Browser ad blockers provide a streamlined browsing experience by eliminating intrusive ads, speeding up page loads, and enhancing privacy through blocking tracking scripts. They create a cleaner online environment by preventing annoying pop-ups and banners, leading to increased security against malware. Norton Ad Blocker for iOS stands out as a free tool, ensuring ad-free browsing on Apple devices while safeguarding users from potential online threats.
Ad blockers are tools or apps designed to identify advertising content and remove or hide it from the web pages you’re browsing. They save you the hassle of having to skirt around ads to access what you need online, whilst also keeping your information safe and improving your browser’s loading speed.
The best ad blockers can pick up on all kinds of ads, including these types:
Web pages themselves
Ad blockers prevent these various forms of advertising from being displayed on your browser, as well as stop adware from redirecting you to irrelevant or even harmful sites.
In addition, ad blockers can block in-page or browser-based web trackers from obtaining all sorts of information about you, from your personal data to your browsing history and habits.
Ad blockers are effective tools that remove advertising content, protect your data and increase browsing speed at the same time.
Norton AntiTrack further enhances your online privacy by blocking trackers and hiding digital fingerprints. It ensures that your private data and browsing activities remain hidden, reducing the risk of targeted advertising and data breaches. Norton AntiTrack puts you in control of your digital identity and helps protect your online presence from potential threats.
Ad-blocking software is generally divided into two categories:
Independent programmes that monitor your web browser or device operating system for adware and ads
Extensions and plugins within browsers and other programmes
How do ad blockers improve browsing?
Both categories of ad blocker benefit your online experience enormously in three key ways.
Comfort and convenience
Firstly, online ads are often annoying and can make for uncomfortable browsing. They tend to cover up or delay content you’re trying to access, sometimes even forcing you to click on links you don’t want to.
Some adverts even show offensive or inappropriate material, while most are irrelevant to your immediate needs.
Ad blockers give you all the comfort and convenience you’re entitled to expect from the internet by ensuring your browser or app only takes you to the page you want to reach and shows you only the content you intended to view. No more unnecessary ads and pop-ups getting in the way.
Secondly, adverts and web trackers can significantly reduce the performance of a web browser or other online programme, by clogging it up with additional, unwanted processing tasks.
If you’re finding that your browser is taking an age to load while marketing banners, video ads and pop-ups are all over the pages you’re trying to reach, the two issues are probably related.
Ad blockers shut down at their source these extra processing tasks caused by advertising, allowing your browser or app to run as smoothly as it should. When you start using an ad blocker, you can expect significant improvements to your browser’s loading speeds, far fewer page timeouts and crashes, and a higher quality of performance overall.
Online safety and security
Lastly and most importantly, adware and online tracking can pose serious risks to your security. Some adverts can contain malicious software that when activated – sometimes by just a single click – infects your browser or device operating system and wreaks havoc.
This malware can compromise the functioning of the device or, even worse, gain access to private information such as your passwords or payment details.
And even when no illegal software is involved, trackers from web pages, browsers, and apps themselves can collect swathes of your personal data for the purposes of advertising or sharing with third parties.
Without an ad blocker, your privacy is exposed as soon as you go online. Ad blockers can help put a stop to adverts containing malware showing up while you browse, and they can help halt tracking software from gathering large amounts of information you want to keep private.
Then you can carry on browsing with more security, safe in the knowledge that an ad blocker helps protect your online privacy.
Most ad blockers also include options to filter out certain adverts, particular forms of advertising, or adverts on certain websites while leaving others alone, according to your preferences.
This allows you to visit news websites that deny access to anyone using an ad blocker, for example, or to view promotional offers advertised in a banner on your favourite fashion website. This way, you can tailor your browsing experience to suit your specific needs. Ad blockers don’t necessarily mean completely ad-free browsing if you don’t want them to.
With Norton Ad Blocker you not only get the standard benefits of an ad blocker but also an extra layer of security and privacy. Enjoy faster, safer and distraction-free browsing while protecting your personal data from prying eyes. Norton Ad Blocker is a valuable tool that helps you protect your online experience and stay in control of your digital footprint.
There are different types of ad blockers that cover different aspects of online advertising and potential threats. Here are a few examples:
Traditional ad blockers
They block traditional ads, preventing them from appearing on websites and improving your browsing speed.
These ad blockers mainly block ads that contain malicious code or lead to websites with malware. They help protect your device from potential infections.
Adware blockers specifically target adware, which is software that displays unwanted ads or redirects your browsing. They help prevent intrusive ads from disrupting your online experience.
These blockers focus on stopping pop-up ads that appear in separate windows or tabs.
