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Best free ad blockers in 2023: block ads and pop-ups

Ad blockers are becoming a popular way to protect users from intrusive and cluttering ads, and can even get rid of newsletter and cookie content notifications. It’s a great way to ensure an overall great browsing experience.

While there are many excellent paid ad blockers, depending on your needs, free ad blockers might do the job just as well. In fact, most paid providers offer a risk-free way of using their service as well as a free trial and free versions. This way, you’ll get top-notch anti-adware protection with no disappointment.

Try the best ad blocker for free
NordVPN Threat Protection guarantees high ad and tracker blocking rates, ensuring you’re not interrupted with malicious threats or simply annoying advertisements.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

To help you make an informed decision on which ad blocker to choose, we ran multiple tests, examined features, and more. Continue reading to find out our best free ad blockers.

Top 5 best free ad blockers for 2023

The best free ad blockers should ensure high ad and tracker removal rates without compromising security features. Here are our top services according to our 2023 tests:

  1. NordVPN Threat Protection – the most reliable ad blocker app with a free 30-day period
  2. Total Adblock – best free ad blocker for Android and iOS
  3. Surfshark Cleanweb – user-friendly and efficient provider free for 30 days
  4. Atlas VPN SafeBrowse – ultra secure provider with a free 30-day period
  5. Proton VPN NetShield – great 30-day free ad blocker for decreasing load times

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 50% OFF!

The best free ad blockers – our detailed list:

Not only did we test the success rate of these ad blockers, but we also looked for ways to get them for free. As it turns out, top ad blockers on the market all offer to get their services for free — at least for a short while. So, let's dive deeper into the best free ad blockers list.

1. NordVPN Threat Protection – the best ad blocker with a 30-day guarantee

nordvpn threat protection banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Risk-free trial:30-day money-back guarantee
Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN Threat Protection, now 50% OFF!🔥

NordVPN Threat Protection is the best free ad blocker on the market as it’s downright crushing ads. Whether they are in-video ads, trackers, or notifications, this ad blocker leaves no annoyances in your sight.

Yet, being reliable and effective doesn't always mean being free. While there's no completely free version, you should be tempted to use the provider's 30-day money-back guarantee.

Features. NordVPN has more to offer than a mere ad-blocking feature. Instead, the provider delivers a well-rounded security and privacy suite. First of all, it efficiently encrypts your browsing traffic with VPN. Then, it enhances the anti-tracking forces with a URL trimming tool that removes tracking parameters from URLs. On top of that, Threat Protection effectively detects malware and phishing scams.

Test results. During our ad blocking tests, we found that NordVPN Threat Protection passed the tests exceptionally well. It scored 93 out of 100 points, blocking everything from contextual and banner advertising to Analytics tools. The only thing it failed to block was error monitoring.

NordVPN Threat Protection test results

Compatibility. You can claim the money-back guarantee on all major operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Furthermore, the provider ensures that you can navigate the ad blocker right in your browser of choice, whether it's Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, or Edge.

Price. Now, when the 30 days expire, you can continue using the renowned service for $2.49/month. It won't break the bank and will allow you to enjoy the service with no bounds.

You can find out more about the features in our NordVPN Threat Protection review.

2. Total AdBlock – Android and iOS ad blocker free for 7 days

Total Adblock banner
Free version:Yes
Risk-free trial:14-day money-back guarantee
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge
Current deal:🔥Get 75% OFF Total Adblock!🔥

Total AdBlock is another provider that is merciless when it comes to adware. It boosts your browsing experience by getting rid of banners, trackers, cookie notifications, and other annoyances — you won't even know they were supposed to be there.

The best part about Total AdBlock is the free version. But keep in mind that it comes with limited capabilities. We suggest trying out the premium version risk-free with a 7-day free trial or a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Features. With Total AdBlock, whitelisting is not an issue. You can customize which sites can show ads in the Acceptable Ads section. Additionally, in the same control panel, you'll find rich information about the ad blocker's performance. Check it out to see summaries of blocked trackers, page loading time, and data-saving statistics.

By the way, if you're looking to enhance the security of your device, you can get Total AdBlock together in a bundle with the Total Security antivirus suite. This way, you'll keep your device fully safe from malware-injected ads on top of ad-blocking features.

Test Results. Without a doubt, Total AdBlock gets the job done. During our tests with the AdBlock Tester, it received 94 points out of 100. It blocked all ads and trackers except for error monitoring. It even got rid of YouTube and Facebook ads.

Total Adblock test results

Compatibility. Total Adblock has applications for Android and iOS devices. You'll need a browser extension to make it work on your desktop or MacOS device. But don't worry. The provider supports a wide variety of browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge.

