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thoughts on adblockers.

i think everyone who's about has completed the raging ads survey. just in case i'll keep it open until the pre-specified 13th dec and show you all the results then.

in the meantime, i wanted to share some adblocker experiences with you guys.

first of all, a couple of people on the survey responded saying they either didn't use an adblock extension or didn't know if they did. if that was you, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. if you're not sure how to get one as an extension then DM me and i'll walk you through setting it up.

secondly, i was interested to see that the majority of people use adblock plus or adblock (33% and 22% respectively). i used to use adblock plus and switched to ublock origin a little over a week ago to see if it was any better, so i thought i'd share with you guys my experiences.

on adblock plus, i found that i had ads whether i had the blocker turned on or off. on one setting, i'd have video ads in the middle of the board when i clicked on a post, which slowed up the whole site; on the other setting, i'd have enormous, often gross ads sitting just below the links before the board posts start. i was very frustrated flicking adblock plus on and off and had heard good things about ublock so i decided to give it a whirl. i uninstalled adblock plus and installed ublock origin instead. i should note at this point that i use google chrome as my main browser and haven't tested adblock extensions on other browsers.

here's how i've found ublock origin in comparison to adblock plus.

firstly, like adblock plus, it doesn't completely get rid of all the ads. i still see them on the boards. this, for example, is my view while typing this post:


at first that annoyed me, but i've come to find that actually, that's very tolerable. what you see there is one row of ads. i usually only see one row, but will sometimes see two or three rows (each one the same height as there, so it can get quite big) of ads - however, the ads only ever expand up, not out, so they don't run across the board width or break the board. i do still get video captchas but i don't get video ads. none of the ads i've seen so far have gross images or captions (to be fair, b2g has promised to tackle that).

onto speed. i've noticed that the boards (and internet in general) is working much faster for me, which makes sense since ublock advertises itself as being a very "light" adblock extension. that definitely holds true. the ads also load faster, which means that the number of times i've clicked on an ad accidentally instead of on a post/link has been significantly reduced. so far, i've had no pop ups or redirects even when i click on an ad. i have found that i often get the annoying loading sign in the tab bar and "waiting for boards2go.com..." in the bottom left corner even when the board has already loaded (as seen in my screenshot).

options. one thing i've found i really like about ublock is that there are lots of shiny buttons i can press. i have additional options to block all sorts of things at the click of a button within my browser, such as "all pop ups" and "remote fonts". if i go deeper into ublock's settings i can whitelist or blacklist certain sites/ads and create settings for individual websites i commonly visit. there is also a snazzy tool called an "element zapper" which lets me zap away ads which have somehow made it through the adblocker. it's worth noting that for some reason, this element zapper can't get rid of the ads i still see on b2g. i dunno why.

overall, i'm really pleased with ublock and will definitely be sticking to it.

from looking at the survey stats, i've noticed that the people who are struggling most with ads are the people using adblock or adblock plus. if you're struggling with ads, i recommend trying a different adblocking extension. ublock is definitely better than adblock plus/adblock. nobody here said they used ghostery, so if someone would be willing to give that a try and report back their findings, that'd be awesome.

+ faster than adblock plus and has significantly sped up my browser
+ shorter delay in loading ads
+ customisable with lots of options, including option to block all pop ups and ability to zap away ads on non-b2g sites
+ i no longer see video ads, gross ads, or enormously wide ads
- i still see large (tall) ads
- still a delay in loading ads, albeit a shorter one
- i still get video captchas

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