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The Internet Advertising Open Source Software

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus? 436

An anonymous reader writes: Wladimir Palant is the creator of the Adblock Plus browser extension, but he often gets asked how it compares to a similar extension for Chrome called Adblock. In the past, he's told people the two extensions achieve largely the same end, but in slightly different ways. However, recent changes to the Adblock project have him worried. "AdBlock covertly moved from an open development model towards hiding changes from its users. Users were neither informed about that decision nor the reasons behind it." He goes through the changelog and highlights some updates that call into question the integrity of Adblock. For example, from an update on June 6th: "Calling home functionality has been extended. It now sends user's locale in addition to the unique user ID, AdBlock version, operating system and whether Google Search ads are being allowed. Also, AdBlock will tell (or any other website if asked nicely) whether AdBlock has just been installed or has been used for a while — again, in addition to the unique user ID." Of course, Palant has skin in this game, and Adblock Plus has dealt with fallout from their "acceptable ads policy," but at least it's still developed in the open.
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

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  • None of them. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Badooleoo ( 3045733 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:33PM (#47561453) Homepage

    Adblock Edge

    • Re:None of them. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:43PM (#47561509)

      Adblock Edge is Adblock Plus without the checkbox on the first page of options menu to enable/disable acceptable ads.

      It's literally the exactly same thing in all other aspects of it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:52PM (#47561571)

        edge sounds cooler. someone needs to make an "Adblock Edge: Bismuth Edition" with every blacklist enabled.

      • by satuon ( 1822492 )

        This reminds me of SRWare Iron then, where the author admitted that he had changed some random strings to hide how little difference there really was (just some different defaults), and that he had went to forums to build hype about how Big Brother is watching you through Chrome (which amounted to the address bar suggestions).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RJFerret ( 1279530 )

      Adblocking Hosts file, doesn't matter which browser, even blocks MMO in-game store. []

    • Adblock Edge

      Fuck Everything. We're doing five blades. []

    • Unfortunately, I cannot use Adblock Edge even though I like to, since I use Chrome. The Adblock Edge developer has shown no interest in making a Chrome version available.

      And, yes, please don't tell me I need to be using Firefox - there are plenty of reasons why Chrome is preferable.

  • by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:38PM (#47561487)

    If my customer has Firefox installed, I use Adblock Plus with it. That is also what I have on my own systems.

    If they have Chrome instead, I use Adblock. I don't use Chrome, because I don't like its style, but several customers prefer it.

    • Didn't Adblock only arise due to delays in getting Adblock Plus ported to Chrome? I don't see Adblock in Mozilla's addon offerings.

      I used Adblock with Chrome until ABP became available and then I switched. Perhaps there was enough time lag and/or confusion for Adblock to remain popular on Chrome.

      • When I first researched it a little while ago, I think that Adblock was the original version of the addon, made for Chrome. Then Adblock Plus was made by a separate group, as a port to Firefox. Since I use Firefox as my main browser, that is what I am used to seeing.

        I could be wrong, and don't care to google it right now. But I consider it that I use the one for each browser that was the original one for that browser. If nothing else, it gives both programs encouragement.

  • Neither (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NIK282000 ( 737852 )

    If the ads on a site are so obstructive or malicious that you want to block them then stop using that site. Blocking ads only encourages site operators to use more aggressive ad serving tactics and resorting to that kind of subsidized assault on the user is usually an indicator that the site doesn't have anything useful on it in the first place.

    • I very rarely run into ads that are aggressive enough to get through AdBlock.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      Not my concern what they do. They don't have a right to run their bullshit javascript on my computer.

    • by Rhaban ( 987410 )

      Same here. I don’t really care about what blocking ads encourage site operators to do, but if a website have too many ads or too intrusive ones, I just stop using it.

      Same reason I refuse to play games with intrusive drms, instead of pirating it. If a company doesn’t respect me as their customer, I am no longer their customer.

  • Chrome? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @06:51PM (#47561557)

    The real question is: If you value privacy and dislike ads, why would you ever use Chrome?