Price: when you're ready to upgrade, Total Adblock will cost you $2.42/month. Keep in mind that the complete antivirus suite costs $19.00/year.

For more information about the full service package, visit our Total Adblock review.

3. Surfshark CleanWeb – user-friendly ad blocker with a 30-day trial

Surfshark cleanweb banner
Free version:Yes (Free 7-day trial)
Risk-free trial30-day money-back guarantee
Supported platforms:Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TV
Current deal:🔥82% OFF Surfshark CleanWeb 2.0 + 2 months FREE!🔥

Surfshark CleanWeb ad blocker delivers faster loading times and removes adware from your sight. Paired with an acclaimed VPN service, the CleanWeb removes pop-ups, banners, cookie pop-ups, and trackers with ease.

If you're an Android, macOS, or iOS user, you can get a 7-day free trial. Meanwhile, everyone else can make use of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Features. Surfshark CleanWeb protects you from various online threats. The breach alerts are always on and running, warning you of dangerous sites. With the VPN service at hand, you'll get another layer of protection for your data.

When it comes to additional features, CleanWeb offers a whitelisting feature for full control of your browsing experience. It also comes with a private search engine that prevents trackers.

Test Results. There's no need to question how good CleanWeb actually is. The test results speak for themselves – it managed to get 100 out of 100 points. CleanWeb works its magic on YouTube and Facebook ads very well, not to mention other types of adware. The only weak spot we found is the direct link ads. But this one is forgivable, given its success rate with more severe adware.

Surfshark CleanWeb test results

Compatibility. Sufshark has vast compatibility options. You can get an app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Another option is to set it up on your Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.

Price. Sufshark is known as a budget-friendly provider. The subscription costs $2.30/month and comes with unlimited connections.

You can learn more about this service in our Surfshark CleanWeb review.

4. Atlas VPN SafeBrowse – security-focused ad blocker to try risk-free

Atlas VPN SafeBrowse banner 1
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Risk-free trial:30-day money-back guarantee
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows
Current deal:🔥85% OFF Atlas VPN SafeBrowse!🔥

Atlas VPN SafeBrowse is a great ad blocker that easily gets rid of adware. The reliable and user-friendly provider tackles all annoyances, whether they are pop-ups or video ads.

While the free version allows using the VPN only, you can get SafeBrowse with a subscription that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Features. Unsurprisingly, SafeBrowse is a security-minded ad blocker. Not only does it block adware, but it also keeps track of harmful websites and malware. You'll find the summary of trackers, ads, and other blocked online threats if you need to keep on top of its capabilities.

In addition, the ad blocker comes with a built-in VPN to protect your browsing traffic. This feature is inseparable from SafeBrowse — for the ad blocker to work, you'll need to enable a VPN connection.

Test Results. SafeBrowse blocks YouTube ads like a charm. During our tests, it effectively blocked other adware, too, except for Google analytics tools, some images, and error monitoring. However, we noticed that SafeBrowse had missed some of the trackers. This resulted in a 69 out of 100 point score in the AdBlock Tester.

Atlas VPN Safe Browse test results

Compatibility. The provider has great cross-platform compatibility. You can get an Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows app. Unfortunately, Altas VPN doesn't offer browser extensions.

Price: SafeBrowse comes with the paid version of the Atlas VPN. However, the price doesn't bite. The subscription starts at $1.82/month.

You can find out more about the Atlas VPN package in our Atlas VPN review.

5. Proton VPN NetShield – great ad blocker to boost loading speed 30 days free

Proton VPN adblocker
Free version:No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Risk-free trial:30-day money-back guarantee
Supported platforms:Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows
Current deal:🔥Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN NetShield!🔥

Proton VPN NetShield is a great tool to make intrusive adware a thing of the past. It's perfect when you need to hide trackers and other annoying ads. On top of that, Proton VPN protects your security by tracking down malware.

Proton VPN does offer a free version, however, it only allows you to test out the VPN. To benefit from NetShield, you'll need a subscription that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Features. Customizability is at the core of NetShield. The malware protection can be turned on or off separately from the ad-blocking feature, giving you full control over the settings.

The best part about NetShield is its speed. It uses DNS filtering to prevent adware from loading. In turn, the pages load faster, saving data consumption and battery power. It's one of the main reasons why users get an ad blocker in the first place.

Test Results. NetShield is a solid ad blocker that scored 75 points out of 100 during our AdBlock Tester examination. It removed most YouTube ads with slight inconsistencies. It also works well with most other adware. However, some annoyances, such as push notification requests, pop-under ads, and direct link ads, are not its strongest suit.

