Why you need an ad blocker: from obvious benefits to hidden gems

As the name suggests, ad blockers are for blocking ads — you don't have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure that out. However, we would do ad blockers an injustice if we reduced their purpose exclusively to wiping banners, pop-ups and video ads off your screen. They have much more to offer.

Protect your privacy

Your personal data is a precious commodity in the digital world, and ads have slowly but surely become the main tool to harvest it. Data-hungry advertisers are craving information about you to bombard you with personalized ads and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. They collect chunks of data from cookies, ads and use tracking tools to keep an eye on you at all times. Your interests, worries, secrets — every action you take online — is logged and exposed for everybody willing to pay for it. Moreover, your data can be leaked, making you an easy target for hackers and governments. Ad blockers disarm advertisers, keeping your data private and everybody else clueless.

Stop malware and phishing attacks

If ads being annoying was not enough of a reason to block them, here is another one: they can infect your device with viruses, spyware or ransomware. These bad ads are controlled by cybercriminals and can look exactly like legitimate ones. In some cases, you don't even need to click on the ad to quickstart the malicious activity — loading the page will suffice. In addition to blocking ads, bad or "good", some ad blockers will also warn you if you’re about to open a phishing or otherwise potentially hazardous website.

Surf the web faster and save battery life

If you ever tried to open a page inhabited by numerous ads of all shapes and sizes, you know that it will take time to load. Bloated ads, such as big pictures and videos, cripple traffic speed, making your browsing experience dismal. Ad blockers will stop ads in their tracks so that you can enjoy web pages faster, reduce data usage and save your device’s battery life.

Enjoy clean orderly pages

Some of you may argue that there is no need to install an ad blocker as long as you can edit your hosts files. A file called "hosts" maps servers or hostnames to IP addresses the system uses to reach a particular website. However, the aftermath of your tinkering with hosts files won’t look picture perfect: prepare to deal with missed ads, ad leftovers, blank spaces and broken functionality. In short, it is a crude and hopelessly outdated way of fending off ads. Alternatively, you may want to use DNS blocking: it will prevent your server from locating certain domains. Although this method is more advanced compared to hosts files, using an ad blocker is still the most comprehensive solution of all. AdGuard ad blocker is an artist, who works with a paintbrush rather than with a bludgeon. It understands the layout of the page thanks to cosmetic filtering rules, and removes only what needs to be removed in its entirety, while leaving everything else intact.

Keep your kids safe and sane

Studies have shownthat ads that children see online may affect their life choices in the real world. And the problem is bigger than just porn and other NSFW content. Lacking critical thinking, children are gullible and are easily influenced by, for instance, junk food ads or the ads promoting an 'ideal' body look. Of course, you can enable parental controls and safe search by yourself, but using an ad blocker is a more effective and easier way to protect your kids. AdGuard ad blocker is a system-wide solution that will clear the web of all ads, including those displaying NSFW and porn content. If you want to go a step further, you can also configure a private DNS server in family protection mode.

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