Even before the internet became popular, we were all actively looking for ways to avoid ads as much as possible. Commercial breaks on TV were used as an opportunity to visit the bathroom or walk the dog.
But commercials on TV no longer bore us with their repetitiveness every hour, but nearly every twenty minutes, and the commercials you might have missed on TV, you can now enjoy again in the supermarket, on the bus, or online. The main drawback is that you cannot ignore those annoying pop-up ads, adware, and banners on websites by simply walking the dog. You will need to bring out the big guns. This is where pop-up blockers come in.
As the name suggests, a pop-up blocker is a program that blocks online pop-ups for you. After the rise of the world wide web, online advertising became even more attractive than advertising on TV. Not only are online ads a lot cheaper, marketers also receive tons of information (your internet use, search queries, surfing behavior), so that targeted advertising were suddenly within their reach.
The rise of online ads also enabled the rise of pop-up blockers. Every disadvantage has its advantage, though. Pop-up blockers work on almost every device, so on both desktop and laptop, as well as on tablet and smartphone.
This means that both the ads on web pages on your PC and the ads on your smartphone can be blocked.
Website owners are not happy with the rise of ad blockers, as ads are their only source of income. That's understandable. Worldwide, websites miss out on billions of dollars in revenue every year as nearly one in five internet users is using an ad blocker, and that percentage is ever increasing. When you install an ad blocker, your favorite websites might miss out on income.
So what do we do as consumers? We look away. We try to filter out all those stimuli around us and ignore them where possible. This becomes more difficult online, of course, which causes a lot of inconveniences.
Before you have the opportunity to read the text you have been looking for the last two hours, you must first click away four pop-ups and make your way through ten banners. Otherwise, you don't even get to read the text.
This way, you are almost forced to view ads before you can use the world wide web. This also means that the freedom that the internet once gave us is gradually being taken away from us. Fortunately, pop-up blockers come to the rescue.
Installing a pop-up blocker protects you from having to see dozens of ads the moment you connect to the interwebs. Unfortunately, it does not mean that you are rid of those annoying pop-ups for the rest of your life.
Still, a great pop-up blocker will make your browsing experience a lot more pleasant. The purpose of pop-up blockers is to block those annoying, screaming and most irritating ads. This results in ad-free internet, or in some cases replaces these gruesome ads with more subtle, pleasant ones that don't bother people as much. How many ads are blocked depends on the pop-up blocker you install.
Downloading pop-up blockers does not guarantee an ad-free virtual life. However, it does provide more appropriate, interesting and sometimes even fun ads.
Advertising agencies around the world are fighting pop-up blockers and see that their screaming ads no longer work. This means that after a long time of annoying pop-ups, they now have to be creative again.
One way to do that is to show in the ad that they know a pop-up blocker is being used. For example, the advertisers behind Netflix devised a specific campaign aimed at the users of pop-up blockers. When visiting the news website The Next Web, they immediately saw an alarming ad with the text: “Hello, pop-up blocker user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you.”
They were then forwarded to the Netflix website.
This creative campaign generated a lot of positive reactions even among pop-up blocker users and shows that not all advertising has to be annoying.
Advertisers are also advised to advertise as much as possible within mobile applications, as this is the one place that's still immune to pop-up blockers. Certain websites are also made inaccessible unless the pop-up blocker user (temporarily) disables the extension in order to visit the website. When you visit these websites you will immediately see a message with the 'friendly request' to turn off your pop-up blocker so that you can view the content.
All in all, pop-up blockers have several advantages. While they may cause a drop in profits for a business, it’s within their control to serve customers a pleasant browsing experience with memorable and non-intrusive ads.
In addition, pop-ups blockers speed up page loading times and improve your privacy online.
But watch out, not every pop-up blocker is equally reliable. Some service providers work with advertisers behind the scenes and are paid to let certain ads pass through the defense.
If you want to find reliable pop-up blockers that make ad-free browsing a breeze, have a look at the brands we recommend above or read their reviews here.
Looking for an ad blocker instead? Make sure to check out our best ad blockers here!