A few years ago, the advent of Firefox add-ons unleashed a wave of all sorts of complements to customize your browser. One of tools that has seen the highest demand has always been services that eliminate ads while you browse. The free, open-source tool Adblock Plus has been expanding its service and showing up on all the main browsers, so much so that it has now become one of the most efficient apps of its kind.
Although it was born as a simple fork off Adblock, the Firefox blocker that had appeared earlier, the add-on’s successor has since expanded and increased its array of features, and is now available for Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android (through an external APK, since its withdrawal from Google Play) and, as of just a few weeks ago, Internet Explorer.
How it works
The app itself is really no more than a “hitman” at the service of another. Although Adblock Plus is in charge of eliminating banners, pop-ups, and other ad placements on the websites you visit, what actually decides which of these should be blocked are external lists of filters.
We can select the “blacklist” that we want for this task from the many that you can find on the web, although the database EasyList is included by default. This is the most efficient and complete of its kind and is maintained out of pure altruism by its user community. Thanks to a series of internal naming conventions it’s also possible to create your own blocking filters.
Using these filters also permits you to set a certain filter to let “acceptable ads” pass through. These are simply ads that the creators of Adblock Plus decide to include on their list. These regulations serve to advocate advertising that it legal, simple, and objective. For example, all the ads from Google or Amazon are considered acceptable.
Adblock Plus’s principal function is to block all ads on your browser, but that’s not all it does. It also lets you deactivate the cookies and monitoring that some sites use to generate personalized ads. You can also block webpages’ social sharing buttons that interact with networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
In addition, the add-on even lets you block access to certain potentially dangerous webpages that include some type of malware that might infect your computer. If you activate this option, the add-on will advise you of your level of risk when accessing such sites.
A free Internet based on advertising
In recent years a debate has erupted over how fair or unfair it is to block all advertising content on the Internet. Myriad companies based their entire business model precisely on this sort of advertising. Obviously, there are sites out there that abuse online advertising for even more dodgy ends, but it’s clear that if every trace of this sort of content is eliminated from the web, the situation would be unsustainable in many cases.
The “acceptable ads” system mentioned above is an attempt to resolve this issue. Even if it might be complicated that a particular service acts as judge and jury in deciding which type of advertising is good or bad (and even moreso if this authority is operating for profit), it’s clear that a balanced system, in which abusive ads are blocked but those that don’t bother or may even interest the user are allowed, will be key to Adblock Plus’s future success.
Download Adblock Plus on Uptodown
Google Chrome | http://adblock-plus-chrome.en.uptodown.com/
Mozilla Firefox | http://adblock-plus.en.uptodown.com/
Internet Explorer | http://adblock-plus-for-internet-explorer.en.uptodown.com/
Official webpage | https://adblockplus.org/