In response to a recent tip about a paid whitelist on a well-known ad blocker for Internet browsers, several readers recommended a different ad blocking extension called µBlock. Based on their recommendations and a discussion in our forum, I decided to try µBlock and I am glad I did. This is an extension definitely worth considering as a replacement for your current ad blocker.
Actually, it is more than an ad blocker. To quote the developer:
µBlock is not an ad blocker; it's a general-purpose blocker. µBlock blocks ads through its support of the Adblock Plus filter syntax. µBlock extends the syntax and is designed to work with custom rules and filters.
The extension is available for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Safari. Download links for the various browser versions are on the developer’s site here. I have tried it on Chrome and Firefox on Windows 8.1. Even with a fast system I find browsing with it to be noticeably quicker than with Adblock Plus, which I was previously using. If you have a slower CPU or a minimal amount of RAM, the effect should be substantial.
The extension comes with an extensive set of filters and can be used as is. However, there are a number of ways an advanced user can configure the settings, including adding many more filters. Information and discussion about using the extension are at the developer’s GitHub site. There is also a very informative wiki on the site at this link. Information about the various filters is here There is also a forum devoted to the extension at Wilders Security.
When the extension is installed, a button is placed in the browser menu bar. Clicking the icon gives you the option to whitelist the page you are viewing. In the Chrome version, there is also a small eyedropper on the icon that gives the choice of selecting individual elements on the displayed page (example in the graphic on the right). More detail can be found here.
Configuring the settings can be done by the usual browser settings for configuring add-ons. In the Chrome browser, you can also right-click the µBlock menu icon to open a context menu. Select the entry “Options” and the menu shown in the graphic on the left opens.
Advanced settings such as dynamic filtering are available. This setting provides for the creation of rules for fine-grained filtering of particular sites. For example, all files of a particular type can be blocked from selected pages or rules can be constructed like “block 3rd-party frames of all origins". Most users will probably skip this advanced capability but the description of how it is done is here.
Which ad blocker, if any, to use is a personal choice but µBlock looks like a good addition to the general category.
Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your tip.
This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
Please rate this article: