Popups are not just annoying but they also increase the usage of hardware. They cover the content that we want to read by projecting in front of the display. They are sometimes also associated with installing malware on a user’s system. Popups are considered as a highly manipulative form of intrusive advertising. Since popups are annoying, many websites have simply stopped using them as the initial means of paid advertising. However, some sites still haven’t given up on utilizing these popups. So in order to get rid yourself from these popups, you need to opt for the best free popup blocker.
The best free popup blockers will allow you to simply put an end to the entire mess created by popups. These popup and adware blockers are designed in order to turn your browsing experience into a swift one. There are a number of free popup blockers that you will find on every web browser. Moreover, many of them cover all the web browsers.
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However, most modern browsers like Google Chrome have built-in popup blockers to disable popup windows. In order to disable popups in Google Chrome, you need to click the three-dot icon first. Then select “Settings”, click “Show Advanced Settings”. Further select “Content settings” in “Privacy” section. Scroll down and you will come to the “Pop-ups” section. Here you can check the “Do not allow any site to show pop-ups” as per your desire.
Why Do You Need the Best Free Popup Blocker?
Sine all kinds of advertisements can raise the red flags so we need to get ourselves acquainted to a popup and adware blocker. An adware is a type of malware which can be detected if you start to receive a lot of undesired popups on your system.
Many unsecured websites project normal advertisements which can also make a system prone to virus attacks. Hackers can spread malware through these advertisements as well. This is not surprising at all as we are familiar with the malware spread through Yahoo’s biggest websites in 2015. A cybercrime group used ads on Yahoo’s biggest websites, like Yahoo.com and others, in order to infect user’s systems with malware.
Therefore, the necessity arises to make you accustomed to the best free popup blocker that will ensure your own security.
The Difference between Popup Blocking and Ad Blocking
Popup blocking and ad blocking are two things which are poles apart regarding their function. Therefore, one should not consider these two the same thing. These terms, however, are still used interchangeably.
Popup blockers are those that will block websites from sending out any popups. They also prevent adware from making popups spring forth. However, popups may even be launched not just by advertisements but by various other means. Many websites are there that use popups for legitimate purposes thus you might want to whitelist them.
Ad blockers block whatever advertisement it detects on a page. This includes on-page advertisements and popups as well. Ad blockers have caved-in a huge part of the whole Internet economy by blocking these on-page advertisements.
As stated by Harvard Business Review, “The debate on ad blocking is becoming increasingly polarized. Those who oppose ad blocking liken it to content piracy, arguing that exposure to ads is the price that readers must pay for free content. The other side of the debate is championed by companies who create ad blocking software, as well as online privacy activists. They criticize the effect of ads on user experience, but their biggest concern revolves around behavioral tracking, a practice used by many advertising companies to learn about users’ interests based on their web activity.”
The biggest unmeant consequence of using ad blockers is their effect on the Internet economy and their ability to put a large dent in free web content. So in order to keep the proverbial lights on many websites are now using referrals or affiliate links. Thus when using ad blockers you should keep in mind that they may have an impact on the websites that you are accustomed, to enjoy for free.
Difference between Built-in and Third-Party Popup Blockers
The modern web browsers like Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Firefox block popups automatically. They block popups due to the built-in popup blockers they are acquired with. The built-in popup blockers work by shutting down windows frantically.
However, third-party blockers are simply the web browser extensions or the individual programs that offer few added benefits as well. The third-party popup blockers block ad and popups through a domain or IP filtering.
The built-in popup blockers are therefore not quite enlightened, but with the exception of Opera. Nevertheless, the third-party blockers are designed to be more exclusive. They also have a variation based on whether the settings can be adjusted or not.
Testing Popup Blocker’s Performance
From the huge crowd of popup blockers available on the market, we decided to test plenty of them. Among these popup blockers, there were also the built-in popup blockers of the popular web browser. As well as there were the individual web browser browsers which are acquired with few added benefits.
The testing was based on two different methods which included:
- PopupTest.com – It provides 17 different tests for different popup method. Among these tests, four tests are for good popups that should not be blocked by an adept popup blocker.
