AdBlock Review 2024: Is the Premium Version Worth It?

AdBlock allows you to choose where you see ads, but will it cover you or leave you exposed online?
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Editorial Rating
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On AdBlock's website

Ad Blocker
  • Blocks most page ads
  • Includes whitelisting for acceptable ads
  • Doesn’t block trackers

AdBlock is a freemium ad blocker. You can use the free product and donate if you think it’s worth it, or you can purchase the Premium version and get advanced features. While both have their advantages, we decided to test the free version to see how well it blocks ads.

We found the free plan blocked some ads, but not trackers. The best ad blockers offer a variety of features and provide broad blocking capabilities, but AdBlock doesn’t hit every mark.

  • Blocks most page ads
  • Includes whitelisting for acceptable ads
  • Offers broad compatibility
  • Doesn’t block trackers
  • Doesn’t block YouTube ads
In this article
Our experience
Paid plan
Main features
Test results
How to use AdBlock
Top alternatives
Bottom line: Is AdBlock good?

AdBlock overview

Ads blocked on Forbes 13
AdBlock Tester score 68/100
Cover Your Tracks score 1/3
Can You Block It score 2/3
Does it block YouTube ads? No
Whitelisting available Yes
Blacklisting available Yes
Compatibility Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Android, iOS
Paid version Starts at $2.00/mo
Learn more Get AdBlock

How we test and rate ad blockers

Each ad blocker we review goes through a standardized test designed to push the limits of what the software is capable of. This includes vigorous third-party testing using websites like,, and We also visit popular websites to test the ad blocker’s day-to-day capabilities, including watching YouTube videos and browsing Forbes.

Once we’ve completed the testing, we calculate our editorial rating by taking into account key features you’d expect from a good product. We score each ad blocker in the following categories and use a weighted average to calculate the final rating out of 5 stars:

  • Price
  • Test scores
  • Features
  • Browser support
  • Editorial score

To learn more about how we test, read our full ad blocker methodology here.

Our experience

We tested the free version of AdBlock on a MacBook Pro running an M2 chip and installed the extension on the latest version of Safari. Installing AdBlock was easy, and we had it up and running quickly.

AdBlock Pre-Set Up

We went to work testing it using our three ad sites, AdBlock Tester, Cover Your Tracks, and Can You Block It. We also tried bypassing paywalls and checked to see how it held up against YouTube. Overall, we were disappointed with the results.

It didn’t hide us from trackers the way we hoped, and there were still ads that popped up on YouTube when we tested it. Also, it scored only a mediocre 68/100 on the AdBlock tester site. We did find, however, that it blocked a lot of ads on regular websites we visited, although not all.

Overall, the free version of AdBlock is more useful than not having anything installed, but there are better ad blockers out there. If you think you want to try AdBlock, we’d suggest upgrading to Premium since it offers more features than the free product.

AdBlock Main Dash Settings

AdBlock paid plan

AdBlock maintains that you can always use it for free. If you find it useful, you can donate to AdBlock since it has a “pay what you can” model. If you want additional features like distraction control and a cookie consent cutter, you can purchase the Premium version.

AdBlock Free AdBlock Premium
Price Free Starting at $2.00/mo
Backup & sync
Distraction control
Cookie consent cutter

The distraction control feature can prevent video ads from following you down the page, block newsletter pop-ups, and eliminate allow requests. The cookie consent cutter auto-rejects cookies, which is more useful than you might think. As you browse the web, you’ll never need to configure the cookie settings on a website again, as this will do it for you.

Main features

AdBlock is a simplistic ad blocker, but it still offers a variety of features. There are whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities — and the Premium features — which block advanced ads like video follow ads and even cookie requests.

There aren’t a lot of other features offered, although the Premium version does include a virtual private network (VPN) for the Safari extension.

AdBlock Safari Features

AdBlock’s test results

We test ad blockers by running them through three different testing sites. AdBlock Tester includes a lot of code that mimics a variety of ads to see if the ad blocker can block them.

Cover Your Tracks sees how well the ad blocker works at hiding you from trackers and allowing you to browse anonymously online.

Finally, Can You Block It performs a series of tests to see how well ad blockers handle ads like pop-ups when a site first loads and banner ads.

AdBlock scores

AdBlock Tester Cover Your Tracks Can You Block It?
AdBlock score 68/100 1/3 2/3

Test results as of 06/07/2024.

