Zuzanna Sarapata

Adblock - what is it and how does it work?

Publication date
3 min reading
Table of contents

    None of us likes it when an intrusive advertisement interrupts us from watching a YouTube video or browsing a website. Advertising on the Internet is currently the most popular form of promotion, so it's no wonder that banners, pop-ups and other ads attack us practically everywhere. As we all know, when there is a problem we tend to look for a solution as soon as possible. This is how a plug-in was created that allows you to block ads on the Internet, commonly known as adblock. If you want to find out what adblock is and how to turn it on, keep reading the article below.

    What is Adblock?

    Adblock is a fairly simple browser plug-in made with the sole purpose of blocking ads. Unlike other one-dimensional solutions, this plug-in works on sites like YouTube, Twitch and many others. Adblock’s main goal is to block banners and ads on YouTube (those before and during the video) and Facebook, pop-ups, and others. You should be aware that adblock is a very ambiguous word. Colloquially we call this any plug-in designed to block ads. Correctly, however, Adblock is an add-on that was originally created in 2002 by Henrik Aasted Sørensen. It was an open-source project, so any user could view the source code.

    What is Adblock Plus?

    In 2005, Michael McDonald decided to create Adblock plus. This was a result of the fact that the original project was very slowly developed. Adblock plus was a plug-in based on the source code of the original Adblock. It was simply supposed to be an extended version of the original, however, in 2006 Wladimir Palant decided to rewrite the program, making it a completely independent project. The new plug-in was much faster than the original. Since then, both projects functioned independently of each other. They offered open code and performed practically the same function. The situation changed in 2013 when the source code of Adblock was no longer publicly available, this resulted in Adblock becoming a completely closed project in 2014. This change seems insignificant, but taking into consideration that this plugin has access to the pages we browse and identifies the device it is running on, in combination with the lack of transparency, there is no guarantee that our data will not end up in the wrong hands. It is worth noting that Adblock Plus is still open source, so for many the choice seems obvious.

    How does Adblock work?

    In simplest terms, it blocks ads. Technically, it looks like the plugin prevents the browser from downloading the content of ads, which has a positive effect on page load speed. Targeting in ads is used everywhere, for example, shoes that we might’ve been interested in tend to show up on adspace in the websites that we browse. When we have Adblock installed we simply do not see these ads. But how to turn on adblock? Once you install it, it works automatically. However, often when we enter a given page we see a single advertisement. Then we can ask ourselves why adblock doesn't work or why adblock doesn't block ads on my website? The answer is simple. The plugin may have considered the content as "harmless" and passed it through its filter. However, nothing prevents you from manually removing such an ad (report to the plugin that the content is an ad). Another common situation is that we go to a given page and see only a message that we need to disable adblock on that page. The question arises - how to unblock adblock / how to disable the adblock plugin. It can be done in one click. Just click the adblock icon and check "do not block on this page".

    How can I download adblock?

    Ok, but how can I actually download adblock? Just go to the extension store on your browser and find the adblock plugin. Optionally, you can also type "adblock + (your browser name) in Google. The first item that pops up will be the extension store for your browser. The plugin is 100% free. If you want to know how to uninstall adblock we come with an answer. It’s as simple as the installation process. right click on the adblock icon and you will see the uninstall/remove command.

    As you can see, internet marketing is omnipresent and doesn't even give us a moment's rest. It is worth being aware of what you can do to make using the Internet more pleasant for you. It is worth mentioning that in Poland over 42% of users have Adblock installed in their browser, further proving that annoying ads are widespread and commonplace.