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The Best Ad Blockers for Firefox 2023

The Ghostery ad blocker statistics in simple view.

Online ads can be annoying, intrusive, and even pose security risks in some cases. Using an ad blocker is an easy way to reclaim a clutter-free web browsing experience while protecting your privacy.

I tested over a dozen popular ad blockers compatible with Firefox to determine which ones are the most effective at removing ads and protecting your privacy. Based on my extensive testing, these are the top ad blockers for Firefox in 2023:

  1. Total Adblock – Best overall ad blocking on mobile and desktop
  2. uBlock Origin – Most customizable with unique add-on features
  3. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best for blocking malicious ads
  4. Ghostery – Most comprehensive at blocking trackers

Below I‘ll go into detail on each of these ad blockers, how they work, and the pros and cons of each. I‘ll also cover some frequently asked questions about using ad blockers with Firefox.

The 4 Best Ad Blockers for Firefox

Total Adblock – Best Overall

Total Adblock is my top choice for the best ad blocker for Firefox overall. It‘s made by the same company behind the TotalAV antivirus software, so it has strong security expertise behind it.

Total Adblock’s browser extension makes it easy to see how many ads it’s blocked as well as toggle it on and off.

Total Adblock makes ad blocking easy – just install the extension and it works in the background with no configuration needed. During my tests, it successfully blocked ads from appearing on websites and removed video ads on YouTube.

The paid version also includes useful extras like antivirus protection, anti-tracker technology, and options to block social media ads. Total Adblock is available for both desktop and mobile, with iOS and Android apps that can block ads in mobile browsers.

The only downside is the paid version is expensive at $99 per year after the first year discount expires. But if you don‘t already have antivirus software, the included security tools make the price more reasonable.

Key features:

  • Blocks ads, pop-ups, and video ads on Facebook, YouTube, and most sites
  • Easy "set and forget" ad blocking
  • Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Antivirus, anti-tracking, and social media ad blocking (paid version)

uBlock Origin – Most Customizable

uBlock Origin is an open-source ad blocker that gives you tons of customization options. It goes beyond basic ad blocking and allows power users to fine-tune exactly what gets blocked.

uBlock Origin Chrome extension plug-in.

uBlock Origin passed all of my ad blocking tests with flying colors. It blocks banner ads, pop-ups, social media ads, and even has options to block coin mining scripts and malicious sites.

One unique feature is the ability to select from different filter lists like EasyList, Fanboy Annoyances, and Dan Pollock‘s hosts file. This lets you block additional types of ads, trackers, annoyances, and even restrict which sites your browser can connect to.

The downsides are that it lacks customer support channels beyond GitHub, and some of the advanced options require technical know-how to use. But for a free, open-source ad blocker, the customization abilities are extremely powerful.

Key features:

  • Open-source ad blocker for Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and more
  • Granular control over filters and blocking rules
  • Blocks ads, pop-ups, trackers, social media content, and coin miners
  • Customizable filter lists for regional ads, annoyances, malicious sites, etc.
  • Actively developed and updated by community on GitHub

NordVPN Threat Protection – Blocks Malicious Ads

NordVPN Threat Protection is included with NordVPN‘s virtual private network (VPN) subscriptions. It provides ad blocking and also scans for malware, making it a great choice for security-focused users.

This ad blocker passed all my tests for blocking ads, pop-ups, and hidden trackers. Beyond ads, NordVPN Threat Protection can block malicious sites and scan downloads for malware. You can whitelist sites and customize filters as needed.

I like that Threat Protection works across all major desktop and mobile platforms. The catch is you have to pay for a NordVPN subscription to use it, making it one of the pricier options. But if you want a VPN along with robust ad and malware blocking, it‘s a solid 2-in-1 choice.

Key features:

  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malicious sites
  • Malware scanning and download protection
  • Works across Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
  • Can be used with or without the VPN
  • Whitelisting to allow ads on certain sites

Ghostery – Blocks The Most Trackers

Ghostery is all about blocking trackers. It leverages the largest proprietary database of trackers in the industry to provide unparalleled protection against hidden trackers.

The Ghostery ad blocker statistics in simple view.

Beyond basic ad blocking, Ghostery excels at stopping sophisticated trackers that follow you across the web. It can display all the trackers found on a site, who they belong to, and block them with a click. While Ghostery covers all the basics too, its specialty is identifying and blocking stealthy trackers.

The biggest drawback is it previously shared anonymous usage data, making some users wary of its privacy protections. But under new ownership, Ghostery no longer shares data and is a top choice for anti-tracking.

Key features:

  • Blocks ads, trackers, cookies, and beacons
  • Constantly updated proprietary tracker database
  • View and control site trackers individually
  • Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari
  • Free and paid tiers available

Other Ad Blockers Tested

I evaluated over a dozen ad blockers for this review, including some of the most popular options like Adblock Plus and AdGuard. Here‘s an overview of some other contenders and why they ultimately didn‘t make my top picks:

  • Adblock Plus – Allows "acceptable ads" through by default which defeated the purpose of ad blocking during testing. Also charges to block things like social media and video ads.

  • AdGuard – Performed inconsistently across different browsers. Needed separate extensions installed for Chrome, Firefox, etc. for full functionality.

  • DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials – Mainly focused on tracking/privacy protection. Too limited in ad blocking capabilities compared to dedicated ad blockers.

  • Brave Browser Built-in Blocker – Decent built-in ad blocking but not as customizable as a dedicated extension. Needs to use Brave browser.

  • AdBlock – Hasn‘t been updated since 2018. Lacks features and platform support compared to newer alternatives. Too basic overall.

While all the ad blockers I tested have their merits, the ones highlighted above stood out as the most effective and reliable in my testing. The right ad blocker depends on your priorities – whether that‘s strong privacy protection, malware scanning, or maximum customization.

Ad Blockers for Firefox FAQs

Does Firefox have a built-in ad blocker?

No, Firefox doesn‘t include a built-in ad blocker but it supports adding ad blocking extensions. The easiest way to get an ad blocker is to install one of the top extensions recommended above right from Firefox‘s add-on store.

How do I turn off the ad blocker on Firefox?

To disable an ad blocking extension on Firefox:

  1. Click the menu button in the top right and go to Add-ons and themes
  2. Under Extensions, find the ad blocker and toggle it to the "Off" position

This will disable the ad blocker and ads will start appearing again. Toggle it back on to re-enable ad blocking.

Can you block YouTube ads in Firefox?

Yes, all of the top ad blockers mentioned above are effective at removing video ads on YouTube when using Firefox. This includes video ads before videos, banner ads around the video, and ads in the sidebar.

Does Firefox slow down with an ad blocker?

No, using an ad blocker shouldn‘t noticeably slow down Firefox. Ad blockers like uBlock Origin are specially designed to have minimal impact on browser performance. The privacy and security benefits outweigh any minor overhead.

The Bottom Line

An effective ad blocker like Total Adblock, uBlock Origin or NordVPN Threat Protection can vastly improve your Firefox browsing experience. Not only do they provide a smooth, clutter-free web, they protect your privacy and security.

My top recommendation is Total Adblock for its effortless ad blocking that works great on both desktop and mobile. For those who want more customization or tracking protection, uBlock Origin and Ghostery are great alternatives.

No matter which ad blocker you choose, taking control of annoying ads makes browsing the web enjoyable again. Give one of these top-rated ad blockers a try and take back a clean, peaceful web!

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Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.