Ads are the main source of income for most companies worldwide and they also provide free content for the average users. On the other hand, nobody likes adds, especially that nowadays pop-ups are getting more aggressive and disruptive and some represent a real concern over the security of our receiving devices because they can contain and spread malware and other viruses.
Specialized tools like ad-blockers are easy to use because they automatically block ads and help us save bandwidth usage etc.
For most these software are quite convenient because they are available on internet browsers, desktops, smartphones. Here are some of the most popular extensions that work on various platforms:
For Internet browsers: (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari)
AdBlock Plus is the first software of its kind and has become one of the most popular extensions used on some mainstream browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox). It is a free open-source and it has a user-friendly settings interface with many features such as: preset filter list subscriptions, custom filters for malware and social media buttons.
It can be easily found and installed through the extension webpage of the browsers we mentioned above. ABP as well as AdBlock uses EasyList as their main source of filter rules and allows you to access the number of page ads blocked on the button in the extension bar.
AdBlock is another major extension that was inspired by the Adblock Plus and although it was created for Google Chrome by an individual developer Michael Gundlach, it is now available on another two browsers: Opera, Safari.
In terms of features, unlike ABP, AdBlock offers several additional options such as: filter lists in the options menu (including lists for protection against trackers and malware), the option to disable it on individual pages and see all the blocked, hiddend and accepted resources (ads and other pages etc.) in advanced mode. It is the only ad blocker that allows whitelisting specific YouTube channels to offer them support.
For Android and OS:
This free and open-source tool that lets you select and use your own sources to hosts file so that when an app requests an ad, the request is directed instead to a blank IP address 127.0.0.1. This saves bandwidth and keeps you away from ads. Be aware that you need a rooted device for it to work and it requires an Android version of 2.1 or above.
You will also need to allow installing third-party apps as you won’t find AdAway in Google Playstore. It allows you to use hosts files from various sources or use your own . It provides you with the options to add exceptions to your whitelist if a certain app is not working properly when specific hosts are blocked as well as add sites to your own blacklist.
This app is created for iOS users and it is available for free in App Store. Although it is not as intuitive as other ad-blockers it is filled with toggles to activate its main features. When you activate it, the app guides you through the process of enabling it in Safari for iPhone and iPad. It comes with various preloaded settings but you can also customize your own blocking rules.
Apart from blocking adds by default, 1Blocker allows you to block trackers, web fonts, social widgets and other typs of content as well as whitelist specific pages. However, if you upgrade the app, you can unlock unlimited blocking features (specific ad networks, trackers, and so on).
The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers that allows users to improve their security on the Internet by connecting through a series of virtual routers rather than establishing a direct connection.
Thus, Tor Browser is an all-in-one package that allows individuals as well as organizations to share information over public networks and keep their privacy at the same time. However, it doesn’t guarantee full anonymity, it mainly focuses on protecting the transport of data. In order to protect your privacy and avoid others to see your identifying data, you need to use protocol-specific support software. Be aware, that while you can use adblock with Tor, it is highly recommended to not install any add-ons to your browser because it can lead to a unique fingerprint and less anonymity.
You can easily download the Tor Browser portable package which includes a modified version of Firefox, an automatic setup app that allows you to create and connect to Tor circuits.