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Browsing online can be an infuriating (and at times impossible) experience, thanks to ads. They’re visually intrusive and slow websites down—and in some cases, “malvertising” inserts malicious code into legitimate sites and ads to spread malware and compromise the security of your data. Even the most careful internet user can be at risk, which is why a good ad blocker is an important tool to cut back on both the ads you’re served and the data advertisers collect about you.

AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus is a highly rated free and open-source extension that lets you block ads and disable tracking on your browser and mobile devices. AdBlock Plus allows users to get more granular with what they block using filter lists, which can either block or whitelist certain elements on the page. The service does allow so-called Acceptable Ads through its filters by default, though you can disable the feature if you prefer.

AdBlock Plus is available on the following platforms:

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is another free and open-source browser-based ad blocker that is well-reviewed. It’s easy to customize what you block and to disable specific features on a site-by-site basis. It also gets high marks from Wirecutter for its efficiency and limited resource use.

uBlock Origin is available on the following platforms:


Like uBlock Origin, Ghostery is also a highly customizable ad blocker that allows you to get granular with what’s visible and what isn’t, including hiding ads and preventing pop-ups. As a bonus, the extension can neutralize trackers and anonymize your data to protect your privacy.

Ghostery is available on the following platforms:


AdBlock is an entirely different product from AdBlock Plus, but they function in similar ways. Both are open-source and highly rated, both have default and user-customized filtering, and both allow Acceptable Ads unless actively disabled.

AdBlock is available on the following platforms:

  • Chrome

  • Edge

  • Firefox

  • Safari

  • iOS

  • Android

Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger isn’t an ad blocker, exactly—instead, it blocks the invisible trackers that collect information about your browsing behavior and help shape your experience across the web. It won’t block ads unless the ads also happen to be tracking you, which the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (the tool’s creator) states is meant to incentivize better privacy practices among advertisers. You can use Privacy Badger on its own or alongside a more traditional ad blocker if you want to eliminate all ads.

Ghostery is available on the following platforms:

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