Annoying advertisements have been around on the internet since the time when going online gained critical mass. One could see adverts and other unrelated annoying stuff on their browsers as far back as the early 2000s. As internet spread its territory on smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, advertising softwares adapted and started pestering people on their small screens. The need for adblockers became obvious and thus started a downloading frenzy in some circles where folks started downloading anything and everything that came with the tag name “ad-blocker” insert anything here. While some worked, others not only failed but smashed up the devices.
Hmmm, to click or not to click!
UBlock Origin v/s AdBlock Plus
With the growing number of ad-blocking software in the market, advertisers started making their softwares smarter that they would be able to avoid the traps laid by the malware catchers. Speaking of malware, even anti-virus softwares began doubling up as ad-blockers. While many did perform well, some delivered on none of it.
With each passing year, forced adverts started becoming more and more malicious some even intending to get access to your phone’s memory while others to replicate a malware.
Had Enough Already! Welcome, Dedicated Ad Fighters!
We can say that the time roughly around 2009-2010 was when ad blocking softwares came of age and started to up their game. Now ad-blockers were no longer the small software that you just casually installed on your phones while on the go. One had to find out which ones would work, which ones are substandard and which ones are outright dangerous/malicious. As a result, ad-blockers came to be sold independently as a software suite rather than some sort of an ad on to your browser. Although, you can still find them as extensions to your browser even today.
Let us find out what features an ad-blocker will come equipped with apart from the Ye Olde Ad Blocking:
- Anti-Malware Functions: Some ad blockers will be equipped with features that sniff out and promptly block hidden malware. This keeps them from ruining your phone into a featureless plastic box.
- Pop-up Blocker: Many add blockers will also block the annoying pop-ups that open up inadvertently when you visit a random website.
- Porn Blocking: Yeah, many of us won’t like this, but let’s remember some people have kids. This feature is not widely found, and one may have to pay a premium to get it activated.
- Choose What You Block: Coming up in the next section.
If you have no idea whether you can trust any given ad blocker software out there, just take a look at how much effort they have put in their PR. One of the biggest ironies with ad blockers is that some are created to block all but one type of advertisements or come packaged with some other unwanted software functionality.
We would suggest you visit the maker’s website, read about the team behind it, read about their other products and try to get the gist of how much they have attempted to expand themselves.
Here Comes Contender #1: Welcome UBlock Origin:
UBlock Origin is the brainchild of Raymond Hill and is jointly developed with his partners Nick Rolls, Alex Aljoudi and Chris Vallat who have made their presence known on GitHub repository as top developers. Although UBlock Origin was released in its stable form in 2017, its history spans way back to 2014 when the team had developed “μBlock ” which is pronounced as “Mu Block.” However, to quell confusion surrounding its name, they renamed it as UBlock so that the software does not face any marketing difficulties.
UBlock origin is cross-platform and can be installed on any operating system right from Windows to Linux and its various types. Therefore, it comes with a capability of being usable on your home computer as well as that in your office. If your office systems use a Linux distro, you can conveniently install this add-on in the browser and block any unwanted ads and pop-ups.
The software is also cross-browser usable. You can use it on all major browsers like Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
It comes armed with the following features:
– Ad Blocker: It will block most of the ads that come you come across whether they be on your phone or computer. Especially the ones that appear on sites like Reddit where you do not want any interruption. It will also block adware that carries out a sneak attack and gets stored in your memory cache. So you can now fairly expect to block most of the advertising annoyance online.
– Tracker Blocker: Suspicious individuals, including your partner, may install tracker software on your phone. Thankfully UBlock origin will promptly disable such a software and render it useless.
– Lightweight: It is designed not to consume a lot of memory from your device. Therefore, it does not slow down other processes.
– Memory Efficient: The software comes with an inbuilt memory management system that allows your device to run at normal speeds and does not interfere with other ongoing processes.
Welcome Contender #2: Ad Block, The Old King.
Ad Block takes a generic name for its function and thus gets one-up over its competitor UBlock in terms of marketing. When it comes to functionality, Ad Block is a combo of advert blocker and a content filtering software. Designed and developed by Wladimir Palant of Eyeo GmBH a German software company, the software is much older than the one above and has some hands down gains in terms of overall performance.
It covers more browsers in its list as compared to UBlock Origin. You can install it in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Yandex and Android browsers. Without further ado, let’s get to its core features.
– Blocking Background Images: Sometimes images just open up in the background as part of adverts or as a page of some malware spreading website. Ad Block effectively blocks them from opening up so that you have a butter smooth browsing experience.
– Memory Leak Fixes: Certain malware can cause your memory leaks on your device. Ad Block will promptly stop it and restore the device memory back to its original position.
– Whitelisting: Synonymous with ‘what you can choose,’ it is the exact opposite of blacklisting. You can give access to certain people, software, adverts and other such automated entities to your device that you find relevant.
– Hide Ads per Site: Instead of shadow banning ads; you also get the option to hide ads on the basis of every individual website that you visit.
– HTML Image Hiding: This feature blocks HTML websites which enlarges the scope of hiding images seen on a browser.
AdBlock v/s UBlock Origin, The Final Showdown.
Let us compare AdBlock and UBlock Origin side by side and rate them out of 5 to get a better picture.
|YouTube Ad Blocking.||5/5||0/5|
|Memory Efficiency and Load Handling.||4/5||2/5|
|User Base.||40 Million||14 Million|
Clearly, if you are looking for software that is sturdy, powerful and does a lot more when it comes to blocking all types of load thrown at you, AdBlock is what you need to choose. Since AdBlock is a paid software, it is understandable that is not just an extension but a whole software suite of its own. Most likely, you should go for it if you are looking one for your workplace rather than for home use.
UBlock Origin, on the other hand, is a more homely software that is oriented towards a casual use. That is the reason the software is for free, at least as of now. Also, the software was released very recently, unlike AdBlock which has been around since 2006. No wonder, it is still in its building up stages.
However, despite being relatively new to the game, the software still performs well when it comes to blocking most of the adware and malware on the internet. Unfortunately, they stopped blocking YouTube ads recently, which eats up a lot of positives from UBlock Origin’s USP, particularly when competing against AdBlock.
Regarding performance, both the softwares perform well only with the exception that AdBlock goes much beyond just basic expectations.
Regarding the price, while you get UBlock Origin for free, AdBlock is a paid software given its features. If you are ready, you can pay anywhere between an amount of your choice to hundred dollars.
If you are an average Joe, looking to keep annoying ads and tracking bots away from your phone, go for UBlock Origin, its free and open source. If you are a system manager in an office or a cyber cafe, go for AdBlock.