back to article Adblock again beats publishers' Adblock-blocking attempts

Adblock Plus is celebrating, but publishers are scratching their heads, after German courts ruled blocking online advertisements is legal. All claims brought by German media cornerstone Spiegel Online against Eyeo GmbH, creators of Adblock Plus, were late last week dismissed by a court in Hamburg, Germany. Seven media houses …

  1. Magani
    Stop

    Keep your guard up, people.

    My copy of ABP (and NoScript) stays until webmasters stop putting in multi-tier references over which they have zero control.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep your guard up, people.

      I would like to add to your advice the suggestion to use a frequently updated hosts file. Between modifying the security settings of your browser to a level of paranoia that thwarts third party participants cold in their tracks, the use of plug ins like Ghosterie & NoScript to shield against the unknown sources, & a hosts file to give TheFinger to those known sources of shite, you should be able to surf in safety.

      Cheers & have a safe day.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Keep your guard up, people.

        Careful with HOSTS files and other domain-based blocking. You run frequent risk of false positives.

        1. frank ly

          Re: Keep your guard up, people.

          Also, the Request Policy plugin to selectively block third party content.

    2. WonkoTheSane
      Thumb Up

      Re: Keep your guard up, people.

      Throw some Ghostery & Privacy Badger into the mix as well!

    3. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Keep your guard up, people.

      UBlock Origin?

  2. MartinB105

    Why is this even a discussion?

    My browser talks on behalf of me to a server talking on behalf of a company or other person. If loading a web page was a literal discussion between me and a company, it would go something like this:

    Me: "Hi, I would like to request <x> information from you."

    Company: "Okay. But first, can I interest you in some special offers from our affiliates?"

    Me: "No thanks; I'm just interested in <x> today."

    Company: "Okay, here is <x> information."

    Ruling that Ad blocking should be illegal would be as absurd as ruling that saying "No thanks" in the above conversation should be illegal. And if it ever becomes law, it will be one law that I will never adhere to.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why is this even a discussion?

      Because that would subvert seller's discretion. Vendors shouldn't be required to sell anything. If the seller attaches conditions, it's up to the buyer whether to take them or not.

      What will you do when you need new drivers, but the manufacturer's website throws up an ad wall?

      1. frank ly

        @Charles 9 Re: Why is this even a discussion?

        The 'seller' isn't required to accept the 'buyer's' conditions. Websites can tell if you're using an ad-blocker and they are free to refuse to deliver content, if they want to. Nowadays, some websites show a polite notice saying that they can tell that you're using an ad-blocker and ask you to consider whitelisting their site.

        P.S. I'd turn off the ad-blocker on the driver website.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Why is this even a discussion?

        What will you do when you need new drivers, but the manufacturer's website throws up an ad wall?

        Never buy a device from that manufacturer again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why is this even a discussion?

          >Never buy a device from that manufacturer again.

          Yep. I bought a "smart" TV from LG a few years ago. It's generally a decent TV and I do use Netflix etc. on it, so want it to be online. However, a couple of software updates later, it started serving ads to me on its browsing screens. That would be fair enough had the TV been free, but it wasn't; I paid for it.

          This prompted me to install my own DNS server, which comes in handy as it means I don't get ads on my phone when I'm in the house as well as blocking those on the TV.

          LG will not get my cash again.

          What these people don't realise is, I don't want to see their ads. I have never clicked on them and never will. Those serving the ads are wasting their money paying these people, because they're wasting their time if they think they might sell me something.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Why is this even a discussion?

            "Those serving the ads are wasting their money paying these people, because they're wasting their time if they think they might sell me something."

            And they're probably not paying LG anything like enough money to compensate for future lack of business.

      3. William 3 Bronze badge

        Re: Why is this even a discussion?

        If the vendor throws up an ad wall for drivers it will be the last time I buy anything from them.

      4. cioldarai

        Re: Why is this even a discussion?

        If a hardware vendor did that, we won't buy their hardware. Pretty simple huh?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Why is this even a discussion?

          "If a hardware vendor did that, we won't buy their hardware. Pretty simple huh?"

          And if ALL of them do that? Would you go without that class of hardware?

    2. Adam 1

      Re: Why is this even a discussion?

      Not quite. When you ask for x, you get exactly x. This x contains URIs for other resources such as images, videos, scripts, stylesheets and frames. Your browser then requests those resources and renders them. The ad blockers work by choosing to not download some of those resources and/or adjusting the stylesheet so those resources are not visible.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why is this even a discussion?

