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Best Ad-Blocker Plugin – Comprehensive Review of uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

Which is the best Adblocker?

Best Adblocker Plugins – uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus, This is an interesting topic among the netizens and the internet nerds. We are going to see the answers of some common questions related to this topic . At the same time do a comparison between the best adblocker plugin. We will be testing them based on their features, usability and many other aspects to finally pick a winner.

What  and Why – Ads?

Advertisement is one of major revenue source for website on the internet. Websites add advertisements on their website. Visitors on the websites see those website. Some might even click on those advertisements. When the user click on the advertisement, the advertising company will pay the website. This is how advertisements on the websites generally work. Don’t get me wrong, this is one type of advertisement that website uses. There are tons of different types of advertisement methods.

So advertisements on the website are for monetizing the website and earning money. A website which offers free content in exchange for nothing cannot operate freely as there are financial requirement for setting up the website and maintaining it. Without any income the webmaster might not be able to maintain the website.

Good Ads vs Bad Ads?

Advertisements were not so ubiquitous before like 10-15 years. But now ads are everywhere and sometimes they can ruin the complete web surfing experience. Without ads, the website will be clean and only contain the information we want  and it will not shift our focus. When an advertisement is placed, it will surely take our focus at times as they will be designed to be attractive. Website with minimal ads and less intrusive placements are ok for me personally. I don’t mind ads as me being a webmaster personally knows that it is needed to keep the site going.

But certain websites put up some much ads that we sometimes have a hard time finding the information we want. They can be intrusive and spoil the website experience. There are certain ads that even automatically plays audios and even vibrates our phones (its so irritating).  Then there are popup ads, which appears on the websites and take focus to that ad page, again so disturbing.

Types of Ads on the Internet

There are may types of advertisements on the internet. Some of the common ones are

Banner Ads

Banner ads are the most Common type of Advertising found on the internet. It is basically and Image or Gif or Video which are placed on the website. When users click on them they are taken to the advertisers website. These ad formats are so popular  and is most actively used in Google Adsense Program. They are available in wide variety of sizes like 300x250px, 768x 90px are among some of the most commonly used.

Text Ads

These are similar to banner ads except that instead of images,we have text . They are also among the popular ad type publishers choose to monetize their website.

Native Ads

These are ads that show related items. You might have come across many posts were you can see content that are promoted saying “You Might Like” or “More Interesting” etc. These are promoted stories from other websites.

Annoying Ads

Type of Annoying Ads - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

The above ads can be considered to be non-intrusive if they are placed properly on a website. But there are certain ad types that are considered to be the most annoying ones. The standard for better ads have identified these linds of ads and also Google Chorme already starting blocking such kind of ads which do not follow the better ads standards. Some of them are popups, persistent ads with countdowns, autoplay audio ads, animated and flashy ads etc.

Adblockers –  Why use Adblocker?

Duh…Why do we use adblocker? For blocking ads obviously. These are small piece of software that scans a website , find and then block the advertisements to give you a ad-free browsing experience. There is more to this question than we see. Internet is the ultimate resource for each and everything. Its all over the place and we are so dependent on the internet. We use it for all kinds of purposes, watching videos, paying bills online, buying clothes and more.  Ever come across  pictures and videos saying you might like these? Some of these might not be not relevant to us at all. We have seen some of the ads that are commonly found on websites.

If you are finding ads to intrusive or it is seriously messing with the whole experience of using a website, you can use adblockers to block them. But if  you use Adblockers, by default they will be blocking ads on all the website not matter the type of ads.

I personally support the websites which provide good content for free by white listing them from adblockers.  This way they might be able to earn some money keep the website alive. Earnings are great driving force to. So if you love the contents on certain websites, which are offered for free, do support them by disabling Adblockers. In this way we are getting good content and the website is also benefiting from us. In one way we are using the websites resources and if we block ads, we are actually being selfish.

Best Adblocker – uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus

Now that we have seen how websites use ads to make money and how it effects the user experience, its time to talk about adblockers. There are a lot of adblockers  available on the internet. Out of them, two names seems to be the most heard of – uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus. These are the two most downloaded and used adblocker on the planet. We will see how these to compare against each other- uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus. This question will also be answering another commonly searched question –  Which is the Best Adblocker?

uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus – Introduction

AdBlock Plus

Adblock Plus Chrome - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

Adblock Plus is the most popular Adblocker that  came into existence in 2006. Adblock Plus is developed by a German  Software Development company named  Eyeo GmbH.  The plugin is available for all the popular modern web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safar, Opera and even for Android.