Proton VPN NetShield test results

Compatibility. Proton VPN has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS devices. Yet, the provider doesn't have any browser extensions.

Price. To continue using Proton VPN and all of its features, you'll be charged $4.99/month. Don't forget that this provider comes with an additional bonus — unlimited simultaneous connections.

For more information about the features of this service, refer to our Proton VPN review.

How we selected and tested these free ad blockers

Even though ad blocking sounds like a simple feature, not all anti-adware software is the same. Some are so efficient you may even forget ads existed. Others are a bit frustrating, as they can't tackle the most annoying of ads. So, you might be curious how we determined which free providers are the best. Here's an explanation:

  • Free version or trial available. We selected providers for this list that offer either free or risk-free trials. Of course, we also looked for the most efficient free providers.
  • Updates. We checked the latest ad blocker updates of each product, including NordVPN Threat Protection, to see whether they improved in security.
  • Price. Paying more doesn't always mean you're getting more. Thus, we compared the providers' pricing plans against the features and performance of their services. Only the best value ad blockers have made it into our list.
  • Independent testing. to measure how well ad blockers keep their promises, we had to put them to the test. The results come from Can You Block It and the AdBlock Tester. These tests allow us to see how ad blockers perform with different ads, such as pop-ups or cookie consent notifications.
  • Additional features. We looked at each provider’s feature list to see if ad blocking is the only thing they offer. While an ad blocker is sufficient enough, additional features can ramp up its value. That's why the best providers offer protection against malware and phishing scams. Some even deliver secure cloud storage and a VPN.
  • Supported platforms. An ad blocker shouldn't dictate what browser or platform you should use. Instead, it should be versatile enough to adapt to your needs. We selected providers that work with the most widely used operating systems and browsers for this list.

Free ad blockers vs paid ad blockers

When it comes to ad blockers, there are two main options: free and paid. While both options can help you block unwanted ads and pop-ups, there are some key differences between them.

Free ad blockersPaid ad blockers
Basic ad removalAdvanced ad removal
Removes pop-upsFiltering options
Stops trackersUsually come with VPN or antivirus
Prevents cookiesIncludes customer support

Free ad blockers are great for basic ad removal. They block ads and pop-ups but may not be as good at identifying adware. However, there's another alternative — a free built-in ad-blocking feature. These days most browsers offer content blockers to remove some adware and protect users' privacy by stopping trackers. Mostly, they are suited for cookies and trackers.

Paid ad blockers generally offer more advanced features and better protection against ads. These ad blockers usually have more robust filtering options, allowing users to block specific types of ads or whitelist certain websites. Not to mention the additional security features — most paid ad blockers come with market-approved VPNs or malware detection tools.

Additionally, paid ad blockers often include customer support and regular updates to keep up with new types of adware. This means that paid ad blockers are more efficient in blocking unwanted ads and providing a better browsing experience.

How to choose the best free ad blocker

Ad blockers come with different capabilities and features. Thus it's important to consider what's important to you and pick accordingly. Here are some ideas we suggest you take note of:

Ad blocking capabilities:
Blocks pop-ups, cookie consent pop-ups, trackers, banners, autoplay video ads
Additional features:URL trimming tool, malware protection, VPN
Filtering options:Whitelisting
Compatibility:Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS, Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox
Free option:Free trial or money-back guarantee
  • Ad blocking performance. While many ad blockers claim to remove all kinds of ads, ad blocking tests such as Can You Block it show the real deal. The best ad blockers should be able to remove pop-up, banner, cookie consent, and other ads as well as trackers.
  • Compatibility. Before committing to a specific provider, make sure that it offers good cross-platform support. Whether you need an ad blocker for Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS – the provider should have solutions for all major operating systems.
  • Other features. Some ad blockers come with whitelisting features for you to customize on what sites you allow ads. And if you want to get rid of trackers, a URL trimming feature is what you need. You'll also see that some ad blockers offer a VPN to encrypt your browsing traffic, as well as malware protection.
  • Price. If you’re on a tight budget, a reliable free ad blocker will do just fine for basic ad removal. Alternatively, for more advanced adware protection, you can opt for free trials and money-back guarantees of paid ad blockers.

Free ad blockers comparison

To help you compare the best free ad blockers better, we prepared a quick comparison table with features, pricing, and more.