        But the publisher can tell if ads are being loaded or not. Either their server picks them up or the ad agency tells them (legal obligation--billing). They can influence the page based on that.

        1. Adam 1

          Re: Why is this even a discussion?

          > But the publisher can tell if ads are being loaded or not

          To do this they need to wait for the ad content to download and render before delivering the content. With video or animations that is impossible. Even for simple images or text you would be adding substantial lag to your page display time for the 80%ish users who aren't using them.

          Current detection approaches involve making using JavaScript to fetch a beacon from the ad network and then detect whether that download is blocked. The simple counter measure allows such beacons to download but it does prevent simple hosts file blocking of the whole network.

          There are other possible measures. Many moons ago I had to deliver a "way too complex for html of the day" report over the web which ended up being a dynamic png rendered on the server side. These days you could do it with html5 and angular. It was an absolute usability nightmare. You could get dynamic screen sizes to be taken into account and image map out hyperlinks but it was non trivial. It also made it inaccessible to screen readers.

          I'd like to think that websites would not screw up everyone's experience to spite the relatively small proportion of users who bypass their ads. Then again, we are already stuck with animations that interfere with content, fake download buttons, etc all apparently in the name of supporting websites so yeah.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Why is this even a discussion?

            "To do this they need to wait for the ad content to download and render before delivering the content. With video or animations that is impossible. Even for simple images or text you would be adding substantial lag to your page display time for the 80%ish users who aren't using them."

            They couldn't wait for the GET request which is standard in HTTP?

  3. Ole Juul

    What kind of pathetic logic could conceive this?

    I can't believe that Spiegel, regardless of their personal preference, would actually believe that it would be be illegal to block parts of what they have on their site. I could chose to not go to their site at all and contravene their wishes even more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What kind of pathetic logic could conceive this?

      Exactly. You (I mean the generic not specific useage) have the right to say almost anything you like as long as it doesn't violate the law. However, I have the right to refuse to listen to it.

      You have the right to say it, you do not have any right to an audience.

      If you printed advertisements in a physical form (newspaper, magazine, snail mail flyer, etc) then you can try to distribute it to all & sundery, but nobody has to accept it being handed to them in a parking lot, shopping mall, or at the door to the market; you have the right to try & distribute it, but I don't have to accept it.

      You can pay to have it added to my mailbox such that I pick it up with my mail, but I am not forced to read it; I can throw it away, use it as bog paper, roll it up as fire lighters, or do anything with it that I please. You can print it in the paper, but I can ignore them as I wish.

      You can add them to your site & ask me to view them, but you have NO RIGHT to force me to do so; your right to Free Speech does not include a right to an audience. I can ignore your ads if I choose, just as I may ignore it in any other form you may attempt to force it upon me.

      TL;DR: You have the right to advertise, but I have the right to tell you to go fuck yourself. You have the right to advertise, you don't have a right to an audience.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: What kind of pathetic logic could conceive this?

        What's worse about online ads is that if you are paying for your data allowance, particularly when mobile, then they are using your data allowance to try and force feed their message.

        I don't really get how they can believe that forcing ads on users is a good idea. If we cannot choose to avoid the ads, as I can do on my TV with a TIVO etc, then I am going to see this imposition as an irritation and the company being advertised will be associated with that irritation and lose all goodwill.

        If these services need to be paid for then fine, find another way to monetise them, one that works.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Unhappy

          using your data allowance

          My wife switched to a Windows tablet purely to be able to use a proper adblocker after she used up an entire months worth of data in a morning. Just The Times crossword - the launcher page had a video ad that played on a loop even when the tab didn't have focus. That was the end of using a BlackBerry for crosswords.

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Things other than ads

    I'm finding I use Element Hiding Helper A LOT to block things like fixed-position navigation headers & footers that usually overlay 20% of the content. This screws with using page up/down, because you can't read the part that ends up under the header, so it's really annoying.

    So I block that shit. I find I don't normally miss the navigation bar anyway.

    1. MrWibble

      Re: Things other than ads

      "to block things like fixed-position navigation headers & footers"

      Also dumbass images that take up the entire page before you actually get to the text of the article. *El Reg cough cough*

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb Question

    Why haven't more Ad-funded news sites etc, embedded Ads at source? Like Facebook does to make it harder. If a story includes context sensitive photos from the article plus Ads, isn't that pretty hard to filter out? Its an ad-broker clusterfuck atm, which I'm glad to say even a simple Hosts file can successfully filter.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dumb Question

      Because that would waste their bandwidth!