The plugin for Chrome has over 10,000,000 plus users , that is a lot of users. It is also among the most used plugins for a web browser. The plugin is an open source plugin.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

uBlock Origin is authored by Raymond Hill and he is still working for the development of the plugin. It is the one and only strong competitor to adblock plus.  uBlock Origin was first released in the year 2014. As of January 2018, uBlock origin has more than 10 million users for its Google Chrome Plugin and more than 5 million for the firefox version. That is a huge feat considering the no of users they scored with such a short span of time. The plugin is also available for other browsers like  Safari, Chromium, Edge etc. Compared to AdBlock Plus, uBlock Origin has more rating due to one reason – Acceptable Ads. We will comeback to that later on in the post.

uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus – End Users

Adblock is a bit simple and easy to use. So it is recommended for Noobs. uBlock Origin has lot of advanced features and very fine tuning options available which makes it popular among Geeks.

uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus – Features

Now lets see the features of both the adblockers. First Up, Adblock Plus. We have selected to showcase the settings of the plugin for Google Chrome. There are 3 settings page for the plugin: General, White List and Advanced Settings.

Adblock Plus General Settings

 

Adblock Plus Main Settings - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus
Adblock Plus General Settings

The above image shows the default plugin options page on Google Chrome browser. The options available in the general settings page are:

Privacy and Security

There are two options in the privacy and security section on the main settings page. Block additional tracking option blocks all kinds of trackers from the website. So your data will not be tracked by 3rd parties. There will be lots of trackers associated with ads.  Ad trackers help advertisers target and show appealing ads based on the user activities. Have you some across ads of say something you just browsed on an e-commerce website. Say if you search for sport shoes, you might be able to see ads for sport shoes on all websites you visit.

Then there is Block Social Media icons tracking. Social media trackers are associated with social share widgets like sharethis, addthis etc. You can see share buttons to share the articles to your favorite social medias. Some of these might have trackers which allow them to track the users activities. People often use VPN to increase their anonymity.

Acceptable Ads

Acceptable Ads Adblock Plusings - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

This is most debated topic in this category. Are ads acceptable? What is acceptable ads? There have been lots of controversies regarding Acceptable Ads when it was first implemented in 2001. Adblock uses the Acceptable Ads feature to highlight them from other adblockers.  What do you think about acceptable ads? Can ads be acceptable?

I’ll share my thoughts on this topic. I   personally don’t mind ads (not too intrusive and it doesn’t obstruct the flow of the website) on website which provide quality content for free to its readers. For setting up and website  and maintaining it you do need money. From domains to hosting the website on a server, everything needs money. Advertisements are one way to generate income to support the website.

What Adblock does with Acceptable Ads is something similar. It allows certain ads on the website. In this way the we support the website by allowing them to show ads so that they can generate some revenue keeping the content free for the world.  But the acceptable ads is a questionable feature as companies can pay adblock to not block their ads. This is what brought out the controversy. Large companies like Google, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo etc are paying Adblock huge amount of money to white list their ads on websites when using AdBlock Plus.

Read more about Acceptable Ads Here

What If I hate all ads?

If you hate all kinds of ads, acceptable or not. Simple go to settings and  uncheck  “Allow Acceptable Ads“. You will not be see any kinds of Ads.

AdBlock Plus – Whitelisted Website

Adblock Plus White Listing Feature - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus
Adblock Plus White Listing Websites

White Listing Websites – We can allow certain websites to show ads, that we can disable Adblock to run on certain websites. This is the feature I use most as I earlier said that I do like to support websites providing good content for free. When visiting a website, if you click on the Adblock Plugin Button on the browser, you have “Enabled on this Site“. Click it to disable adblock on the particular browser. This is how you white list website in Adblock Plus Adblocker plugin.

Adblock Plus Advanced Settings

Adblock Plus Advanced Settings - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus
Adblock Plus Advanced Settings

There are few more settings to mess around. You will see this page when you click on the Advanced Settings Option. You will be able to see some customization to the plugin like if you want to see Block Element   on your right click option.

Just below you can see Filter Lists. This is the filters that are being used to block ads. There are lots of filters available, but by default only Adblock warning removal list, EasyList  , acceptable ads filters etc are available. You have an option to add filter to Adblock Plus by clicking on the Add New Filter List Button.

How to Add New Filter List to AdBlock Plus

Add New Filter to Adblock - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

  1. Click on Adblock Plus Plugin icon.
  2. Click on Options.
  3. Select Advanced from the left pane.
  4. Click on Add New Filter List.
  5. Give a Name to the filter.
  6. Paste the Url of the filter.
  7. Click on Add a Filter List.
  8. Done.

Then there is a custom list were you can add your own blocking rules.

Adblock Plus – Block Elements Feature

Block Elements using Adblock - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

You have an option to block particular elements on a website, not necessarily ads maybe some other kind of promotional stuff like a picture which links to different page. You can do that as well. Just click on the Adblock Plugin and click on  “Block Element” button. After that hover over the page and select the element you want to block. Done! That element on the website will be added to the block list. This can be used to remove overlays with timeouts were we have to wait for few seconds to access the page.

uBlock Origin Main Settings

uBlock Main Settings - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

Comparing to the interface of Adblock Plus, uBlock Origin’s interface might seem a bit outdated. But it is made for simplicity. Everything is simple text, check boxes, text boxes and buttons. There are way way more options and finer controls on uBlock origin plugin. It works out of the box without having to even open the settings page. So if you are not a tech person, no worries. Just install and use.

