Adblocking on the internet has been a topic of heated debate in recent years. On one hand, Ads help content websites get monetized and help the owners pay their bills (Getting Geek Included) and on the other hand, ads are increasingly becoming more and more intrusive. AdBlock and AdBlock Plus are two of the most popular adblocking extensions on the market. Let’s see which one you should use in our Adblock vs Adblock Plus comparison.
What’s in the name?
Despite very similar names, both are developed by different teams. Adblock Plus was an ad-blocking extension made for Firefox. Then Adblock was made by different people for Chrome and after seeing Ablock’s popularity, Adblock Plus team made a version of its adblocking extension for Google’s browser.
AdBlock vs Adblock Plus: Similarities
Before we talk about the differences, we should discuss some of the common features that both extensions will come with.
Firstly. Both, Adblock and Adblock Plus use a common list of ads to block, meaning both extensions will block the ads the same, The list is called EasyList and it is maintained by Adblock Plus. The takeaway is that no matter what extension you choose, you will see the same end result.
Second, both extensions are open source, meaning anyone can see and edit the source code and then turn it into a new extension without paying any money.
Third, Adblock and Adblock Plus both allow some ads to be visible to the user, this is called Acceptable Ads. This list is maintained by Adblock Plus, which allegedly takes money from different Ad Companies to not block their ads. At first, Adblock did block all ads, but at the time of writing, Adblock also uses these “Acceptable Ads”. Keep in mind that these ads can be completely blocked in the settings if you want, for users, it just adds a new step after installing the Adblocker
Differences Between AdBlock and AdBlock Plus
Now that we have discussed all important similarities, let’s discuss some differences between both ad blocking extensions.
UI and Usability
First off, compared to AdBlock Plus, settings and configurations on AdBlock are fairly complicated. These are easy enough to understand and change for tech-savvy users. But, for users who are not as experienced, some settings, specially Filter lists and Customize options may be confusing. On the other side, AdBlock Plus is easier to manage and configure.
AdBlock does have a very powerful Element blocking option on its right-click menu that lets you hide any element of a webpage permanently. AdBlock Plus can not block elements easily.
Filtering and Whitelisting
AdBlock Plus makes it super easy to add and remove whitelisted websites. In case you didn’t know, these are sites that are allowed to show ads. The extension has a simple address bar where you can drop the address of a page to whitelist it. On the AdBlock extension, while you can whitelist websites, the process is not as seamless.
While it may differ in your case, I have always felt that AdBlock Plus is lighter in terms of resource usage compared to AdBlock.If you are on a less powerful computer, AdBlock Plus should be faster in terms of performance.
Adblock vs. Adblock Plus: Pros and Cons
Pros of Adblock Plus
- Adblock Plus is open source
- Easy to understand and configure
- Has very easy options for whitelisting webpages.
- Blocks most malware and popups.
- Is lighter on resources.
Cons of Adblock Plus
- Hides advanced options by default.
- It shows some advertising through controversial “Acceptable Ads” program by default.
- Element blocking is not very useful or intuitive.
Pros of Adblock
- Blocks the same ads as Adblock Plus
- Is lighter on resources and hence may perform better on old computers.
- Has a far better element blocking options compared to Adblock Plus.
- Has more advanced customization options.
- Is also open source.
Cons of Adblock
- Just like Adblock Plus, it will also show “Acceptable Ads” by default.
- Has a bit confusing UI and settings compared to Adblock Plus.
- Whitelisting is not as fast and seamless.
- There have been some privacy concerns about it in past.
Adblock vs Adblock Plus: Which one should you choose?
Adblocking has always been controversial subject in online monetization, and there are some great arguments on both sides. If you want an adblocker, between the two, you should go with Adblock Plus if you don’t need advanced features and element blocking. If you feel comfortable with using a bit advance tools and programs or you use a less powerful computer, Adblock should be a good fit for you.
In case you want another alternative, which is light on resources and has almost all the features of these extensions, I think uBLock Origin is worth a look. I have been using it regularly and I have no complaint regarding its features and performance.
On the debate of Adblock vs Adblock Plus, which side are you on? Do you use ad blockers? Let us know in the comments below…