    The entire goal of that browser is counter to user Privacy and choice. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, if you don't care about that stuff then I'd same Chrome is probably the best browser out there. But I do value those things, and in fact they are probably my #1 consideration when choosing a browser so I use Firefox despite its many faults.

    • by linuxguy ( 98493 )

      Chrome is my primary browser. Why shouldn't people be using Chrome if they value their privacy? Can you provide some concrete reasons, other than "Google is evil"? Some of us need evidence and not accusations.

      • Re:Chrome? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:52PM (#47561965)

        Chrome is by design a tool to report your browsing to Google. Why else should they spend money in it ?

        It began with Chrome Sync, which sends home your bookmarks, tabs and... passwords, and became better with the "Reduce data usage" option, which directs all your web browsing traffic to Google servers for analysis.

        If Google created it, it IS meant to get data about you and sell it afterward, like any other Google creation.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Chrome is closed-source (Chromium isn't Chrome) and made by a company that makes money off the data they have on you.
        For instance, anything you type on the address bar is sent to Google.

    • You'd not only rightly reject Google Chrome you'd also reject choice as a reason to favor nonfree software. Chrome is a nonfree browser so that is right out. A choice of nonfree programs doesn't satisfy what computer users need—software freedom []. Choice is easily satisfied in that there's more than one alternative but choice of software says nothing about how well the alternatives address important needs to control one's computer (rather than letting the software control the users). So choice of softwa
    • by Forbo ( 3035827 )
      Some people like Chromium, the open source version of Chrome. The only reason I stick with that rather than Firefox is that I much prefer the interface for Chromium's ScriptSafe over Firefox's NoScript.
    • Re:Chrome? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:42PM (#47561889)

      But I do value those things, and in fact they are probably my #1 consideration when choosing a browser so I use Firefox despite its many faults.

      So are you 100% google free? No Android, no Google browser, no Gmail?

      The reason I ask is because when I type something into the Firefox search bar in it's default configuration, shortly after it will appear as a suggested search in Chrome's universal address bar.

      It's not Chrome leaking user data.

      • So are you 100% google free? No Android, no Google browser, no Gmail?

        People who care doesn't use the defaults on almost anything, the big exception being Tails.

        I don't agree with your point as everything falls between 0% and 100% and those numbers are actually very hard to get. To dismiss people just because they don't do 100% of something they are preaching is a fallacy to avoid the actual argument. Chrome does leak your data and it is not a choice for those who value their privacy even a little bit.

        Just by using firefox with adblock plus and duckduckgo, will make you muc

        • People who care doesn't use the defaults on almost anything, the big exception being Tails.

          I care. In fact I care a lot. The difference is that I weigh up the benefits and the costs to options. I don't just assume that default = bad.

          Yes I read the warning when I first turned on my Android phone, the one about location sharing and opting in to Google location services and Google Play. I read them in detail and thought "fantastic!" I get services and benefits such as my phone automatically knowing where I intend to go based on a search I made on my PC right before I stepped in the car, and it helps

      • So are you 100% google free? No Android, no Google browser, no Gmail?


        The reason I ask is because when I type something into the Firefox search bar in it's default configuration, shortly after it will appear as a suggested search in Chrome's universal address bar.

        Why not simply disable it?

        • Because the benefit and ease of use leaking my data brings far outweighs the consequences to me.

          The consequence is some company knows some anonymised information about me. So far I have yet to be wronged by any of them.

          The benefit on the other hand is that when I search for a company on google maps for instance and I head out to my car, my phone automatically brings up the time it will take to get there, the main route, and thanks to other people leaking their oh so sensitive data I also get a traffic conge

          • Because the benefit and ease of use leaking my data brings far outweighs the consequences to me.

            As usual, your priorities are misplaced. The same applies to the majority of gamers, who behave like drug addicts; no matter how badly scumbag corporations abuse them with DRM, outright malware (Sony rootkits), walled gardens, etc., they always come crawling back for another fix, even if they claimed they would boycott the companies. They are profoundly ignorant.

