11 Best Ad Blocker Extensions for Chrome and Firefox

Online advertisements have become increasingly ubiquitous, disruptive and even vulnerable to malware. Fortunately, there are various ad blocking extensions that can help mitigate these issues while browsing. This comprehensive guide examines 11 top ad blockers for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, explains how they work, provides tips for selecting the right one and shares additional methods to stop ads.

How Ad Blocker Extensions Function

Ad blockers are browser extensions or standalone applications containing filter lists that prevent certain resources from loading. They block requests to ad networks’ and tracking domains’ servers.

The filter lists have two categories:

  • Blocklists: Contains website URLs, domains, subdomains, IP addresses etc. that serve ads, trackers and malware. Requests to resources in this list are blocked.

  • Allowlists: Contains non-intrusive resources to explicitly permit. Resources not on allowlists may get blocked if also not on blocklists.

When you visit a website, the ad blocker checks each resource on the page against these lists to determine blocking. Resources on blocklists don’t load, improving page speed and privacy.

Unlike standalone apps which affect entire systems, browser extensions only block ads during web browsing sessions. However, extensions avoid performance hits from running constant background processes.

Pros of ad blockers include better page load times, increased privacy, less annoyance and data usage. Downsides are potential website compatibility issues or declines in ad-funded content.

Top Ad Blocking Browser Extensions

Here are 11 excellent ad blocking extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox:

1. uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is an open-source, lightweight ad blocker relying on multiple filter lists including EasyList and EasyPrivacy. Key features:

  • Blocks ads, trackers and malware from filter lists
  • Easy to customise which resources get blocked
  • Minimal memory and CPU footprint
  • Available for Chrome, Firefox and Edge

With over 20 million users, uBlock Origin is one of the most popular and effective blockers. It‘s 100% free with no paid version or acceptable ads program.

2. Adguard AdBlocker

Boasting over 10 million Chrome users, Adguard removes all common ad types including video, rich media and social media ads. Features include:

  • Blocks all ads from filter lists
  • Stops trackers and malicious sites
  • Browser extension and standalone app
  • No acceptable ads whitelist
  • Actively maintained blocklists

Although free initially, Adguard has premium paid plans to use advanced features like parental controls. But the base ad blocking stays free.

3. Adblock Plus

As the world’s most used blocker with over 500 million downloads, Adblock Plus pioneered acceptable ads – unobtrusive placements site owners can pay to whitelist. Other features:

  • Blocks nearly all ads from filter lists
  • Lets some non-intrusive acceptable ads through
  • Easy to customise filter lists if desired
  • Available as Chrome & Firefox browser extension

Filter list-based ad blocking is forever free. But users can pay to block additional acceptable ads if they desire stricter blocking.

4. AdBlock for YouTube

This specialty blocker stops all YouTube ads, including video ads before, during and after videos. Key attributes:

  • Designed solely to block YouTube video ads
  • Stops banner/text ads on YouTube pages
  • 10 million Chrome users and 4.5 star rating
  • Remains free and open source

For blocking ads exclusively on YouTube, AdBlock for YouTube provides an exceptional free option. It also makes videos load faster.

5. Adguard AdBlocker (Safari Version)

Alongside the Chrome edition, Adguard AdBlocker is also available for Apple’s Safari browser. It shares the core features while optimised for Safari:

  • Blocks ads, trackers and malware via curated lists
  • Safari-specific blocking mechanics
  • Works on iPhones/iPads with iOS 9.0+
  • Standalone Mac app also available
  • Free version plus paid Premium option

For MacOS or iOS users wanting to block ads in Safari, Adguard is a top choice with customisations for Apple devices.

6. Fair AdBlocker

What makes Fair AdBlocker unique is offering customizable filters and exceptions to cater blocking to your preferences. Highlights include:

  • Fine-grained control over what gets blocked
  • Set general ad blocking rules but make per-site exceptions
  • View stats on total ads blocked
  • Free for Chrome & Firefox with no paid tiers
  • Maintains sites‘ functionality

If you dislike blanket blocking but want to filter certain ads per site, Fair AdBlocker grants flexible controls to users.

