AdBlock and Adblock Plus (ABP) are two of the most popular ad blockers. Even though the names sound very similar, the products were developed by different companies. They have each evolved from browser extensions specific to Firefox and Chrome to support multiple browsers and platforms.
In this article we compare the two ad blockers for their effectiveness in blocking ads, the level of customization possible, and important features such as whitelisting. While both products are equally good in many ways, they have their own specific advantages in a few areas.
Origins and Similarities
The names of both products have changed quite frequently which is what causes the confusion. The ad blocker currently known as “Adblock Plus” was originally called Adblock 0.1. It was created for Firefox in 2002 by Henrik Sorensen, a Danish developer. After version 0.5, the project was abandoned until Michael McDonald improved on the original ad blocker in 2006, renaming it as “Adblock Plus (ABP).” The product is currently managed by Eyeo GmbH, a German company.
On the other hand, the product called AdBlock (notice the “B” in capitals) was originally developed in 2009 after a crowdfunding campaign by Michael Gundlach in New York City. It was originally meant to serve as a Google Chrome extension, which back then was a fairly new browser, and aptly called “AdBlock for Chrome.”
As far as similarity goes, both ad blockers trace their origins to EasyList, which still serves as a primary filter engine for ABP and AdBlock, as well as uBlock Origin. Both have similar designs where you can see the number of blocked ads.
Browsers and Platforms Supported
AdBlock currently supports Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, iOS, and Android phones. On the other hand, ABP supports all of them along with the Samsung Internet browser, Yandex, and Opera. Clearly, ABP has a slight edge over AdBlock with more platforms supported.
Both AdBlock and ABP are equally effective in blocking banner ads, videos playing sounds, and YouTube ads. However, the content creators notice that real fast, and you will be encouraged to whitelist their site if you want uninterrupted surfing. My experience with CNN is that both browser extensions felt slower than usual, although I could read the content without ad interruptions.
Also, both ad blockers were equally effective irrespective of browsers. But, the frequent reminders to whitelist may affect the overall browsing experience. I personally don’t use ad blockers because there are many features of the sites that become unusable.
However, if you have a whitelist of acceptable sites, you will not have a problem visiting the others where you don’t want to view ads. This will take care of pop-ups, annoying music, and unrelated videos.
Performance-wise, both ABP and AdBlock are equally effective in blocking ads. We will consider this round a tie.
Filtering and Whitelisting
Both ad blockers have filtering and whitelisting options. However, I found ABP’s method to whitelist the sites easier to use. Just enter the site name, and you’re done.
In comparison, AdBlock has far more capabilities such as allowing you to hide a section of the webpage. It also allows you to block any ad based on keywords, which is a superb feature. So, if you don’t want to view ads that annoy you (it could be a celebrity), you know what to do!
AdBlock has more effective filtering and whitelisting capabilities compared to ABP.
Both AdBlock and Adblock Plus (ABP) are high performing ad-blocking engines. You can use either one of them to block annoying ads online. Considering that AdBlock has more advanced filtering and whitelisting capabilities which give you more choice, we will consider it a winner of this contest.