AdBlock Test

AdBlock Cover Your Tracks test

YouTube ad test

YouTube seems to be serving more and more ads, which can really ruin your viewing experience. A good ad blocker extension stops these ads from playing when you access YouTube through your browser.

We always test our ad blockers to see if they can block YouTube ads. Unfortunately, this time, AdBlock didn’t block YouTube ads. We tried configuring some of the settings, but every time we still got ads on our YouTube videos.

If you watch YouTube via its app or don’t care about blocking out ads, AdBlock may still be a good choice for you. However, if getting rid of YouTube ads is a top priority, you may need to look elsewhere.

AdBlock YouTube test (off)
Ads appeared without AdBlock on.

AdBlock YouTube test fail
Ads also appeared with AdBlock active, which you can see from the active extension at the top — the blue stop sign with a hand in the center.

Bypassing paywall test

Paywalls are those annoying little pop-ups that happen when you’re in the middle of reading an article that block you from finishing it without purchasing a subscription. Sometimes an ad blocker can circumvent those for you. We test each ad blocker to see if it can.

Unfortunately, AdBlock wasn’t able to block paywalls from places like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. It also wasn’t able to block soft paywalls (the ones that limit you to a certain number of articles in a time frame).

AdBlock WSJ paywall

What browsers and software is AdBlock compatible with?

AdBlock offers broad compatibility with several browsers as well as iOS and Android devices. The free version of the ad blocker works on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, iOS, and Android, while the Premium version only works on desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

AdBlock Free compatibility:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Safari
  • iOS
  • Android

AdBlock Premium compatibility:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge

How to use AdBlock

  1. Download AdBlock from its site.
  2. Run the installer
  3. Enable the extension on your browser
  4. Grant AdBlock the permissions it requires
  5. Enjoy

AdBlock permission request

AdBlock permission request

The whitelisting capabilities are fairly straightforward. When you click on the extension, you can choose to allow ads on a page or a site.

AdBlock ad counter page

You can manage the white- and blacklists in the dashboard.

AdBlock dashboard

Top alternatives

We know that software is personal, so if AdBlock isn’t for you, we have a roundup of the best ad blockers on the market. Each has various features, like tracker and YouTube ad blocking.

Threat Protection

Best for Best for blocking YouTube ads Best overall Best for blocking streaming ads
Price Starts at $1.59/mo (billed annually) Starts at $3.39/mo (billed every two years) Starts at $2.19/mo (billed biennially)
Free version?
Adblock Tester score 100/100 93/100 96/100
Cover Your Tracks score 2/3 2/3 0.5/3
Can You Block It score3/3 2/3 3/3
Blocks YouTube ads?
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Chrome, Edge, Opera, Amazon Fire, Safari, Android, iOS Threat Protection:
Windows, macOS

Threat Protection Lite:
Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Edge, Firefox

Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, FireTV
Learn more Get Total Adblock Get NordVPN Threat Protection Get Surfshark CleanWeb



Why does AdBlock give you the option not to pay?

AdBlock believes in the right to browse the internet unencumbered, so it doesn’t require payment to use its base product. It also believes that people will purchase its Premium service if they find it worthwhile.

You can try AdBlock’s free option to see if it works for your needs. If you find it worthwhile, we suggest trying the Premium version.


What is AdBlock’s refund policy?

If you purchase the Premium version and then decide it’s not for you, the refund policy is a generous 60 days. AdBlock provides troubleshooting in case you’re still seeing ads, but the company won’t deny you a refund in any case.


Does AdBlock collect your data?

While AdBlock doesn’t collect much data, it does use tracking cookies on its website. It logs some user event data, enough to provide services. There are also instances where AdBlock will collect device data, time stamps, as well as other identifiers.

AdBlock discloses information when legally necessary, but states that it doesn’t sell your data. You can always update your privacy settings if you’re worried about how much information is available about you online.

Bottom line: Is AdBlock good?

AdBlock Free is okay, but AdBlock Premium is better. If you’re looking for a solid ad blocker with strong capabilities and a variety of features, there are better options. While this is a perfectly acceptable program, if you want the best ad blocker, you can find ones that block YouTube ads as well as stop online trackers.

Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AdBlock's website
Ad Blocker
  • Blocks most page ads
  • Includes whitelisting for acceptable ads
  • Doesn’t block trackers
Author Details
Mary is a seasoned cybersecurity writer with over seven years of experience. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University, she educates audiences on scams, antivirus software, and more. Her passion lies in educating audiences on helpful ways to protect their data.