NordVPN Threat ProtectionTotal AdblockSurfshark CleanWebAtlas VPN SafeBrowseProton VPN NetShield
Free versionYes (Free 7-day trial)Yes (Free 7-day trial)Yes (Free 7-day trial)No (Only the VPN has a free version)No (Only the VPN has a free version)
Risk-free trial30-day money-back guarantee14-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee
Passed ad blocking testsYesYesYesYesYes
AppsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSAndroid, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TVAndroid, iOS, macOS, and WindowsAndroid, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows
BrowsersChrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, Opera, and EdgeChrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and EdgeChrome, Firefox, Edge
Comes withVPNStand alone or antivirusVPN or VPN+antivirus bundleVPNVPN

Free ad blocker compatibility overview

You may wonder how to block ads on iPhone or any other device you use. And what if you're using several other devices? To answer all of the platform support questions you may have, we decided to review free ad blockers for specific systems.

Free ad blockers for your OS

Let's look at your options for ad blockers based on the OS.

  • Free Android ad blockers. To deter adware on the whole system, you should get a free ad blocker for Android, such as NordVPN Threat Protection. NordVPN is a complete security suite for online browsing, as it can also detect malware efficiently. You can get it with a 7-day free trial on the Google Play store.
  • Free ad blocker for iPhone and iPad. We suggest getting a third-party provider for removing all types of ads on iOS devices. According to our tests, Total Adblock is the best free ad blocker for iPhone and iPad devices. The provider has a limited free version, which can block most ads. However, we suggest getting a paid version with a 7-day free trial or 14-day money guarantee for a better ad-blocking success rate.
  • Free macOS ad blockers. More and more adware appears on the Apple app store as well as in the apps themselves. To solve this issue, you need to get a reliable ad blocker, such as NordVPN Threat Protection. It effectively removes all kinds of ads on macOS. You can use it free for 30 days.
  • Free ad blockers for Windows. Users have noticed that Windows developers are testing injected ads on the OS. You can avoid future feature pop-up advertising by getting a free ad blocker for Windows. Try out the market giant NordVPN Threat Protection for 30 days free or download the budget-friendly Surfshark CleanWeb.

Free ad blockers for your browser

Browser extensions are a popular way to implement ad blockers. They are convenient and simple to use. Let's discuss free ad blockers for the most popular browsers.

  • Free ad blockers for Chrome. Chrome comes with a blocker that is quite good at removing malicious content. However, it doesn't remove safe ads or trackers. The only way to remove interruptions on Chrome is to get a third-party solution, such as NordVPN Threat Protection, Surfshark CleanWeb, or Atlas VPN SafeBrowse.
  • Free ad blockers for Safari. The built-in Safari content blocker is designed to handle pop-ups and warn about dangerous websites. In comparison, most third-party ad blockers can block every type of ad and detect malware. Check out our list to find the best free ad blocker for Safari.

Video review

You can also watch our video review of the best free ad blockers on YouTube. You’ll learn all about their features, test results, setup instructions, and more.

Is it worth paying for ad blocker?

Yes, ad blockers are well worth the money. After all, they are the best way to secure your online privacy and improve your browsing experience. Even though many free providers are efficient enough at blocking basic ads, paid providers offer well-rounded security suits on top of the ad-blocking feature.

These days, adware is extremely prevalent. Advertisers no longer hesitate when placing them in the most inconvenient places simply because they need your attention. As a result, users unwillingly embark on a quest to find their preferred content each time they visit a site.

To save you the frustration, ad blockers come to the rescue. However, adware is a sneaky business. Only well-developed and frequently updated software can provide sufficient protection. That's where paid providers have the edge over free ad blockers.

Another aspect to consider is malware. Cybercriminals, desperate for your personal information, often inject malicious code into adverts. When unsuspected victims click on them, their device gets infected to extract data or manipulate the device. A good ad blocker can save you from these common online dangers, but malware protection is not the default feature. Typically, only the paid plans offer this type of protection.

While it's understandable why you may be unwilling to spend money on an ad blocker, their benefits are undeniable. If you're unconvinced, it's always a good idea to put the providers to the test by making use of free trials and money-back options.


There's no denying that ad blockers are powerful tools that can help to improve the online browsing experience. They can help to protect you from targeted ads, annoying ads, and dangerous or malicious ads. You can enjoy a more peaceful online browsing experience using an ad blocker.

However, a good experience can only be guaranteed by efficient providers. That's why we tested dozens of providers to see which are best. At the top of our list is NordVPN Threat Protection. The provider has stunned us with independent testing results. It has blocked most of the ads — something that other providers really struggle with.

On top of great ad-blocking capabilities, NordVPN Threat Protection guarantees full security. It works as a full security suite that delivers functional VPN, ad blocking as well as malware protection.

While there's no completely free version, you can try out NordVPN Threat Protection with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide to keep it, the subscription costs 3.19/month.

4.9 /5
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