Block ads, trackers and even some malware with the best Chrome ad blockers

Deeply hidden in your Chrome settings are tools for blocking pop-ups, but because of how Chrome and other web browsers are programmed to earn money, there are still many types of ads that display. Cybercriminals cleverly disguised phishing schemes, adware, or malicious downloads as legitimate ads, so the best and easiest way to protect yourself is with an ad blocker. Here are some of our favorites.

Staff pick

AdBlock

Staff pick

On top of blocking pop-up ads, AdBlock keeps banner ads from downloading within the content you’re reading and stops commercials from showing in YouTube videos. AdBlock doesn’t ask for personal information before installing the browser extension, and it doesn’t keep information about your browser history or other online activity.

Free at Chrome Store

Adware and virus blocking

AdBlocker Ultimate

AdBlocker Ultimate stops every kind of ad. It doesn’t have a whitelist, so there is no way to make an exception for an ad or pop-up to get through. This is a good way to protect yourself from phishing schemes that tend to look like legitimate ads and stop malicious downloads that sometimes hide in enticing ads.

Free at Chrome Store

Advanced privacy

Ghostery

Ghostery helps stop social media ad trackers and website cookies by taking you to the privacy policy and opt-out pages, which are often hard to find. It stops site analytic programs and prohibits video ads from automatically starting. It blocks both pop-up and banner ads in online content.

Free at Chrome Store

Light on resources

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin uses very little of your computer’s resources, so using this ad blocker doesn’t cause drag or slow down while online. You choose from lists of ads you’d like to block, including banner and video ads, but can create your own filters based on lists of host files. uBlock Origin also stops some malware and trackers.

Free at Chrome Store

Open source program

AdBlock Plus (ABP)

AdBlock Plus blocks ads with trackers and malicious downloads attached to them but does allow legitimate or acceptable ads that tend to help websites earn a little bit of revenue. It uses an open-source code that, if tech-savvy, you can modify and add on additional features.

Free at Chrome Store

Block Google ads

Fair AdBlocker by STANDS

Fair AdBlocker is highly rated among users. It blocks pop-up ads, overlays and expanding ads, and ads that show in email accounts, like Yahoo and AOL. It stops videos from automatically playing and has advanced filters to block ads on Facebook and Google search results.

Free at Chrome Store

Our recommendations

These browser extensions tap into long lists of ad companies to stop pop-ups, banner ads, video commercials, and other online ads. On a more productive level, the best blockers also stop trackers from capturing your browser history and following your online activity. Since people have become smarter about creating malware and phishing schemes, you’ll want that extra protection built right into the browser.

We recommend AdBlock because of how easy it is to use and the extensive amount of ads it automatically blocks, including banner and video ads. It doesn’t track your online movements or keep tabs on your browser history, making it secure, too. AdBlock also doesn’t require any personal information before downloading the Chrome browser extension.

Ghostery is another good ad-blocking option, but it’s unique because it takes you to websites‘ privacy policies and opt-out forms. It stops all sorts of cookies and trackers, including those on social media pages, plus annoying ads and pop-ups. Ghostery isn’t as widely used and known as AdBlock and doesn’t block as many ads, which is why AdBlock is our overall best pick.

Several browsers, including Chrome, have started to block access to webpages when it detects an ad blocker is on. Access will be granted once the block is disabled. If you find this happening often with the sites you visit, it may be better to invest in a VPN. Several have ad blockers built into them, but they also do a fantastic job of shielding all your online activity in a way that doesn’t tip off the browser or website. It is nearly impossible for cookies to figure out your online movements, and your browser history is erased immediately after you close the browser. VPNs not only stop pop-up ads but also cut down on the personalized ads that show on social media and other sites based on search terms you’ve recently used.


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