- The second method involved using native ad tests for on-page and popup ads generated on the websites like http://animefushigi.co/latest-anime/. Further, it also involves a good popup for login from Bungie.net
Built-In Popup Blockers
The built-in popup blockers which we tested for some popular browsers are discussed below:
Google Chrome passed all the sample popups from PopupTest.com including the good popups as well. However, it failed the native ad test from animefushigi.co/latest-anime/. All the different ads continued to show up along with troublesome popup at the bottom of the page. Moreover, it passed the good popup test for login form Bungie.net.
Nevertheless, you can also add exceptions to Google’s popup blocker in order to add trusted URLs. This web browser also has a tracking cookie blocker.
In conclusion, we can say that Google’s built-in popup blocker is good but it is not excellent. Although Google Chrome’s built-in popup blocker won’t block the good popups it fails to block the real ads.
Unlike Chrome, Firefox has just a limited set of features on its built-in popup blocker. Tracker cookies and popups can be blocked along with the additional feature of whitelisting different websites via exceptions.
During testing, Firefox passed the popup samples from Popuptest.com. However, it also blocked the good popups.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Microsoft Internet Explorer is still included on the newer operating systems by Microsoft. However, Microsoft does brag about its Edge browser more. IE’s built-in popup blocker offers its users with more alternatives and options. This allows you to adjust the strength of your popup and ad blocking and also allows you to add in exceptions.
With the intense blocking level, IE passed all the popup samples from PopupTest.com including the good popups. IE halfway blocked one popup ad and completely failed to block the other popup put forward by animefushigi. It did not block the on-page ads but it did block the good popup for login from Bungie.net.
All in all, IE’s built in popup blocker blocks the things you wish to load whereas it fails to block the actual popups.
Microsoft Edge performed in a similar manner to Firefox and Google Chrome on the PopupTest.com test popups. It efficiently blocked all the test popups from the website and allowed all of the good popups. Moreover, it also blocked one of the two popups that were generated on animefushigi which Firefox, Chrome, and IE were unable to do. Unfortunately, with the login popup test at Bungie.net, the window did come up but failed to load the content with Edge.
Microsoft Edge does not allow adjusting the settings for its built-in popup blocker. Thus there is an inability to include exceptions for various websites. The user cannot adjust the strength of the blocker in any way as well. However, Microsoft Edge does work better than the other browsers at popup blocking.
Apart from the general popup blocking, Opera also offers a few privacy features. Opera web browser is designed to include a built-in VPN, a tracker cookie blocker, and the ability to block on-page ads as well. This web browser passed all the popup samples we put forth via Popuptest.com along with the good popup test. Since Opera is the only built-in ad blocker it blocked all the ads on the animefushigi page and the popups as well.
It loaded up the good popup for login from Bungie.net. Opera web browser shoot ahead of all the other web browsers and many of the third-party blockers due to its functionality. To sum up, we can say that Opera turned out to be an exclusive web browser then all of the other web browsers. It efficiently blocked the popup test sample from Popuptest.com and also allowed good popups to load. It blocked the inadequate popups through IP filtering. Thus Opera is considered to be the best of both worlds.
Best Free Popup Blockers
Since web browsers having default popup blocking skills leave a lot to be desired therefore users go for the best free popup blockers. Below we have enlisted some of the best third-party popup blockers that you can get yourself acquainted with:
AdBlock is one of the best free popup blockers available and it also performed undeniably well while testing. Although it failed the Popuptest.com popup samples it did allow good popups. It passed the animefushigi test and blocked all the ads and popups on that page. AdBlock also allowed Bungie.net login popup to load without any error.
It allows customization in its settings as well. AdBlock allows you to change many settings on this extension including whitelisting and individualized blocking. Furthermore, it allows you to change custom and preset filters. It also offers its users to allow ads by right-clicking and also whitelisting of particular YouTube ads.
AdBlock is the best third-party popup blocker as it is packed with extraordinary features. This free popup blocker is designed to work with Chrome but it can also be used on Opera by downloading the Google Chrome Extension.
AdBlock Plus is a simple application yet it is packed with numerous additional options. You can generate filter lists which will either allow or disallow popups from various websites. This best free popup blocker can also allow non-intrusive ads. The general whitelisting feature can be utilized and you can also create your own filtering syntax list.