      Maybe it would be a good idea to enforce publications hosting their own ads to reduce the volume?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Dumb Question

        No, the reason is legal. If ads are sourced through them, they'd have legal responsibility to curate them. Plus there's legal obligation to identify ads, so there will always be a way to detect them. And if you can detect them, you can block them, even inline. The only practical solution is ad-walling. There the law is on the publisher's side due to vendor's discretion.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Dumb Question

          "No, the reason is legal. If ads are sourced through them, they'd have legal responsibility to curate them."

          Thanks, Charles. That, in a nutshell is the problem. Gross irresponsibility on the part of the publishers. They're happy to take money and no responsibility for throwing potentially damaging stuff at their visitors.

  6. Pete4000uk

    An idea

    Stop making adverts so bloody intrusive!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: An idea

      They MUST be intrusive. Readers ignore all the other ads. Known phenomenon for over a century.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: An idea

        So, non-intrusive ads are ignored because they aren't noticed, and intrusive ads are ignored because they're so bloody annoying I refuse to pay attention and/or block them.

        Looks like a lose-lose model for the advertisers. Oh dear, how sad.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: An idea

        "They MUST be intrusive."

        Which makes them repellent.

        This amazing comment came in a recent /. discussion in the paperless office. Nothing could be more indicative of the utter lack of self-awareness of workers in the ad industry: https://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=9898731&cid=53315433

        "Readers ignore all the other ads."

        Actually this isn't true. Readers look at ads when they want to. Every Friday my local paper publishes a motoring supplement. It's filled with advertisements from the local car dealerships. I ignore them with extremely rare exceptions - when I'm looking to change car. Because I can ignore them they don't annoy me; they just become so much bedding for my grandchildrens' rabbits. Because they haven't annoyed me I'm prepared to consider giving the advertisers my custom when I need to.

        What really drives the ad industry to make intrusive ads is that there'd be much less money for themselves. The only thing the ad industry sells its own services to advertisers.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: An idea

          "Which makes them repellent."

          Which is good enough for them because it lodges them in your brain, rather than be ovelrooked like a mist otherwise. The ads have both primary and secondary effects. If you click on the ad, that's a primary effect. All fine and dandy. But even if you notice it but don't click, when the time comes to look for something in that category, that brand will jump to your mind, even if you forgot the ad itself. Love it or hate it, at least you KNOW it. That's brand awareness, a secondary effect. It's much harder to measure but also tougher to ignore because it hits the SUBconscious mind an plays on familiarity. At least you've HEARD of the brand name before, and familiarity breeds comfort when shopping. Thus why many people avoid shots in the dark.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: An idea

            "Which is good enough for them because it lodges them in your brain"

            When I was young I got stung by a wasp. That event lodged itself in my brain. In consequence I avoid wasps. In evolutionary terms this is what the wasps would "want". I'm not sure that applies to advertisers.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Brand awareness

            When it comes to car insurance, I avoid Direct Line, Admiral and Churchill purely due to their annoying adverts.

            And when the AA (Automobile Association) stated in their adverts "To our members, we are the 4th emergency service", it was time to move over to the RAC

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: An idea

            me: (Play gameplay youtube video)

            ads: BUY LOTION NOW!

            me: (Play another gameplay youtube video)

            ads: BUY! BUY LOTION NOW!

            me: (Play another gameplay youtube video)

            ads: BUY! BUY! BUY LOTION NOW!

            Yea, that sure reminded me to get ABP and never buy that brand of lotion. ffs at least match them to some related ads. It's not rocket science. Seriously, it's not that hard to scan the f*cking title for the ads. It says 'gameplay' not foreplay or beauty lesson.

  7. oneeye

    More People Need To Block Ads!

    Until a tipping point is reached, the ad industry will not reform themselves. Until that time, it will be a arms race between the blocking software and the ad industry. Until it hurts them financially for trying to develop more intrusive ways to counteract the blocking side, they will continue down the wrong path. There have to be some out there working to change this paradigm, and make ads safe, and non-intrusive. But, it will take time. I read articles the other day about all the fraud in the ad industry too. So they have major work to clean up the entire way of doing business. I think it's time to help push them over the edge, by doing a little advertising of our own, to get even more people using adblocker software.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

      The numbers favor the ad people. Ads are still so cheap to make that just one hit in say a million can justify the expense. You can't make them illegal due to freedom of speech issues, and bandwidth is double edged because BOTH ends pay for bandwidth.

