient and affordable ad blocking service. It's a proprietary DNS feature that blocks ads, pop-ups, banners, cookie consent pop-ups, trackers, video ads, and even malicious content. It’s worth noting that the service works differently depending on whether you’re using the browser extension or dedicated app. Learn about the difference in our Surfshark CleanWeb review.

Features. Surfshark’s CleanWeb comes with a cookie pop-up blocker that stops annoying cookie consent requests. Plus, you get data breach alerts if your personal data leaks. Not to mention that Surfshark’s private search engine can prevent trackers and biased search results. A whitelisting option named Bypass list is available as well.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. If you want the ad blocker with Surfshark VPN, the prices start as low as $2.29/month for unlimited devices. You can even make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee to see if the service meets your expectations.

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

Proton VPN adblocker
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
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.

Features. 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.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. 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.

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

Avast ad blocker
Free version:Yes
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
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.

Features. 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.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. 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.

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

Malwarebytes ad blocker
Free version:Yes
YouTube ad blocking:No
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.

Features. 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.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. 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 $0.00/year. A generous 60-day money-back guarantee is available as well.

8. AdLock – secure ad blocker for multiple devices

AdLock ad blocker
Free version:Yes (Free 14-day trial)
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
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.

Features. 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.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. You can try AdLock for free for 14 days. 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.

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

Ghostery banner
Free version:Yes
YouTube ad blocking:Yes
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.

Features. 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.

Test results. 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.

Pricing. 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$3.39$1.99$2.29$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
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.

Ad-blocking apps vs extensions

A browser extension ad blocker only stops pop-up ads from appearing on your screen, and that’s about it in terms of privacy. Meanwhile, dedicatedad-blocking apps or those that come with services like antiviruses or VPNs provide more privacy and security measures.

For instance, ad blockers of cybersecurity products also let you put an end to trackers that gather data about your browsing activities. Plus, VPN services encrypt your data so no third parties can view what you’re up to, including your ISP or threat actors.

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.


More ad blocking guides from Cybernews


FAQ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedmarked