AdBlock vs Adblock Plus: What’s the Difference, and Which is Best?

Featured Ing Adblock Versus Adblock Plus

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.

Adblock Showing Number Of Blocked Ads

Browsers and Platforms Supported

Adblock Plus Supported Browsers Platforms

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.

Performance

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.

Adblock Plus Blocked Cnn

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.

Abp Whitelisted Sites

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!

Customize Adblock

AdBlock has more effective filtering and whitelisting capabilities compared to ABP.

Final Verdict

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.

7 comments

  1. A minor quibble: When comparing two items, one is BETTER than the other. You need to compare at least three items to determine the BEST one.

    I used to use ABP but switched to uBlockOrigin. IMO, it is better than either one of two compared in the article.

  2. You’re kidding, right? Why would anyone using an adblocker want to whitelist a website? It defeats the whole purpose of using an adblocker. How much did the advertisers pay you to say that?

    1. Indeed TheBocaDeb. I put it there to prevent ads, if a site requires me to whitelist it, I go to another site. There is no monopoly of information on the web.
      I use ad blockers, tracker blockers, WebRTC disablers, AND s seriously huge hosts file from MVPS HOSTS .

      Whitelist…. INDEED… NOT

  3. I use uBlock Origin. I navigated to the page on CNN that you showed with the whitelist request after reading several others. At no time did I get a whilelist request. Having said that, if I do get a whitelist request I try to find an alternate source for what I’m interested in, and failing that I do without. Whitelisting is not an option for me. There’s a reason I use an adblocker.

  4. If you want a paid blocker, use AdGuard, it’s a system level blocker that stops ads and tracking in every program on a device. No noticeable slowdowns. AdGuard has a browser add on too, which I used for years before going to the system level version. Both have easy to use interfaces. Otherwise, uBlock Origin; it has a learning curve, not a big deal for those so inclined. Free, too.

    AdBlock has a bizarre history, started out fine, became huge, buggy and slow, introduced acceptable ads and so on. I gave up on it long, long ago.

    A bigger issue is Chromia and to a far lesser extent, FF, are progressively decreasing the amount of user control over ads and trackers. If the current rate continues, nothing but system level or proxy based blockers will do much. Can’t do anything about Chrome, et al, because the locked code in Chromium (it’s not completely open source, only the parts Google considers insignificant to revenue) is where they place trackers and ad clients. With FF ESR and a number of config mods, a relatively private browser can be had. Chromia have numerous privacy flags that can be set but they have almost no effect on tracking; Google calls Chrome “browser based user data collection software” in their quarterly reports.

    Have to go outside the browser for decent privacy.

    1. Have you checked PaleMoon out? It is supposed to be a more private, more secure version of FF.

  5. uBlock Origin is my ad blocker of choice. Much faster surfing than either AdBlock or Adblock Plus. If a website whines about me using an adblocker, I just move on.

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