What is it an ad blocker?
An ad blocker is a free web extension blocking the apparition of unwanted ads that appear on your screen when visiting certain websites. The application is also sometimes used to protect you from spyware and malware, but are mostly developed to offer a pleasant navigation. Although ad blockers have become a staple of web browsing, what do you really know about these becoming essential extensions?
How does AdBlock work?
An advertisement is usually served by servers with known addresses (eg.double-clic.net), which the ad blocker finds and hides directly in the web page. Some ads are embedded in the HTML source code to make them easily discoverable by the extension. Some ads also use specific HTML elements on certain sites so that the AdBlock tool can identify the items in the tree and delete them or set them as invisible.
The benefits of an ad blocker
Ad blockers have become indispensable when browsing the internet. If you do not see the point, here are some ways to encourage you to do it.
1. Offers a smoother navigation
When your ad blocker activates, the text and unwanted images provided with each online ad allows your browser to focus on loading the actual content of the site you want to visit, for example the article you want to read or the video you want. Read web content, without distraction or blockage.
2. Secure your navigation
Hackers exploit ad slots on some websites and load them with malicious ads that can seriously damage your computer and your data. The safest way to solve this problem is to block their display with an ad blocker.
An ad blocker can remove many ads online and reduce the risk of malicious attack. But ad blockers do not block all ads. You may not know it, but many companies pay these developers to have their ads "whitelisted".
3. Prevents the collection of your personal data
Ad Servers do not only serve ads on your browser. These servers track each of your movements online and collect all kinds of personal information about you. These data are either resold or used to provide you with targeted advertising.
Advertising blockers also have the parallel function of jamming the tracks and allow safe navigation.
4. Saving on your mobile internet package
This is especially true for those who wish to have a mobile experience without advertising. For example, on some news sites, more than half of your mobile data is consumed by untimely ads! Once cleared of "useless" content, your pages are displayed faster and your navigation is more enjoyable.
The disadvantages of ad blockers
By their popularity and the "anti-intrusive" nature of the solution, we forget to mention the disadvantages that an AdBlocker can have for a user. Let's see together what are the disadvantages of an ad blocker
1. Keep your favorite websites alive
If some servers and websites sell your personal data without your knowledge, some ad blockers do the same. Advertising blockers are free, some rely on this business model to survive.
On this point, we invite you to read our blog article about the impact of Adblock on advertisers. In order to understand in what situation they are financially.
2. Blocking some features
Ad blockers spoil the user experience on all kinds of websites, flight booking engines and even some social networks, which makes navigation uncomfortable. Fortunately, it is very easy to work around this problem by "whitelisting" some sites - to take advantage of all the display features offered.
Install an ad blocker?
For Mozilla, click the install button. Firefox will ask you to allow the AdBlock extension to install the add-on: Click "Allow".
Firefox will start installing the ad unit and ask you to confirm that you trust the author.
Click "Install Now" and add the extension to your Firefox browser.
Google Chrome installs AdBlock from the Chrome Webstore.
The installation is done in three steps
Tap in the AdBlocker search bar to display the application selection.
On the next page, click the blue "Add to Chrome" button in the upper right corner.
After clicking on this button, the following window will propose to Add the desired extension to your browser.
For Opera, go to the Opera Add-ons page.
Click on "Add to Opera". A window will appear
Please confirm by clicking on "Install". Once installed, you will be quiet!
Regarding Android devices, it is important to note that there are some limitations for unrooted devices.
To install AdBlock, you must allow the installation of applications from unknown sources:
Open "Settings" and go to "Unknown sources" (under "Applications" or "Security" depending on your device)
Tap the check box and confirm the message with "OK"
To download AdBlock Plus for Android, go to the Playstore, download the app and open it.
Once AdBlock is installed, activated and configured, all unwanted ads will be blocked.
Impact of AdBlockers on users
Some features and services are blocked or restricted by ad blockers. As a result, sometimes you miss some navigation options that affect your user experience. Webmaster's side, their content being blocked makes them not generate revenue and therefore makes them reluctant to invest to create content. This fact holds both consumers and content creators at a disadvantage.
How AdBlockers generate revenue
According to a statement from the AdBlock Plus company, the most downloaded extension, some users make donations. Yet, the business model of these companies is more dependent on the licensing system offering to add whitelisted websites. If a company generates more than 10 million ad impressions a month more, thanks to the "White Ads" program, it is invited to contribute financially to the development of the program.
"For these entities, our license fees normally account for 30% of the additional revenue generated by the whitelisting of its acceptable ads," according to market leader AdBlock. However, 90% of whitelist licenses are awarded free of charge to small businesses that do not reach this level of printing. - TRANSLATED
In the end, it's up to you to find the ethical trade-off between being safe from the dangers and embarrassment of online advertising, or letting digital media stay viable and thrive.
For a fair compromise, we recommend adopting a "smart whitelist" policy: make sure it is disabled for sites you want to support but still active for sites with untimely publicity.
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