AdBlock Plus is an open source ad blocker browser extension. It’s the best tool of its kind I’ve tried.
It is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. While Opera has a built in ad blocker, it requires manual training. AdBlock Plus allows you to subscribe to blocking lists, making most ads go away without manual training on your part.
Once installed, open AdBlock Plus’s preferences. How this is done depends upon your browser:
- Opera: Extensions – Manage Extensions. Find AdBlock Plus, then click on the wrench icon and choose “Preferences”.
Configure as desired. I have good results with the following:
- Filter Lists: Press “Update now”.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Lots of optional lists are available, but after fooling with several I’ve decided that for my browsing habits just the default list is enough.
Some lists will break or block particular websites. You can fool with your list subscriptions to find the offending one, and then either unsubscribe from it or report the difficulty to the list maintainer. I find it easier, however, to simply disable Opera’s content blocking for that site (right click on page, select Edit Site Preferences – Content, and disable content blocking).
Lifehacker states that AdBlock Plus also “stops you from visiting known malware-hosting domains, and also disables third-party tracking cookies and scripts”. They recommend it as a replacement for extensions such as NoScripts. My experience, however, is that AdBlock Plus’s cookie and script blocking isn’t as fine-grained or informative as I prefer. I thus prefer to limit AdBlock Plus’s filters to ads, and use NotScripts for scripts and Ghostery for cookies.
ALTERNATIVES TO ADBLOCK PLUS
Other ad blocking extensions for Opera include AdBlock, AdSweep, NoAds Multilingual, and NoAds Fixed. I’m happy with AdBlock Plus, but if I were to revisit my choice, I would test them in the above order.
These notes refer to AdBlock Plus 1.3.4 on Opera 12.16 and were last updated 23 October 2013.