It has been hotly debated in recent years whether you should block website advertisements in your web browser. However, there are benefits to each side of this argument. Numerous websites will bombard you daily with advertisements. Often, you feel forced to install an ad-blocker. Either the ads are too slow loading or the ads become distracting or annoying.
Some sites will try to be as inconvenient as possible, and limit the number of ads that you see and the places they are placed. You can hurt these websites just as much by using adblockers in a blanket fashion as you will the sites that have too many ads. No one is surprised that the majority of websites online use advertisements to support their operating costs. The cost of staff, hardware and CDNs is high and needs to be paid.
However, we can’t deny the fact that an adblocker is most likely the top add-on for web browsers like Chrome or Firefox. And will remain so for some time. Adblockers save bandwidth and reduce content load. However, they also protect privacy, blocking any scripts tracking you browsing.
Chrome and Firefox come with a variety of ad blocking plugins. Not all work the same. Let’s see how they behave when loading pages. We tested a few ad-blockers. This tests the efficiency of an advertising blocker by assessing how fast it loads different ad blocked pages. Also, it will show how much RAM it uses.
The Ad Blockers in Test
Chrome is able to block more ads than Firefox. We were not expecting this. Below are some of the ones we tested for both browsers.
Chrome’s most used ad blocking program with over 200,000,000 downloads. Although a Firefox version was available briefly, it was pulled from Firefox add-on pages. AdBlock allows YouTube and Google search ads, although they are not disabled by default.
AdBlock Plus For Chrome/ AdBlock Plus For Firefox. One of the most popular and most controversial adblockers. AdBlock Plus is what started the movement to allow ad whitelists. AdBlock Plus offers versions that work with Opera, Safari and Maxthon as well Internet Explorer.
AdBlock Pro Chrome. AdBlock Pro is an extension of AdBlock Plus. However, it has more options than AdBlock Plus and does not allow for acceptable ads. This icon button can be found in the addressbar instead of the standard addon area. There are three options available: go to options, disable or create filters.
Chrome/ Firefox: Adguard is very easy to use. Additional blocking scripts may be easily added. Adguard’s core product is a desktop shareware application. This blocks ads in multiple browsers without the use of add-ons. Testers can access beta versions of the add-ons.
AdRemover Chrome. AdRemover, which is built on AdBlock has about the same options but the support tab. The majority of these differences look cosmetic. While it doesn’t ask you for donations, it offers social media buttons by clicking on the icon.
Ghostery Chrome/ Ghostery Firefox Ghostery allows you to block analytic, widgets web beacons privacy scripts, and course ads. Ghostery can be used to allow or disallow scripts at individual sites. Versions of Ghostery are available for Opera (IE), Safari, and other mobile operating systems.
Use this simple trick to block advertisements Chrome – It hasn’t had an update since 2014 and reports say that some ads don’t get blocked. But it blocked all ads we tested so it was included. Use Simply Block Ads Simple Adblock is easy to use. It only requires you to sign up to get usage statistics.
SuperBlock AdBlocker Chrome — This AdBlock clone is by the exact same developer as AdRemover. Other than a different filter and some style changes, there is not much to distinguish the two.
Adblock Firefox You can simply click the icon and block/unblock specific websites. The only option is to disable social buttons. There is one problem: u Adblock has not been updated since January 2015.
uBlock Original for Chrome/ Url for Firefox – This is the newest ad/script blocker, and claims it to be both CPU and memory efficient. You can block a variety of scripts from the browser, and you have a wide range of blocked lists. Advanced mode can be used to allow/block specific sites from loading.
No tests on Ad Blockers
AdBlock Edge Firefox – The project has been discontinued. Instead, the author recommends uBlock Origin.
AdvertBan Firefox – It hasn’t been updated for over a decade and leaves almost all or most of the ads unchanged.
AdBlock Literate (Chrome & Firefox) — We were able to see a few ads even under the aggressive Full mode. The project appears to have been dropped by multiple sources.
AdBlock Super Chrome (Reviews) – This addon is able to inject ads directly from third party websites after some tests and reading of reviews. You should avoid this addon at all cost. The following are highlights of ads we found when shopping at Amazon.com.
uBlock – This version is essentially a cloned uBlock. Later, it was renamed uBlock Source. Raymond Hill is the original author of uBlock Origin. He has since left the uBlock project and stopped contributing. We are limited to testing uBlock Origin for these reasons.
Our Tests of Ad Blockers
Website testing can be complicated because adverts are served from third parties. This means that a page relies on other servers to load. In order to eliminate any inconsistent pages or differences between the servers used by websites, every webpage was repeatedly refreshed. The page that failed the test was discarded. The score was then divided into three categories:
Page load times A time it takes for the page’s to load 10x. To indicate that the browser has finished retrieving all required resources for the page, we use the Load Event. Chrome displays this red score on Developer Tools’ Network tab. This disables cache so that resources are refreshed at each request.
Peak memory usage — We captured the memory usage of an ad-blocker process (Shift+Esc) during page loads. The highest amount of Megabytes was used over the 10-page load.
Peak CPU Usage — Similar to memory usage but using Chrome Task Manager, the maximum CPU usage was observed during each page load.
Page Load Time – The time for the page’s loading to complete 10 times. Firefox doesn’t have a separate load time for its Network tab like Chrome. To get these times, we used an addon called page speed monitor.
Firefox has a frustrating feature: you can’t get precise scores on memory and CPU usage for extensions while they are being used. Unlike Chrome, however, every extension is loaded into one process. The page about:memory and some add-ons that are related don’t offer a real score of memory usage. Therefore, the results we recorded were limited to page loads in Firefox.
A Core Duo 2GHz 2.2GHz 4GB laptop was used for the tests. It ran Windows 7 and WiFi. The tests could have been done on a much more powerful computer, but the scores we received were better for average computers.
All ads blockers were installed with their default settings. Ghostery was the only exception. Ghostery launches a wizard that asks you what you want to block. Chrome 44, Firefox 40 and Opera were tested.
Next, we will test 10 websites for ads blocking.