However, AdBlock Plus failed the PopupTest.om popup samples but it passed the good popups. It also passed the animefushigi test remarkably. AdBlock Plus also allowed Bungie.net to create it login popup. Since AdBlock Plus is one of the best free third-party blockers with adept features. It also allows users to disable on-page ads.
AdFender being among the best free popup blocker has diverse options available. It comes with a trial version and boasts in blocking approximately everything. It works as a popup and adware blocker. However, it did not block any of the popup samples from Popuptest.com and allowed the good popups to open.
This free popup blocker efficiently blocked all the ads on animefushigi and prompted a redirect to the anti-ad blocking page quite quickly. AdFender’s metrics, made accessible from the system tray, showed that a huge amount of ads have been blocked from the site. This third-party blocker also allowed good popup from Bungie.net to load without any obstruction.
In conclusion, we can say that AdFender is among the most customizable options on the list. You can adjust many settings on AdFender which includes applying proxy settings, adjusting the listening port. It also includes settings to block tracking cookies, browsing anonymously via Tor, and viewing your blocking statistics. However, most of the features are only available on the full version rather than the trial version. The free version is only comprised of the advance popup blocking.
This best free popup blocker has a large number of customization options available. Ad Muncher offers settings for adjusting site behavior like background images, removing music, etc. It also offers prevention against tracker cookies, self-bookmarking, and very detailed ad blocking options. The customization options also include disabling of intranet connections, option to change the block message into anything you want as well as detailed and searchable logs.
Ad Muncher functioned more as a third-party blocker but failed to block the popup samples from Popuptest.com. However, it allowed the good tests to pass through and also allowed the login popup from Bungie.net to load swiftly. This free popup blocker failed to block any of the on-page advertisements but blocked the two popups from animefushigi.
Although Ad Muncher failed to block the on-page ads, it is still considered among the best free popup blockers. One can download this application if he is interested in reading the logs. The logs provided are invariably detailed and searchable. It is a top notch popup blocker for real ads. However, for on-page ads, you might have to opt for any other best free popup blocker.
uBlock is an efficient popup and adware blocker. This best free popup blocker, however, has a major drawback. The drawback is that it has only limited customization options available. But it allows whitelisting, dynamic filter rules, hide block placeholders and show a limited amount of log data. However, the strength of the filter cannot be adjusted.
This popup and ad blocker failed the popup samples from PopupTest.com but it allowed the good popups to load. uBlock also allowed the login popup from Bungie.net to load its content. On animefushigi, it blocker all the popups and the on-page ads as well thus triggering the ad-blocking page redirect.
EFF released Privacy Badger as one of the best free popup blockers. But it is somewhat difficult to rate from the rest of the third-party and built-in blockers. As EFF states, “Privacy Badger focuses on disallowing any visible or invisible “third party” scripts or images that appear to be tracking you even though you specifically denied consent by sending a Do Not Track header. It just so happens that most (but not all) of these third party trackers are advertisements. When you see an ad, the ad sees you and can track you. Privacy Badger is here to stop that.” This means that if Privacy Badger blocks an ad, then it is a tracker. Privacy Badger does not often block the same ads as other free popup blocker and adware blockers do.
Since Privacy Badger has limited additional options available so you can set filter settings. Furthermore, you can also whitelist websites, replace social widgets, show blocked ad counts, and prevent WebRTC from leaking your IP address.
Privacy Badger being the best free popup blocker efficiently blocked the bad popups and passed the good popups of PopupTest.com. It did not block any ads or popups on the animefushigi page. Thus we can assume that there were no tracking ads on the page. The only drawback we observed in Privacy Badger was that it blocked the image from loading while allowing the login popup from Bungie.net. However, this is not quite important as it did allow the login popup to load successfully.
Are you a part of the mob that wants to put an end to the popup advertisements? If yes, then you would be quite familiar with the annoyance these popups create among the users. However, you can very easily stamp out from the popup hell by making yourself accustomed with the best free popup blockers. We have cracked the whip and have brought forth the best free popup blockers as well the adware blockers. By going through the above article, you will find the best available built-in and third-party blockers that will give you a smooth sailing browsing experience.