There is no  Acceptable Ads in uBlock. Anything and everything which falls under promotional category will be blocked. You will not see any ads. This is for those who are like – “I simple don’t want to see ads and i don’t care about anything else.”

uBlock Origin Filter List

uBlock Filter List - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

uBlock Origin simple beats Adblock Plus in this department. Look at the number of filter lists that are added by default. Apart from their own filters like Badware Risks, Privacy, Resource Abuse filters there are other Ad filters, Privacy Filters and even Malware Domain filters.   uBlock Origin simply blocks more ads and trackers than Adblock Plus because it has a lot more information regarding trackers  and others.

uBlock origin definitely win  the Filter Game without any issues. What more to say, if you want to add more filters from the internet, you can do that too. In most cases the default setup covers everything from ads to malware risks. You are having better security and privacy when using uBlock than using Adblock.

uBlock Origin WhiteList Website

WhiteList Websites - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

After visiting a website, If you want to support the website by allowing ads to be displayed, that can be done by disabling uBlock Origin on that particular domain. To do that, just click on the uBlock Button and then press the Big Blue Power Button.  Also you can manually enter the website url into the white list by going into Settings > WhiteList.

uBlock Origin Delete Elements

Block Elements using uBlock Origin - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

There is an option to block a particular element on a website. Click on the uBlock icon on the browser and select the eyedropper tool. Then you can select the element you want to block on the website. The element will then be added to filters which will block them. Similar to the Block Element Option in Adblock Plus.

uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus – Performance

We have put Both uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus Plugins for test. This is how a normal internet user’s system resource will be. This is not an expert in depth performance test, instead it is to give an idea of how it will affect for a normal user while browsing with these plugins.

uBlock vs AdBlock Resource Usage:

The tests are conducted in  Chromium   Browser (Version 67.0.3391.0) on a Windows 10 PC (64Bit).  A common website has been chosen for the test which contained around 5 Ads : 4 Adsense ads (Both Banner Ads and Text Ads) and also 1 native ad from Taboola. First the website is loaded without any plugins turned on and then website is reloaded with one adblocker turned on at a time The results are given below. Clearly the System Usage is high on AdBlock Plus as it seems to consume more RAM than uBlock Origin.

System Resource Usage - uBlock Origin vs AdBlock Plus

The test has been conducted on multiple website and the results are pretty much the same. The CPU usage and the RAM Usage was considerable low for uBlock Origin.  Both the plugins were able to block all the advertisement materials on the websites without fail. 100 marks for both the plugins. For performance the winner for uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus Performance test is clearly uBlock Origin without any doubt,

uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus – Conclusion

We have seen in-depth about the Best Adblocker available – uBlock Origin vs Adblock Plus. These two are the most popular adblockers and they will continue to be the same considering the amount of users. Both do a wonderful job at blocking ads. Both the adblockers are free. Adblock Plus is recommended for beginners/noobs as its simple. uBlock Origin has a ton of features which can be used to fine tune the blocker to our liking. But that will require some developer skills.

uBlock Origin rose to popularity pretty fast because there is no acceptable ads policy like the one in adblock plus. They don’t  allow ads from publishers  by taking money from the publishers. It can be called as the true adblocker which stick to the users need-blocking all ads.

Adblock Plus get paid to allow certain ads which they call Acceptable Ads from large companies. Google Adsense is among the most used monetizing platform for any website. They are clean and non-intrusive if placed properly without blocking the main contents on the website.

Me Personally would go for Adblocker as it seem as bit simple. It is less cluttered with a beautiful  interface. We can easily allow ads on websites we want. If we consider privacy and security,uBlock Origin is the clear winner with more filters added by default. Adblock Plus does have custom filters were we can easily add these lists.

uBlock Origin seems to use less System resources when compare to Adblock Plus.  So in conclusion If you are want an adblocker which blocks all ads and trackers by default and the system is having less resources , go with uBlock Origin. If you are ok with seeing non-intrusive ads and would like to support the websites, use Ablock plus with acceptable ads. Both the plugins are winners, its hard to choose one. But if one should be choosen I would vote for uBlock Origin as it is free and sticks to the ethics by not taking money from advertisers to show certain ads.  But I always make sure that i disable adblocker on websites that provide good content for free and shows less and non-intrusive ads. In this way I’m helping the webmaster to keep the website alive.

Share in your thoughts. Which one do you use or prefer and Why? If you like the post, do share it among your friends.

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Adithya

Loves anything tech. Loves writing about tech and share the things he knows to the world. Interests include Gaming, Web Designing and is a die hard Pop Music Fan. Fav include Anne Marie, Ed Sheeran. Team #Android.

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