Ads are one of those frustrating things that are here for as long as there will be a need for advertising (probably forever?). These ads keep tracking users, even if you’ve minimized your browser and sometimes even after switching websites. They won’t leave you alone unless you have a solid ad blocker program installed on your desktop (PC or Mac). Some of these ads keep popping up, whether or not you are interested in the product.
Not only are these ads extremely annoying but dangerous. Some ads contain malware or malicious adware that can harm your computer by slowing it down, transmitting a virus, or taking you to a website which you didn’t intend to visit. Once the system gets infected, getting rid of it can be a tough nut to crack.
If not a virus, these ads surely consume your internet, and that’s alarming especially when you’re on limited data.
Hackers also use such ads as a means to access and sometimes steal sensitive information. Having a good ad blocker has become vital since everything is digital. Not every ad blocker can guarantee to protect your computer from ads. Many ad blockers are notorious for selling user information to companies.
What a good ad blocker entails?
To pass as a good ad blocker, it must block:
- Pop-up ads
- Banner ads
- Harmful websites
- Autoplay video ads
- Malware and viruses
This decision can be confusing, especially for those who are new to this. Worry not, we have got you covered. We’ve personally reviewed some of the most acclaimed ad blockers available and crafted a list of the best ones for desktops.
Here are our top picks:
List of the best ad blockers for desktops in 2023
AdGuard is another robust ad blocker that has made it to our list. The ad blocker works while you are online as well as offline to keep your system virus-free and prevent ads from intervening. AdGuard keeps your data protected from hackers and third-party apps. This ad blocker comes with parental control that can provide an extra security feature for your Kids’ personal computers.
Its stealth mode prevents the websites from tracking your data. AdGuard also offers filters that users can customize as per their needs. The ad blocker has the option for allowing ‘useful’ ads (promotional ads, most of which are often harmless). Once installed, AdGuard blocks ads in all of your browsers.
Pricing Plan: Free Version, Paid Version (starting from $2/month)
Availability: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS
2. CyberSec by NordVPN
CyberSec by NordVPN has remained one of the most trusted and advanced ad blockers to date. It is also one of the ad blockers that pop-up every time you search one for your desktop because of its increased popularity. It offers top-notch protection for your desktop, keeping it free of every type of phishing attack through ads.
This is not a typical stand-alone ad blocker application, instead, it’s built into NordVPN, which keeps your computer safe by identifying malicious websites and warns you if you try to open them. It does so by keeping its database of blacklisted websites up-to-date to counter every type of cyber threat. The ad blocker is highly responsive and makes sure the ads do not affect your system’s performance.
Pricing Plan: Starting from $3.49/month
Availability: Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, Windows, Mac, Linux Android, iPhone, iPad
One of the favorites of the tech geeks, AdBlock Plus, always comes through. The ad blocker has extensions available for all the prominent browsers and is swift in action. The ad blocker is very easy to set up; the setup is pretty straightforward and cuts the chase, saving you time.
Once set up, it provides you the option for customizing filters that are used to block ads. You can even whitelist certain ads and websites if you want. Its database consists of all the websites known for ads, including the blacklisted ones against which the websites are cross-checked. Being one of the most trusted ad blockers worldwide, the advanced technology for securing desktops is truly unmatched.
Pricing Plan: It’s Free
Availability: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, macOS, Android
Just like its name, this ad blocker spooks malicious ads and cyber threats with its cutting-edge technology. Ghostery offers a very simple solution to all your desktop pop-up ads. Ghostery has this intriguing feature of showing you who is collecting your data; you will get to know the culprits.
The ad blocker stops all such shady activities and keeps your computer safe at all times. It also offers an enhanced feature that would give anonymity to your data (so that no one can track the data back to you, one level of security). Ghostery comes in various versions offering different features. Once set up, you can also customize additional features as per your system’s requirements.
Pricing plan: Free Version, Paid Version (starting $4.99/month)
Availability: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera
5. CleanWeb by Surfshark
CleanWeb by Surfshark is one gem of an ad blocker. It blocks every ad, be it a banner, autoplay video, or a sidebar one. CleanWeb lets you block ads on all of your devices simultaneously (not just desktop). Apart from removing pop-up ads, it also protects your system from malware and sites that could either slow down or harm your system.
The ad blocker also helps you evade ISP tracking, one of the reasons why you need an ad blocker. If you use public WiFi, the phishing attacks your system is exposed to can be prevented by CleanWeb. The ad blocker offers reasonable security at one of the cheapest rates for desktop ad blockers.
Pricing Plan: Starting from $2.49/month
Availability: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge
6. R.O.B.E.R.T by Windscribe
This desktop application for blocking ads is one of the fastest ad blockers when it comes to action. This powerful ad blocker comes with customizable filters for efficient Ad blocking. This ad blocker not only prevents the ads from popping up on your desktop but blocks the malicious websites that could potentially harm your website.
Once you download it, you can view the categories of content you can block. Once you set up, the changes can be instantly applied without having to wait. You get a free as well as a paid plan and can pick whichever meets your needs. R.O.B.E.R.T also counters clickbait and fake news.
Pricing plan: Free Version, Paid Version (starting from $5.75/month)
Availability: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Opera
7. AdBlock Plus
AdBlock Plus blocks all pop-up ads, stops trackers, blocks site notifications, stops floating videos, hides newsletter pop-ups, and ignores survey requests.
If any of these are annoying you, AdBlock Plus can help you block these for FREE. However, for advanced features like blocking site notifications, floating videos, newsletter pop-ups, and surveys, you need a premium version which starts at $1.99/month.
Pricing plan: Free Version, Paid Version (paid plans starting at $1.99/month)
Availability: Chrome, Safari, Opera, Edge, Android
Download: AdBlock Plus
An efficient ad blocker can be a lifesaver as it can help you focus more on work rather than ads popping out on your desktop. You can download the one that suits your needs.
Do let us know what you think about the ones we mentioned above, in the comments below!