Ads popping up from nowhere, or placed on a website without caring about the users’ experience have become a constant interruption during our online activities. Whether you are using a budget-friendly, mid-range, or flagship Android phone, you can still be hit by this poor user experience when visiting a particular website or using a mobile application.
Sometimes, these (annoying) ads come as a modal or an overlay, and sometimes, make it impossible to close them unless you force yourself to click on the Ads which will redirect you to another page different from what you were there for.
It is annoying and it’s a waste of your time visiting that website or downloading those apps in the first place. But worry not, there’s a solution – and it is an ad blocker!
Ad blockers let you get rid of bad advertising and give you the power to take control of your online experience and enjoy it without annoying ads on your Android phone.
In this article, we will explore the following:
- Why do people use Ad blockers
- How Ad blockers work and benefits
- How to activate the built-in ad blocker on your phone
- And some of the best ad blocker apps for Android
Why People Use Ad Blockers
Ad blockers have gained popularity for several reasons. With ads flooding the internet, many users are fed up with their intrusive nature. Ad blockers give the users the power to stop these ads from bothering them.
This desire for a smoother online experience has led to the demand for ad-blocking solutions and that’s why you are here too. But there have been some misconceptions about how Ad blocker apps work, some believe they steal sensitive data on your device – is that true? Let’s talk about it.
How Ad Blockers Work Behind the Scene
Ad blockers use complex algorithms to stop ads from loading. They analyze patterns, filter domains, and assess content to prevent ads from appearing. By identifying and stopping scripts, images, and content related to ads, these blockers ensure that users only see the content they want.
Ad blocker acts as a middleware that checks and intercepts any outgoing and incoming requests. If it detects that an incoming request has annoying ads, it quickly removes it on your behalf.
It’s just a policeman in the middle of the road who asks you to go back because there is a robbery happening where you are going. The Policeman doesn’t need to access your personal data before saving you.
Ad blockers on Android phones and any devices do this, but All of these happen in less than a second!
Benefits of Using an Ad Blocker
Using ad blockers brings several benefits.
- Websites load faster without ads
- Your privacy is improved as data tracking is reduced
- Data usage becomes more efficient
- And security is enhanced by avoiding malicious ads.
Users can enjoy content without being interrupted by annoying ads flying on the internet.
While ad blockers make browsing better for users, they can also affect website owners who rely on ad revenue to keep their sites running. It’s a delicate balance between improving user experience and supporting website operations, but if the ads are annoying, you definitely need to block them!
How to Use the Free Ad Blocker on Android
Some Android phones have a built-in ad-blocking feature tucked away in the settings. It is free to use and the only thing you need to do is to change the DNS of your network. How to do this is different depending on the type of smartphone you are using. To activate this free built-in Ad blocker, do this:
- Go to settings
- Search or find “Private DNS”
- By default, it will be set to “Automatic (or auto)”
- Click on “Specified DNS” or “Private DNS Provider hostname”
- In the text area, put this dns.adguard.com
- Then save and that’s all.
This will help you block certain types of ads, making your online experience smoother. Emphasis on “certain types”, meaning that it is still possible that some websites or apps override these settings. And that’s where Ad blocker apps come in.
Best Ad Blocker Apps for Android
Av. ratings: 4.0 out of 5 | Get it on Play Store
AdGuard for Android is known for its thorough ad blocking and privacy protection. You can use it seamlessly on your Samsung phone, Yandex browser, and as a browser extension for your computer.
You can try AdGuard for free for 7 days or choose the basic plan (which can cover up to 3 devices) for $2.49 per month to customize your ad-blocking preferences. You can also subscribe for lifetime access.
2. Brave Browser
Av. ratings: 4.7 out of 5 | Get it on Play Store
According to a user, Brave Browser is a fork of Google Chrome but with an integrated Ad blocking feature, and I agree. It combines speed and privacy with tracking and ad blocking.
The built-in Ad blocker on Brave Browser is completely free to use. However, Brave also has a VPN feature which you will need to pay $9.99 per month to use (free trial available). But if you are only interested in disabling ads and don’t need a VPN, you are good to go.
You can also get it as your favorite browser’s Ad blocker extension on PC or Mac, or use its search feature (search.brave.com) for safe browsing
Av. ratings: 4.4 out of 5 | Get it on F-Droid
Unlike some ad blockers for Android phones, DNS66 doesn’t require root access to your phone. It’s open-source, ensuring transparency and customization options for a personalized online experience.
DNS66 establishes a VPN interface and redirects DNS server traffic to the established interface. Then the VPN interface filters traffic to allow parameters or queries that are not blacklisted.
DNS66 is free to use.
4. Adblock for all browsers
Av. ratings: 4.1 out of 5 | Download it here
Just like the name implies, Adblock for all browsers only works on browsers, so if you’re trying to block ads on mobile apps, it is not the right one for you.
The ad blocker app is used by over five million people with an average of 4.0 ratings out of 5, meaning it is working. One of the downsides users complain about is that you have to switch the app on and off whenever you change your Wi-Fi which I think is expected and manageable.
You can start using the app for free and if you need more features that are not in the free version, you can pay for its premium subscription.
5. Wize AdBlock VPN
Av. ratings: 4.5 out of 5 | Get it here
Built by Fulldrive, Wize AdBlock VPN lets you browse the internet and stream videos online without annoying ads. Not only will ads be blocked, Wize scans your traffic and web browser for any malicious content and it then blocks those viruses before entering your Android phone.
Also, it works on mobile apps too… all you have to do is to set it up once and your Android phone is safe from both annoying ads and malware.
Wize AdBlock VPN is one of the best free ad blockers for Android on the Google Play Store right now and the evidence is visible, With over 4.5 ratings, it proves that it works as described.
Av. ratings: 4.3 out of 5 | Get it on F-Droid
Another open-source and one of the best free ad blockers for Android phones. It is designed for rooted devices, and it provides advanced ad-blocking capabilities.
AdAway works by modifying the HOST files of your device, meaning your smartphone has to be rooted before you can use it. In summary, AdWay is for rooted Android phones.
Because it is open-sourced, you can add your own host file and even contribute to the codebase if there are any issues you’d like to fix.
You can get it from its official it’s GitHub repository or get it from F-Droid (linked above). If you want more control over your ad experience on your rooted Android phone, AdAway is the best free ad blocker for your needs.
7. Purple DNS
Av. ratings: 4.4 out of 5 | Download on Play Store
Purple DNS is another best Ad blocker for Android devices. It helps you block all types of ads in your mobile apps, browsers, games and any type of ads be it pop-ups or modals. Aside from that, Purple DNS also blocks trackers that ads companies use to track how you are using your phone and what you’re doing with it which can also keep your Android phone safe from any potential virus.
But one thing according to user reviews is that you have to be tech-savvy a little bit before you can set it up, otherwise it will be useless.
If you’re finding it difficult to set Purple DNS ad blocker, check this guide. Note that you will need to have some DNS URLs such as the one provided by AdGuard – dns.adguard.com.
Start Enjoying an Ad-Free Android Experience!
Ad blockers have come a long way from being a niche idea to becoming essential tools for navigating the digital world. They enhance loading speeds, privacy, data efficiency, and security, making them valuable allies for today’s internet users. Whether you use Android’s built-in ad-blocking feature or try a third-party ad-blocker app, you can shape your online world to be ad-free and enjoyable.
All the Ad-blocker apps here can be used for free, some completely while you have to pay a subscription fee to use some of the features on some other Ad Blocker apps.