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AdBlock: A Richer Suite of Options than Adblock Plus
by Andrew

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version 3.30.1

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version 3.14.0

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version 2.57

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version 2.66.0

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The Many Ways

People already know what AdBlock does - and far be it from this article to re-explain it. What is less advertised on the net today about the extension is that it is only superficially the same as Adblock Plus. They sound just alike – and indeed are in main, basic function - but on desktop, AdBlock is a wide open airfield where Adblock Plus is a helipad. You can go a lot farther from one than the other.

First, it is easier by a mile to turn on filters, which is a ways to use ad blocking software as a type of anything-else blocking software. By this it is meant that rules telling the software to remove certain other things (beside ads) on the internet by category can be installed. Adblock Plus can only do this if its users follow a download link from a webpage that is outside of its main menu, whereas AdBlock’s options menu turns them on or off. Note however that filter download links will work with AdBlock as well.

This site maintains a library of those filters for users' convenience here.

AdBlock can also be enabled or disabled in total, on certain sites, temporarily, or on all sites but one. That can happen from its drop-down menu (click its icon on the top right or left). By contrast, its friendly competitor has two modes only - on or off, and then only on a per-site basis.

But before all that, you might like to know that AdBlock can do what it does – though in a limited way – on mobile as well. You might also like knowing that there are a lot of options beyond just this way of installing mobile content blocking – use Adblock Plus instead. It has the bigger and better mobile ad blocking library between the two – which you can read about here.

AdBlock on Mobile

If you are a user of iOS Safari, or of Samsung Internet on Android, then you can use AdBlock on mobile seamlessly. If your browser of choice is something other than those, then one option is of course to learn them. And maybe there will be some motivation to do that, but the most certain other choice is to, again, go to Adblock Plus instead. It has a browser built for both platforms, among other things.

AdBlock’s apps are here.

for Safari
Safari logo

AdBlock for
Samsung Internet

Android download

Next up, desktop modes and options.

AdBlock Filters - More Choice and Easier Access

There is work involved in getting the aforementioned filters working in Adblock Plus because of the need to go to another website. But it’s all relative.

Checking a box is preferrable for some (or even most) users while for some others, a web page with some explanatory info is a more comfortable thing entirely. Preferences put aside, all computer users know what’s easier (quicker) between checking a box and visiting a web page. For that alone, AB has ABP beaten in the 'extra features' race.

Here’s where those checkboxes are. You get to this screen from the dropdown menu (click the AdBlock icon on the top left or right of the screen) then by following the path ‘Options’ > ‘Filter Lists’.

Options in AdBlock
AdBlock's filter lists that are available from its main menu are extensive.

This next image is Adblock Plus’ filter switches in its own Filters section.

Adblock Plus available filters

But back to AdBlock - these are the filters from the options menu, and the differences in the options offered to users are wide.

Important features

That’s a lot to look at in terms of filters. Here's the break down of them.

'Adblock Warning' - Blocks some ad blocker blocking popups

'Antisocial' - Blocks social media tracking

'Cryptocurrency' - Stop other computers from using yours to mine bitcoins

'EasyPrivacy' - Blocks certain trackers

'Fanboy's Annoyances' - Blocks pop-ups and 'widgets [little icons that share and like pages to social media remotely]'

'Malware Protection' - Blocks sources of malware

You might be surprised at how many ways there are to turn this extension off or on. That might sound boring, but there’s a lot that comes easier with these options, like turning off ad blocking when you need to, like to access websites. You might also want to turn ad blocking off on one page in particular. or block ads on only one site and no others.

Everything is Easier To Turn On (or Off) in AdBlock

AdBlock can be switched off and on from its main menu in ways that Adblock Plus can't.

For reference, this is that same menu in Adblock Plus. Its own on/off switch is the 'Enabled on this site' command, and is the only way to configure the extension's status from its main menu.

Adblock Plus menu

AdBlock is a lot more flexible in this way. It has four more ways to turn off, and back on, than Adblock Plus does.

AdBlock menu

Here's how those commands put the extension into different modes.

Pause on this site
This command means just what it says - AdBlock will stop working on a site for one session only. Just start a new session (make sure all windows/tabs with the site open have been closed) and it will turn back on for the site.

Pause on all sites
Stop the extension from running entirely. It remains as a menu icon that you will still be able to interact with to get it back to 'on' mode.

In Adblock Plus you can only do this by disabling it from inside your browser's extensions library. Since its icon will also disappear at this point, you will need to revisit that section of your browser's settings to turn the extension back on.

Don't run on this page
AdBlock will not block ads on the present page until you move to the next one, or back to the last one.

Don't run on pages on this site
Stops the extension from working on one site in particular.

To do the same in Adblock Plus you would un-check 'Enabled on this site' from its menu. Again, you produce that menu the same as in AdBlock - by clicking the extension's icon on either the top right or left of your screen.

Block Ads on One Domain Only
AdBlock can block ads on only one website and no others.

How to block ads on one site only

To do that, find this screen from the main menu, then -

Click 'Options' > Click the 'Customize' headline > Look to the bottom of the screen > Under 'Stop blocking ads:', click 'Show ads everywhere except for these domains...' > Enter the name of the domain in the text box.

Of course, you will see ads on all other sites (but AdBlock warns you about that).

Help, Issue Reporting and Version Histories

If you get a feeling of some misbehavior on the part of this extension, you can just click the dropdown menu (click the extension’s icon at top left or right), then visit the 'Support' section at the top of that menu. Example here.

AdBlock support center
You can report a variety of issues from the 'Support' section of the main menu.

The contrast with Adblock Plus is that in it, issues must be reported in community forums.

Updates to your version of AdBlock are found in the same place as the support section, and are presented in a little box on the same page. Click 'See the changelog!' to see the complete progress of your browser's version updates and get educated on the extension's history.

AdBlock update history
Look at all of the updates to AdBlock from inside the 'Support' section.

The changelog goes back a long time – all the way to the end of the line of updates for your browser's version in fact.

AdBlock General Info

Official Site

AdBlock Blog


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