Best Free Adblocking Add-ons for Firefox
Adblock Plus is a very well-known and popular adblocker, possibly even the most popular add-on there is. The default setup can block an impressive number of ads on an equally impressive number of websites.
Its functionality is based on plugin-like blacklists for ads, called filter lists. Subscribing to a list adds it to your setup, after which the filters will start working and blocking ads. EasyList is installed by default, but there are alternatives for everyone's tastes all over the web.
ABP comes with its fair share of performance problems though. Popular filter lists like EasyList are mindbogglingly huge and require a lot of RAM and CPU power to process. Page loading becomes noticeably slower due to all the processing of the page's content and Firefox becomes very slow after only a few minutes of browsing. To add insult to injury, most of this is completely and utterly in vain: less than 1% of the filter lists' content is actually of use to you because the other 99% only works on websites you never even visit.
However, that does not mean ABP is unusable. When used right, it can easily block all ads on every website you go to without any excess work and with almost no performance impact. Read my extensive article to learn how to get the most out of ABP!
Element Hiding Helper is a plugin for ABP. It allows you to create and use custom filters for specific page content that you don't like. Simply click "Select an element to hide", hover over the content you want to remove, adjust the target selection and click. Gone!
In order to use EHH, you'll need some basic understanding of webpage technicalities. You'll need to be able to specify filtering criteria that match only the things you want to remove and not the content you want to keep. I recommend reading my article from the previous paragraph, as it also goes into details about using EHH.
Bluhell Firewall is a small, lightweight and surprisingly effective adblocker. It has absolutely no configuration or other settings. Its filtering is based on a contraction of the popular EasyList (default list in ABP). It has almost no performance impact, but as you can guess, it also does not perfectly block everything. It's a trade-off between performance and efficiency. However, BF is part 3 of the adblocking setup I personally use, which combines the best performance with the best adblocking efficiency. Read my article in the ABP paragraph to find out more!
FlashBlock, Flash is a necessary evil on today's internet. Many websites use it, but almost always for entirely wrong purposes. Being an Adobe product, its performance, programming ethics, system integration and security leave much to be desired. It often causes freezes and other performance hiccups when it's used on webpages. For that reason, FlashBlock was created.
If a page has some embedded Flash content, FB replaces it with a placeholder or button, thus preventing Flash from starting and improving overall browsing performance. If you decide you need blocked content, simply click the placeholder and the Flash element will be restored as if nothing happened. Sites like YouTube (which still mainly uses a Flash player) can be whitelisted.
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