Don’t you just love it when you’re browsing the web or running an app and an ad pops up, wasting your time, bandwidth, and system performance in order to try to make a quick sale? Of course you don’t, because you’re a human being. Most people would agree that ads are incredibly annoying, but they are more invasive today than ever before.
What’s the Deal with Adblocking Anyway?
Believe it or not, ads are a security concern and can infringe upon your privacy. Most people use tools like VPNs, proxy servers, cookie managers, and other similar applications to help limit their online footprint and circumvent annoying advertisements.
But the best way to stop ads dead in their tracks, bar none, is to use an adblocker.
One of the great things about adblockers is that they actually help maintain and protect your privacy. Most people aren’t aware that modern digital marketers have become incredibly sophisticated, and can track users’ activities and the websites they visit in order to target them with ads related to their interests.
Usually these techniques revolve around storing cookies in your browser to target you with specific ads, and they can even aggregate demographic information.
They can even make extremely intelligent guesses related to your personal information, such as your identity, age, gender, ethnicity, and a whole host of other types of personal information. The good news is that we all have a right to privacy (for now, at least), and can take advantage of adblockers to stop annoying marketers dead in their tracks.
Two of the most famed and successful adblockers are Adblock and Adguard, but how do you know which to choose? Well, today we’re going to take a closer look at each of these services to see how well they compare.
Pricing Models Compared
When comparing any two digital services, one of the top determinants in most people’s mind is the price.
Free Versions: First off, note that both Adguard and Adblock have free options. The free version of Adguard, as you might expect, is a little watered down and don’t have as many features as the paid version. Nevertheless, it’s better to use the free versions instead of forgoing adblocking software entirely.
Adblock Plus: Adblock Plus can be downloaded completely free of charge, and it doesn’t cost a dime to use. For that reason alone, I think most people prefer to use Adblock Plus. After all, why spend money when you don’t have to?
Adguard: On the other hand, Adgaurd does have free versions, but they also have three different licenses of their software for sale.
The first license is only applicable for Android devices, and costs $9.95 per year. The Standard license costs $19.95 per year, and supports Windows and Mac systems. Finally, the Premium Plan costs $24.95 per year and supports up to two devices, including support for Windows, Mac, and Android.
They also include an option to add additional device licenses in pairs of one computer and one handheld device. The maximum number of devices that can be purchased as a single package includes support for up to 9 computers and 9 mobile devices.
Features to Consider and Contrast
The features between these two different adblockers are rather diverse, starting with how the applications actually function and block ads.
Compatibility: First and foremost, be aware that Adblock Plus is a browser extension that supports Firefox, Google Chrome, Android, opera, Internet Explorer, Safari, Yandex, Maxthon, and Microsoft Edge.
Conversely, Adguard is a standalone application that only supports Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac systems. They do have some different versions of their adblocking software that functions as a browser extension as well, but only support Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Yandex, and Opera.
Despite the differences and nuances of being either a standalone application or a browser extension, there are many similarities between the features of these two competing services.
Both Stop Tracking: First off, note that both services will stop ad tracking requests dead in their tracks. They’ll help by disabling invasive banners, scripts, and special types of cookies to make sure that digital marketers aren’t tracking your online activities.
Both Stop Popups: They both also have tools designed to prevent popup ads from spawning new windows. This feature alone can speed up system performance for several reasons. Ads eat up memory and CPU cycles, and by disabling them, system resources can be spent on processing data and running apps. Furthermore, popup ads can significantly bog down your Internet connection by forcing you to download related images and other data.
Preventing the ads from loading means that your Internet will run better, and you won’t have to waste precious bandwidth downloading irritating images. If you have a weak signal on a mobile device, the difference between browsing the web with ads versus blocking them can be as dramatic as the difference between night and day.
Both Boost Security Overall: Both Adblock and Adguard also help improve system security by blocking attempts from malicious advertising entities. Some ads try to run malicious code or inundate a user with phishing attempts in order to try to get sensitive login credentials. But Adguard and Adblock maintain blacklists of websites and domains that are known to be malicious, preventing them from sending malicious advertising to your browser.
The Core Difference?
However, there is one notable advantage to using Adguard over Adblock.
Since Adblock only functions as a browser extension, it doesn’t block ads from other sources as well as Adguard.
Adblock runs independently of your web browser (that is, unless you use it’s browser extension version). But advertisers frequently leverage applications, especially freeware, to send ads to users.
Adguard can actually stop ads from being sent to your applications, such as Skype, uTorrent, and others. That’s a handy feature, especially on mobile devices, because it seems that app-advertising is much more prevalent on smartphone and tablet applications.
Lastly, note that both applications have the power to selectively disable ads given certain parameters. You can configure settings for various criteria that will help selectively block certain types of ads, giving you a high degree of control over which ads are blocked.
Value Versus Cost
Personally, I prefer Adblock over Adguard. I would have to say that Adguard is actually more powerful, and has a more robust set of features. For me, the feature that really made Adguard shine was it’s ability to stop ads in applications. Adblock can as well, though it isn’t as sophisticated or as powerful.
As such, you might be wondering why I prefer Adblock, and I’ll tell you: it’s free. Both of these services are extremely comparable. Adguard outperforms Adblock by a narrow margin due to some enhanced features, but when it’s all said and done, I’m not sure I would want to spend an extra $10+ dollars a month for such a nominal increase in features.
Plus, Adblock is available on more platforms since it functions as a browser extension. It’s also easier and simpler to install browser extensions than standalone applications, which makes it easier to setup and use.
If you’re still not sure, I’d recommend starting with Adblock and seeing how you like it. It’s free to download and use, so there’s absolutely no risk. If you are dissatisfied for any reason, then I’d recommend checking out Adguard. If you opt for a paid license, they do have a 60-day money back guarantee, which gives you two full months to test out their product.
Personally, Adblock does everything I want it to, and performs well. Nevertheless, I’ve heard plenty of people say that they use both, though I’m not sure how much better it really is to use both services.
Each service is extremely similar, and they’ll both help improve your privacy, anonymity, system performance, bandwidth, and peace of mind by stopping annoying ads from tracking your online activities.
NOTE: For a full round-up of ALL the top ad blockers, check out my guide here.