      What happens when everything goes behind ad walls?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

        "Ads are still so cheap to make that just one hit in say a million can justify the expense."

        And the industry has no metrics on the negative effect of the the other 999,999 so they can go on selling their services to the special snowflakes who haven't cottoned on to the idea that the ads for their products will annoy their potentials customers just as much as other ads annoy them.

        "What happens when everything goes behind ad walls?"

        You think everything would? There'll always be some sites smart enough to thing differently and hoover up most of the traffic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

          "...selling their services to the special snowflakes who haven't cottoned on to the idea that the ads for their products will annoy their potentials customers..."

          Most bizarre is the ad industry's constant reference to its output as "content" in that way usually reserved for purveyors of pseudo luxury watches etc. The special snowflakes no doubt lap up the idea people really want to see their ads, but reading the trade journals, I'm not so sure the ad pimps aren't drinking their own magic potion, Makes for very confusing reading when absolutely everything is referred to as "content".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

        What happens when everything goes behind ad walls?

        The sites die from lack of visitors, and the sites that don't hide end up doing a roaring trade.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

          Unless they're the ONLY source of something, like a manufacturer's website. You can't trust third-party sites for drivers since you run the risk of a spyware or malware payload.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

            "Unless they're the ONLY source of something, like a manufacturer's website."

            What he said. The other sites do a roaring trade. Those won't be 3rd party driver sites, they'll be the sites of the manufacturer's competitors who don't paywall their drivers.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

              "What he said. The other sites do a roaring trade. Those won't be 3rd party driver sites, they'll be the sites of the manufacturer's competitors who don't paywall their drivers."

              Unless THEY do ad walls, too.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

        What happens when everything goes behind ad walls?

        If I find that my HOSTS file kills probably 80% of the ads. I can turn off my ad blocker and for most sites, very few get through to the browser.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

      Re: Until a tipping point is reached, the ad industry will not reform themselves.

      From my readings on other behavioural change, it would seem that 25% is a good rule of thumb. At this point people's perceptions seem to change and begin to treat the 'new' thing as normal. Hence given usage of adblockers is between 19~21%, I suspect the ad networks are working so hard currently to block the use of adblockers is an attempt to prevent the tipping point being reached...

    3. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: More People Need To Block Ads!

      The fact is, I would gladly turn off my adblockers if, and only if, they respected my privacy and do not track me (which they didn't do in the past), do not use javascript or flash or java (which they didn't do in the past), do not block all or part of a website (which they didn't do in the past), do not have any autoplay video or audio ads (which they didn't do in the past), and do not take up half of a web page's content (which they didn't do in the past).

      Advertisers had a successful model in the past, back when the internet went from luxury to necessity. If it worked once, it can work again.

  8. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Flame

    Ad walls ...

    There are a couple of sites I use regularly where I have chosen to pay a small annual subscription to view them without advertisements.

    One of these sites has recently started pushing increasingly intrusive "offers from our carefully chosen partners", which I believe to be simply greedy. Needless to say these offers cannot easily be disabled...

    Guess who won't be getting their annual subscription renewed.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: Ad walls ...

      Don't forget to tell them why, when they come cap in hand for next year's subs!

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Ad walls ...

      I totally agree with your reason, but just out of curiosity, have you mentioned your problems to the website? If nobody tells them they don't like the "offers", they won't know.

      1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

        Re: Ad walls ...

        "... have you mentioned your problems to the website? ..."

        Yes. When the new ads first appeared I assumed there had been an error, and emailed them.

        Their reply was essentially:

        • Advertising revenue pays for the site.
        • Subscribers are not shown any ads.
        • These are offers not ads, so we show them.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Ad walls ...

          Then they deserve what is coming to them.

  9. 's water music

    don't be shy

    "As this writer argued ... last year the use of script blockers, as distinct from advertising blockers, is a legitimate security defence tool to protect against the then-unchecked threat of malvertising.

    Those attacks abused... [the] ...online advertising models used by almost all sites ....

    Malvertising threats appear to have plummeted thanks to the arrest of the indefatigable authors of the Angler exploit kit by Russian police.