            The consequence is some company knows some anonymised information about me.

            You are assuming that they truly are anonymizing the data. We already know corporations often work close together with the government, or will hand

            • As usual, your priorities are misplaced.

              Are they? Some minor personal data such as web searches vs some real tangible improvement in my life? Comparing me to a drug addict makes me think that you're responding more out of emotion rather than giving your response rational thought, especially considering the level of "abuse" people put up with. Take my girlfriend for instance. She paid for Sims 4. She bought it, played it without issue, and enjoyed it despite "the world is ending" kind of comments about the game's DRM on slashdot. Something not fit

    • The real question is: If you value privacy and dislike ads, why would you ever use Chrome?

      Well, I keep Chrome installed as my secondary browser because I run Firefox by default in "hazmat suit" mode (ABP, NoScript, Ghostery, RequestPolicy, etc.) which does break a lot of sites. For sites that I trust, oftentimes it is easier to just use Chrome than figure out what I need to whitelist in which plugin using FF. In terms of using it as your only/default browser, I agree with you, but even for a moderate para

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Chome is no worse than most other browsers. Firefox sends search requests to Google, IE sends them to Bing by default. They all include feedback mechanisms that can be turned off.

      Chrome actually has a pretty good porn mode. It doesn't have any advertising built in and supply supports AdBlock and other privacy enhancing plug-ins. I'm really not sure why you think it's goal is to counter privacy and choice. Can you be more specific?

  • Still? Amongst the folks I work with, Chrome is dead. Listing uTorrent as malware was the straw that broke the camel's back. So, Adblock Plus FTW!

    • Re:Chrome? (Score:5, Informative)

      by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:00PM (#47561613)
      uTorrent IS malware these days. Try installing it without unchecking all the extra crap that gets bundled with it, then come back here and tell me why it shouldn't be flagged.
      • I agree. As soon as Chrome lists the standard Java updater as malware too, I will believe this point as an argument against my point.

        • Thankfully, Chrome doesn't require Java to be installed separately, so they've kind of taken care of that problem for us. But yeah, I agree that the Java installer should be labeled as malware. Same with basically anything that comes from Sourceforge ever since they changed the downloads to install programs, complete with bundled crap.
      • uTorrent IS malware these days.

        Sadly true. I recently switched to qBittorrent and and though it lacks a few of the bells and whistles, I have not looked back.

        • by eWarz ( 610883 )
          This. Actually qBitttorent is superior in every way. It even closes when you hit the close button!
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

            The only issue I find with it is that sometimes it hangs and can't be closed. Even Process Explorer can't kill it. This is a known problem with Windows where a task hangs waiting for a driver or something in the kernel, and it may be specific to my system, but I've never seen any other app do it.

    • by linuxguy ( 98493 )

      I agree with the other poster. uTorrent is malware. In the instance you cited, Google actually was doing the right thing and protecting your ignorant ass.

      • I am ignorant about many things. My ass is ignorant to just about everything. However, my response to the other poster needs an answer. You may still be ignorant to that response's contents, but you can remedy that by reading it. Your ass, however, will remain ignorant, as mine does.

        • My ass was ignorant too, but so was I with regards to Java updater, as I thought it was only the installer that had the checkbox thing. To my dismay, they resorted to bundling it even with security updates!
          • 1. To prevent junkware prompts during the initial install, download the installer from oracle instead of, because the oracle installer does not have the junkware prompt:
            (searching for "java oracle download" will get you there)

            2. To prevent junkware prompts during the updates, disable Java Sponsors.
            A FAQ claims that in 7u65 or later, you can find a "Suppress sponsor offers when updating Java" option in the Java Control Panel's Advanced tab, but I have
  • by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:09PM (#47561665)

    I don't use Adblock, but I've been using this [] for years. I rarely see an ad unless it's served directly from the site I'm visiting, and it blocks a lot of malware as well. It has something like 16,000 entries, but doesn't seem to slow things down at all.

    • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

      That's really cool, and I'm gonna try it now. This has gotta be the first post on the Slashdots I've seen about host files not written from some raving lunatic, and actually very useful. Thanks!

