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What is an Ad Blocker?

Ad Blockers are browser add-ons that stop ads from downloading onto your browser. The software not only play a crucial role in protecting privacy, but also give a smoother and better user browsing experience. However, there are specific situations where Ad Blockers may not work. Read our article to learn more.

An Ad Blocker is a software that prevents Ads from appearing along with the content that you wish to view. Online Ads make your overall browsing experience worse. They clutter parts of websites, slow downloading speeds, and may even be sources of malware. So it’s of no wonder that Ad Blockers are popular. 

Ad Blockers Explained

Here’s an example of how Ad Blocker works.

Ad Blockers, also known as content blockers, are typically browser add-ons and are available for most popular web browsers, namely Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE. Technically speaking, they block web requests that download certain content into the browser. 

Simply put, they stop ads from downloading onto your browser, thus allowing web pages to load faster. This offers a better browser user experience. The content that AdBlockers block varies from app to app. 

Certain Ad Blockers target the pop-ups and banner ads, while some eliminate all advertising on a webpage. Some block things specific to compromising a user’s privacy; this includes the tracking codes that provide marketers information about visitors’ activities on the page. 

Why Use Ad Blockers?

Privacy

They play a crucial role in protecting our privacy. Some ads utilize tracking and behavioral monitoring technology that profiles user behavior based on their websites by downloading files from people’s computers. This can easily be exploited by external attacks, which can lead to identity theft. 

Since Ad Blockers can prevent third-party trackers from loading, this means that advertisers can no longer collect information about your online behavior. 

Smooth Browsing Experience

Unfortunately, ad creators are more driven to attract the eye of a consumer than to create engagement. This results in highly disruptive and annoying ads. This gives a bad experience to the user. 

These interruptive marketing ads are intrusive by design. For example, an interstitial ad that comes between users and the content they want to view. It may also be an autoplay or rollover ad that starts up without any action on the user’s part. 

Ad Blockers provide a smoother and better browsing experience by removing all these annoying, even stressful ads. 

Security

Ads can come with malware. This is how cybercriminals use online advertising to distribute them. So, using AdBlockers, which block such ads from loading, your device is saved from being infected.

Speed 

Website pages will load and open faster because they don’t have to deal with tons of advertising tags, plug-ins, and third-party analytics. This, in turn, provides a better user browsing experience.

The Downsides to Ad Blockers

There’s much debate when it comes to AdBlockers. Some argue that they undermine the ‘true’ infrastructure of the web. After all, advertising is what supports the availability of free content on the internet. If Ad Blockers are used everywhere, you may ultimately face a situation where there’s no free content available.

The thing is, when you turn on an AdBlocker, ads are cut off, and publishers don’t get paid for ads that don’t reach you. This means less revenue for the said business. Simply put, Ad Blockers can inadvertently put websites out of business. 

Additionally, marketers are those hurt the most by AdBlockers as they could potentially lose a lot of analytical data, which could prove detrimental to the whole advertising business.

How do Ad Blockers Work? 

Ad Block technology is literally a set of rules that determine what should be blocked or not on websites you visit. It typically falls under the following:

Script-Blocking

While a web page is loading, such Ad Blockers look at the information that the website sends. They compare the incoming data against a list of sites and scripts it was built to block. If there are any matches, the request to this external content is blocked. The ad will not be loaded on the web page.

DNS Blocking

Ad Blockers that use DNS to block ads are quite useful. When a website or an application makes a request to show an ad, it has to go through a DNS server. The DNS server tells the website where the ad is located.

The AdBlocker blocks such requests, and the application or website will not be able to receive the ads to be displayed. 

Where Ad Blockers May Not Work

While Ad Blockers help loads in blocking ads, here are specific scenarios where they don’t: 

Acceptable Ads 

Ads that are respectful, unobtrusive, clearly labeled as Ads, and are approved. These are some examples of Ads that may pass Ad Blocker filters.

Specific Sites (like Facebook, YouTube) 

These sites use special workarounds to bypass AdBlockers. While Ad Blockers frequently provide countermeasures by introducing new updates, you might still encounter ads on these social media platforms. Having said that, most are employ numerous ways to invade your privacy.

Ad Content Type 

Certain ads are bound together with the content you intend to watch. This may be in the form of a video (pushing certain products) ingrained in the content. This type of advertising is difficult to stop without blocking the entirety of the content.

Conclusion

As advertising companies continue to utilize tracking and behavioral monitoring technology in their ads, Ad Blocker’s usage continues to rise. Ad Blockers not only protect our privacy, but they also give a smoother and better user browsing experience. 

Having said this, we still need to acknowledge the motivation behind these ads, as explained above. It would be in the best interests of all parties if companies can produce non-disruptive and non-intrusive Ads. As suers, we value our privacy – and time. 

Also check out these top VPN services for better Internet browsing experiences.

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