    There seems to be a conclusion missing here. Are you arguing that ad-blocking is not justified so long as malvertising is under control?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Advertisers, here's a novel idea.

    How about giving the "Donnies' Used Cars" hard sell a fucking rest and give the soft sell a try so people won't use adblockers to stop the shouting in their faces.

    1. VinceH

      ^ This.

      As I've said many a time, I do not use an ad-blocker on my own kit; I use a script blocker, and it has the side effect of blocking post ads - and that's a good thing due to the risk of malvertising.

      Simple, static, inlined advertisments not served up with Javascript will appear on my screen - the soft sell that Doc Ock refers to.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Advertisers, here's a novel idea."

      The advertising industry will do everything they can to avoid giving advertisers that choice because they can't charge as much for simple, non-intrusive ads. Remember that the advertising industry doesn't sell the advertisers' products, it sells its own services.

      1. VinceH

        Quite so - the advertising industry is the parasite that needs to be wiped out.

        Advertisers and publishers need to talk directly to each other and come up with a solution that works for both sides of that equation, and which will not annoy or compromise us on the receiving end - and cut out the parasites currently sitting between them.

        1. Apprentice of Tokenism

          Advertisers and publishers need to talk directly to each other and come up with a solution that works for both sides of that equation, and which will not annoy or compromise us on the receiving end - and cut out the parasites currently sitting between them.

          Perhaps a future business model for ads on computers is one that pays me, the reader/consumer/potential customer, for loading ads on my computer/phone/whatnot when I am requesting a web page. Then as soon as an ad has been loaded together with the requested web page, pass the money that is charged per that single view to me and I'll be a very happy reader/consumer/potential customer who will at times check the ads.

          Make this an opt-in choice on a per domain base and I bet you a pint that less than 25% of the readers/consumers would refuse to load the ads and rather pocket a few quid per month. Everybody wins (advertisers and customers) and it is a fair process. People who do not want ads loaded on their systems will not get any and the others who opted in on some domains will get some cash from the web pages of their choice.

          1. Jack 12

            So, if the advertisers pay the end users, how does that help the website to provide their content (for free) when there is a genuine cost associated with creating and serving that content?

            Or in this utopia, is everybody happy to pay subscriptions to websites because they are being paid to visit them?

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    Ad blocking a necessity on mobile

    Ad blocking a necessity on mobile - my top reasons are.

    1. Avoids your data allowance getting hammered.

    2. Mobile connections often a bit slow so ad blocking avoids lots off extra connections and data and makes load time

    just about bearable.

    3. Auto play video / sound. I do not want my mobile randomly blurting out some unwanted noise, especially as I may be doing something else on phone e.g. on train listening to MP3s on headphones whilst surfing, where the sudden sound is thus very intrusive.

    4. If ads are not disabled many ad laden pages re-render whilst loading, page appears to have loaded but unbeknown to you more ad dross still background loading (esp. with slow connection) and page layout could change on the fly, makes it very easy to accidentally click on something you do not wish to as page is a "moving" target - the unwanted click could easily be a malware link.

  12. Basic

    It's my device, I paid for it. I also paid for a network service to deliver data to me and the electricity to run the device. I then use my device to request specific data from the internet. The entire model of web browsing is based on a client requesting something and a server sending it.

    I ask for a webpage and receive it. The page has links to images, so I ask for them and receive them. If I choose not to ask for the adverts, that's my choice. I never signed a contract to say I have to download garbage I don't want.

    All I need to do is never request it. Publishers have no say over what I request (and should never do so... My device, bandwidth, etc).

    Where the publisher has a choice is that they can either serve me content or not. If the publisher doesn't want to send me data, there's nothing I can do to force them. That's their call. They can tell in advance if I'm using an adblocker and make a decision. They can also choose to offer services that are so good, I either put up with the ads or pay a fee to use them.

    Browsing is currently completely consensual on both sides and should remain so.

    Personally, I gladly pass up on some publishers in exchange for not having to endure 100+ tracking beacons, profiling cookies, drive-by downloads, etc... Let alone the fact that the ads themselves are annoying to begin with (and are frequently used to install malware).

    Oh and by the way, I didn't see any of the publishers rushing to give me any cash when they were making money from profiling my browsing habits (without my knowledge or consent) to line their own pockets.

  13. Wolfclaw

    Adblocker on the router, one controller to block them all. Page load times have improved dramatically !

