You may be thinking that annoying ads are simply the cost you pay for the convenience of using the Internet. Well, they don’t have to be. There are ways to block ads and other content by adding a tool to your browser. Today we’re going to cover one that is highly recommended by expert sites and is free to use.
Why Block Content?
Not only can you get rid of annoying ads, content blockers can also neutralize invasion of your privacy. Ad blockers don’t just remove the excessive bloat from websites, like auto-playing video and snazzy ads, which make your computer’s fan work on overtime. Ad blockers are also good for privacy, because they prevent the tracking code within ads from loading.
In turn, blocking unwanted content is a potentially effective technology for energy conservation. Loading up unwanted content is estimated at costing us $1.8B in wasted energy.
How to Block Ads and Other Unwanted Content
The uBlock Origin is a free and open-source, cross-platform browser extension for content filtering—primarily aimed at neutralizing privacy invasion in an efficient, user-friendly method.
uBlock Origin’s extension is available for most widely-used browsers, including: Chrome, Chromium, MS Edge, Opera, Firefox and all Safari releases prior to 13.
For those interested in the details, uBlock Origin integrates with your web browser and uses a set of filters to block specific content. These filters examine the elements of websites, according to their addresses (URLs), and tell the browser to not load the ones that match their filters. Setting these up manually would be complex for most users, so ad blockers include tens of thousands of such rules and maintain them up-to-date as new ad techniques appear.
For the rest of us, what you need to know is that installing uBlock Origin couldn’t be easier and the Chrome version alone has more than 10 million users. Simply go to their site and choose your browser. As Chrome is used by the majority of web users, at least in the US and UK, they’ve included a button at the top of the page. If you’re using a different browser, head to the bottom of the page to find yours. When prompted, tap “Add to…(eg Chrome)”. See below.
What’s the Cost…Really?
uBlock Origin specifically refuses donations, and instead advises all of its clients, users and supporters who would like to donate do so to block list maintainers. (Blocklist maintainers utilize email spam traps and user feedback to identify IP addresses, domain names, and email addresses that are sending unsolicited messages and spam emails. These are the “good guys” that help keep the Internet safe.)
How to Uninstall a Browser Extension
If you decide you no longer want to use this (or any other extension you’ve installed on your browser), simply tap the browser extension icon to the right of your web address bar (see below, circle top right). This will bring a drop-down menu of all your extensions. Select the one you want to uninstall (eg uBlock Origin), tap the ellipsis (3-vertical dots) menu (see yellow arrow below). Then select “Remove from Chrome” (underscored in yellow below).
And now happy browsing! If you don’t want to miss out on future posts, subscribe below. Also completely free, because we like to make sure technology is for everyone.