AdBlock Plus has been quite a beloved and trustworthy choice for many years, being the most popular Firefox extension for quite a while now and the most highly rated one as well. You’ve surely heard of it as it is available for all browsers and it removes all of the internet’s annoying ads – including the ones from YouTube, Facebook and other highly demanded websites – that often consume high amounts of bandwidth. They’re not just annoying, but they also drag your internet speed to the ground and they could be carriers of a wide variety of viruses.
However, AdBlock Plus is having extremely hard times lately as a result of its new Acceptable Ads Platform that allows companies to pay for their ads to be inserted on a whitelist and, therefore, not blocked. This is becoming quite the controversial feature and it has been put to practice a few years ago with the company claiming that “because we share a vision with the majority of our users that not all ads are equally annoying, the Acceptable Ads initiative was created”. Although, what was created as a noble practice has been proving to have the exact opposite effect.
The Acceptable Ads Platform is powered by a UK-based ad tech startup called ComboTag, and this was the beginning of hell’s breaking loose on AdBlock with the company saying that the platform will contain an option that allows publishers to insert what they call “acceptable ads” that are permissible to be served to its users. Also, it was stated that ComboTag would bring its current demand-side partners, Google's AdX and AppNexus, into the equation. To tell a long story short; this was the breaking point between the aforementioned companies and ComboTag since they claim that this measure will be like establishing “toll booths on a public road”.
The Butterfly Effect
A quick look at a few users’ opinions on websites such as Reddit, among others, shows that this measure is being considered a two-edged knife by most people. There are those who don’t mind whitelisted ads and highlight the fact that this is being done via a check box that you can enable and disable at any time, while others are already moving to uBlock Origin and other similar products. There are also those who will stick with AdBlock Plus as long as it doesn’t become a provider of ads and this is exactly what’s behind such big waves of resentment. Keeping in mind that this is a free product available for everyone, many formerly happy users are now wondering how many companies will provide AdBlock Plus with a viable source of revenue.
A Viable Ad Blocking Alternative
You can avoid this entire hairy situation by simply opting for a VPN. Let’s consider Windscribe for instance, a VPN provider that features a desktop extension for Firefox which, besides granting you access to geo-blocked content while you are conveniently protected by solid encryption, features an ad block feature that also stops all kinds of ads, beacons and trackers from invading your online privacy. As we covered in our review, Windscribe proved to be a pleasant VPN experience and this feature was one that we enjoyed the most.
Best VPN Services of 2019
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