Tracker blockers are designed to prevent advertisers and websites from tracking your online activities and collecting personal information.
It is important to note that different ad blockers may offer a combination of these features or specialise in a certain area. Users can choose the ad blocker or blockers that best suit their needs and preferences to improve their browsing experience and protect their online safety.
How to choose the best ad blocker
When it comes to choosing the best ad blocker for you, you want to make sure the features of your chosen software match up with your primary motivation for installing it.
While comparing ad blockers, it’s also a good idea to get advice from elsewhere to help you decide what’s best for you.
Check comparison articles and best ad blocker lists compiled by respected software experts, such as UK PC Mag, Tom’s Guide, and Cyber News. Their advice and rankings are often informed by extensive testing of various ad blockers in action.
And in the end, there’s no better judge of the best ad blocker than people just like you, who’ve tried it out for themselves and left customer reviews. Ad blockers with a high score from a large number of reviewers on the main app and software platforms are likely to be a safe bet.
In addition, you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay for an ad blocker. It’s worth noting that some of the best ad blockers are completely free to download, or at least have a free version with most core features included. And even if your choice isn’t a completely free ad blocker, you might get a free trial for a certain period – so you can try it out before deciding to pay for it.
Chrome’s built-in pop-up blocker to take care of removing or hiding unwanted content. But without a proper ad blocker add-on or a plug-in for Chrome installed, they still leave themselves exposed to many annoying or malevolent forms of advertising.
Google Chrome’s built-in feature is unable to block most pop-ups and ads on social media, for example, as well as cookie notifications on many websites.
Perhaps more worryingly, it lacks functionality to stop third parties from tracking your personal or private data and fails to protect your information in various other ways.
If you want the fastest and safest browsing experience, it’s not enough to rely on Chrome itself – or other browsers such as Opera browser – without a browser extension. You need an ad blocker add-on.
Does a YouTube ad blocker block video ads?
The great news for video content lovers everywhere is that, yes, there are plenty of ad blockers out there able to block video ads on YouTube, including Norton Ad Blocker.
With the right YouTube ad blocker set to the right filters, you can:
Avoid interruptions: Enjoy your favourite YouTube clips without being delayed or interrupted by otherwise unskippable video ads.
Remove sidebar and banner ads: Enjoy a more interactive viewing experience, with suggested videos, live chats and comments replacing disruptive ads.
Load faster: Your videos will have shorter loading times, with far less buffering.
Save time: Cutting out ads will save you time – especially if one video contains many ads.
Keep the music flowing: Enjoy your YouTube playlists without ad breaks – which is perfect for parties!
Improve device efficiency: You’ll save on data and battery power when using the app on your phone.
Secure your information: Your privacy can be protected from adware, and you’ll avoid targeted video ads as a result.
If you’ve installed an independent ad blocker programme on your device that works for YouTube, it should be capable of blocking video ads on any browser as well as the YouTube app.
But what if you do want to block video ads in most places on YouTube, yet still support your favourite content creators with monetised videos?
Well, certain YouTube ad blockers even include filters that let you allow ads on certain YouTube channels but not others. So, you can enjoy your party playlist without interruption, while still supporting another YouTuber through advertising!
Is there an ad blocker for iOS?
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you might be worrying that all this talk of PC and Chrome-based ad blockers doesn’t apply to you.
Luckily, there is an ad blocker tailor-made for iOS.
Norton’s iOS ad blocker has been developed by the Norton LifeLock team – winners of the 2022 Javelin Identity Protection Award – specifically to help you prevent the disruption, drain and dangers that online ads can pose to your iPhone or iPad.
Dashboard interfaces of Norton’s iOS Ad Blocker
Just like ad blockers designed for other operating systems, this app allows you to:
Block ads and web trackers in your device’s browser and other apps.
Load content faster, without ads causing delays or lags, particularly to videos or images.
View the content you’re looking for, without the clutter of banner and pop-up ads getting in the way.
Save your device’s data and extend its battery life, by shutting down ads that consume extra power and internet bandwidth.
Say goodbye to distracting ads cluttering the pages you’re viewing.
And Norton Ad Blocker has additional benefits, as it can also:
Help Stop advanced web trackers that might evade other ad blockers.
Maintain your privacy, by never sharing your browsing history with Norton or any third parties.
Provide customisable ad-blocking exceptions, so you can use it while continuing to support your favourite sites and channels that rely on advertising revenue.
This iOS ad blocker app is completely free and has a top rating on Apple’s App Store from thousands of customer reviews.
Emma McGowan is a privacy advocate & managing editor at Gen, formerly a freelance writer for outlets like Buzzfeed & Mashable. She enjoys reading, sewing, & her cats Dwight & Poe.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.