    • Mod parent up. A (properly) modifed /etc/hosts file (in case you're using Linux/Unix, don't know the Windows/Mac equivalent) should be more efficient than a browser based solution. I say more efficient because you effectively cut out one step in the web browsing chain, as links to the "blocked" web sites are simply redirected to localhost (127.0.0.) instead of being first handed over to the OS for DNS resolution and then blocked by browser.

      However, compared to a browser extension, the hosts files hack can't

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        > However, compared to a browser extension, the hosts files hack can't do wildcard pattern matching,

        It also can't easily block the newest trick - DNS aliasing.

        For example: -- easy to block - hard to block

        And that's over-simplified to make it obvious, much more likely is that they use a hostname like ""

        It isn't really feasible for smaller sites to use DNS aliasing for their ad-networks. But anybody site that is bigger than a one-man operation can do it.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:24PM (#47561759) Homepage

    I'm behind Ad Limiter [], which limits Google search ads to one per page, picking the best one based on SiteTruth ratings. You can set it for zero search ads if you like. It also puts SiteTruth ratings on Google search results. It's a demo for SiteTruth search spam filtering.

    This Mozilla/Chrome add on has a general ad-blocking mechanism inside. Unlike most ad blockers, it's not based on regular expressions looking for specific HTML. It finds URLs known to lead to ads, works outward through the DOM to find the ad boundary, then deletes the ad. So it's relatively insensitive to changes in ad code, and doesn't require much maintenance. The same code processes search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, Bleeko, DuckDuckGo, and Infoseek. (Coming soon, Yandex support, and better handling of Google ads within ads, where an ad has multiple links.)

    So, if I wanted to do a better ad blocker, I could do so easily. Should I? Is another one really needed? Are the headaches of running one worth it?

  • Mu (Score:5, Informative)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:35PM (#47561837) Homepage Journal

    /etc/hosts []

    Install once, update if you care to, but it's not essential. Requires no configuration after installation, works for ALL browsers on your system with no setup, does not require the browser to "support" it in any way (i.e., extensions), never ever gets broken by browser updates, works on ancient computers with grossly out-of-date browsers. Works with ANY tcp/ip-based app on your system, really, so it lowers vectors for IM apps, Acrobat, etc.

    The first computer I used it on was an 800 MHz G3 iBook with 640 MB RAM. Some people may say a large hosts file will slow down your computer, but I've never seen that happen myself in over a decade of using it on literally every computer I have.

    It may not block EVERY ad like a dedicated extension does, but it comes really really close, and I like the fact that it works with all browsers and never requires updating. When I get a new computer, I put the hosts file on and pretty much never touch it again. A handful of sites (like hulu) will not work with an adblocker and it's a manual process to edit the file, but for unix types, that's not a problem. It blocks google's sponsored links so you may need to take that out too, for people who google "sears" and click the first (sponsored) link instead of the first actual link.

    No reason not to do security in layers and use it WITH adblocking extensions, I suppose, but I've never felt the need to.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Use both. But that one is too much since there are some valid web sites that have problems like YouTube. :(

    • by satuon ( 1822492 )

      I've heard that it doesn't work as well, that sites will look different, or not all ads will be blocked. Or that some sites will refuse to load if the ads fail, etc. I've never tried it personally, so I can't tell if it's true first hand.

  • Proxomitron [] was WAY ahead of its' time. It is still installed and running wonderfully on a couple of my systems. If you simply *must* have something which is more recently actively developed then Proximodo [] may be more up your alley. It is fully compatible with all Proximodo filters, etc. but is lacking SSL support...

  • Why use Adblock when a hosts file works across the whole system? Honestly, never understood Adblock.
  • Due to the questionable new owners of ABP, I've since changed to Edge.

    Basically, the moment people tell you that there's such a thing as "acceptable advertisement" and that anyone except you, yourself can decide which it is, you know they've sold out. It's shorthand for "we will allow advertisement that pays us to let it through".

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.