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old vs. New

    the main problem (I think) is the "equipped to fight the last war" phenomenon.

    The publishing industry (like the music industry) is trying to recreate the "old world" in cyber space.

    Badly.

    Eventually, a new paradigm must - and will - be found. But it won't be by trying to make the future look like a digital copy of the past.

    The digital revolution in publishing echos the shift from handwritten to printed books - all of a sudden much more could be disseminated at much lower costs - resulted in a lot of shite being printed for a start.

  15. David Roberts Silver badge

    Android ad blocking question

    I am struggling to block ads and also get an acceptable response from my tablet.

    Firefox supports ad blocking but the browser seems to lose touch (sorry) with the touch screen at times so that I can't click on links and the on screen keyboard freezes up for seconds at a time. It also seems to consume a lot of power, gaining on the charger. Not seen with other browsers.

    Dolphin seems to have much the same screen problems when ad blocking.

    So I am currently using chrome which doesn’t show these problems but does show ads.

    I have read up about ad blocking with chrome but the proxy configuration (for each network connection) looks to be a real and continuing pain.

    So can anyone recommend an Android browser without performance problems?

    1. hamsterjam

      Re: Android ad blocking question

      For me (in a family house with multiple Windows, Linux and Android devices) installing something on each client was a nuisance, particularly since the most effective Android blockers seem to need root access. Pace the already mentioned DNS server, a Raspberry Pi (MK1 will do) running Pi-Hole* (pi-hole.net) has the advantage that it's not taking cycles from your device to do the work, it's easy to set up**, it costs practically nothing and everything on your network gets the benefit. Not alas 100% effective against Google and YouTube advertising yet, but it generally does wonders for the signal-to-noise level. Also gives you a webpage where you can see stats, how many ads have been blocked etc.

      * I'm not a big fan of the name, tbh. But it does shut advertiser's pie-holes.

      **As long as you understand what it's doing...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Android ad blocking question

        So what do you suggest for a total idiot that couldn't know a firewall from a garden wall? That won't cause him to raise too many complaints about false positives, either?

        1. William 3 Bronze badge

          Re: Android ad blocking question

          https://pi-hole.net/

  16. William 3 Bronze badge

    Complete Household Ad Blocking Regardless of Device

    Have a look at PiHole.

    Can be installed on a Rasberry Pi

    Or on your own Linux Server

    https://pi-hole.net/

    Works a treat.

    1. JimmyPage
      Thumb Up

      Re: Complete Household Ad Blocking Regardless of Device

      thanks for the pi-hole tip ! Just installed it and now my home network is pi-holing it from the router - so all devices are covered.

      In the first 30 minutes, c. 5% of traffic is adverts. Which, to be fair, is not too unreasonable.

  17. William 3 Bronze badge

    Um

    People who deliberately chose to block ads aren't ever going to be your customers.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Um

      "People who deliberately chose to block ads aren't ever going to be your customers."

      Charles 9 doesn't seem able to grasp this. I wonder why.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Um

        Because at some point, EVERYONE has to do ads. If you block EVERY ad, you soon run out of options for shopping, and no there are no mom-and-pops in my area. They were undercut out of business. So ALL the sellers post ads for their own survival.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Um

          Nope.... I buy a lot online but never, ever from ads. I DuckDuckGo or Google for what I want (unless it's something from a favorite seller) and go from there. I daresay that almost all of my online purchases are made from sellers who DON'T advertise.

          The few times I've bought something from one of my favorite sellers, I did turn off Adblock and sure enough, the next day I got ads for what I just bought from a lot of sellers... most of those ads seemed dodgy.

  18. Mutton Jeff

    Not to mention those Ad arbitrage click-bait flinging scum

    "You won't believe what $non-celeb from $crappy-tv-prog looks like now" - block!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not to mention those Ad arbitrage click-bait flinging scum

      I wouldn't need to read the article even if I followed $crappy-tv-prog. I'll bet money that $non-celeb looks like all the other fat cokehead munters a few years later. Give me something I can fap to, please.

  19. cs94njw

    AdBlocker is a cheeky git at the moment. They fight for us to not see ads!

    Er... unless the site they're blocking pays them a small bribe, and then you have to see them again...

    I appreciate AdBlocker have to pay the bills, but their business model leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    Maybe I should create an AdBlocker Blocker, and then charge AdBlocker money to allow their "AdBlocks" through?

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