7. AdBlocker Ultimate

With a strict no whitelist policy for ads or tracking, AdBlocker Ultimate prioritises privacy and rigorously blocks undesirable resources. Features:

  • Aggressive blocker preventing ads & trackers
  • No acceptable ads or tracking whitelist
  • Protects from malware sites via lists
  • Light-weight extension for Chrome & Firefox
  • Entirely free and open source

For strong adblocking that rejects any compromise or whitelisting, AdBlocker Ultimate takes a hardline stance alongside customisations.

8. AdBlock for Firefox

Adblock Plus is available as both a Chrome extension and Firefox add-on natively built for Mozilla‘s open-source browser. Attributes include:

  • Specifically blocks ads on Firefox Windows/MacOS/Linux
  • Leverages filter lists like EasyList with additions
  • Stops social media ads and video ads
  • Over 2 million Firefox users
  • Grounds-up open source development

If you use Firefox rather than Chrome, then AdBlock for Firefox delivers a robust blocking extension custom-made for Mozilla‘s platform.

9. Ghostery Browser Extension

While focused on privacy, Ghostery supplements its anti-tracking abilities with ad blocking. Unique aspects:

  • Blocks ads via filter list alongside anti-tracking
  • User access controls over ad blocking strength
  • Extra privacy protection in browsers
  • 2,000+ tracker & ad entities in blocklist
  • Available as Chrome, Firefox & Edge extension

Installing Ghostery combines powerful tracker blocking with filter list-based adblocking for additional security.

10. AdLock (Safari + Mac App)

Alongside Safari browser blocking, AdLock also provides a standalone Mac app for system-wide ad filtering. Perks include:

  • Blocks ads in Safari plus across macOS
  • Uses blocklists to prevent ad loads
  • Stops trackers following you
  • Whitelist site exceptions available
  • Free version and paid Premium tier

For Mac owners seeking adblocks for Safari and all apps, AdLock furnishes robust browser and macOS protection.

11. Adblock for YouTube (Firefox Version)

A variation of the Chrome edition, this dedicated Firefox add-on blocks YouTube video ads just like its sibling extension. Features:

  • Made exclusively for blocking YouTube ads
  • Faster video load times without ads playing
  • Stops banner & text ads on YouTube site
  • 5 star rating from 5,500 Firefox users
  • Open source codebase

Regardless of using Chrome or Firefox, users can install Adblock‘s specialised YouTube tools to halt video ads.

How to Select the Right Ad Blocker

Choosing your optimal ad blocker depends on your browser, devices, blocking needs and customisation preferences. Considerations include:

Browser – Chrome and Firefox have the best extension ecosystems. Check each blocker‘s browser support.

Devices – Extensions only work during desktop browser sessions. If you need mobile or app blocking, use a standalone blocker.

Ads vs. Trackers – Some blockers like Ghostery focus more on tracking prevention. Evaluate if you need anti-tracking capabilities.

Blocking Strength – Assess if you want partial blocking with acceptable ads or total blocking without compromises.

Customisation – Can you adjust filter lists and exceptions easily? More options provide flexibility.

Open Source – Self-hosted and transparent blockers give you visibility into their code and practices.

Testing shortlisted blockers with sites you regularly visit also helps determine effective picks. Avoid extensions that break vital site elements.

Additional Methods to Stop Ads

Alongside extensions, further techniques to eliminate ads include:

  • Using alternate privacy-oriented web browsers like Brave or Tor Browser that have built-in blocking.
  • Installing Pi-hole as a network-wide blocker for all devices.
  • Editing computer hosts files to redirect ad servers to localhost.
  • Subscribing to a reputable and regularly updated filter list to import into tools.
  • Quickly checking if ads are blocked by opening a known ad-heavy site.

Combining multiple methods can overcome limitations of any single approach for blocking ads and trackers.


Intrusive and creepy ads have unfortunately become commonplace online. Thankfully, users can leverage ad blocking browser extensions or other tools to regain control over their browsing experience, privacy and system resources.

The ad blockers reviewed in this guide represent some of the most reputable and practical options available. Evaluate your needs to pick the best one fitting your use case. Additional blocking techniques also synergistically boost privacy.

Whichever solution you opt for, eliminating unwanted ads ultimately enables faster page loads, less annoyances and reduced malware risks. So don’t settle for ad-riddled browsing any longer.