[Windows] AdFender is an alternative to AdBlock Plus, blocks ads on Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and more

AdFender Ad BlockerNowadays, ads are everywhere. Eevery website or blog that you visit, there’s always an ad in every page or post (including dotTech and our sister site, SharewareOnSale). Some ads are less annoying but there are those that are simply obtrusive to the extent that you could not properly view or read the content that you want. As for those who are currently seeking for a quick and easy method to get rid of these annoying ads, you might as well consider using this free ad-blocking software for Windows called AdFender.

What Is It and What Does It Do

Main Functionality

AdFender is a free ad-blocking software for Windows that you can use to block almost all sorts of ads regardless if they’re presented as pop-ups, clickable links (text ads) or banners. This software runs independent of your web browser and it basically filters the content that appears on various web pages and media channels. In other words, AdFender will automatically prevent a page from serving requests that are related to advertisements.

AdFender is compatible with almost all types of web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Epic, Chromium, K-Meleon, Waterfox, Yandex, Maxthon, etc.

Pros

  • Blocks almost all types of ads – ex. pop up ads, rich media ads, video ads, contextual ads, banners, leaderboard ads, in-app ads and a whole lot more.
  • Uses the same EasyList block list as AdBlock Plus, so ad-blocking accuracy is similar. You also have the ability to select a different block list, if you wish, and the ability to add custom rules.
  • Can also filter content and block ads in instant messengers and P2P applications
  • Supports almost all kinds of web browsers such as Internet Explorer (including the latest v11), Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, AOL Browser, Avant Browser, Chromium, Comodo Dragon, Epic, Flock, Ice Dragon, K-Meleon, Lunascape, Maxthon, Pale Moon, QtWeb Internet Browser, RockMelt, SRWare Iron, Waterfox and Yandex
  • Run as a standalone program – not browser dependent (you do not need to install a separate plug-in, add-on, or extension for any browser)
  • Shows and tracks the total number of ads that were blocked during and all throughout your web browsing sessions
  • Features other tools that you can use to protect your online privacy – ex. remove unwanted cookies, delete browsing history
  • Non-obtrusive, easy to use
  • Runs silently in the system tray area (system notification area)

Cons

  • Blocks almost all ads but, just like other ad-blocking software, it may miss an ad or two every now and then
  • I would like to know more about the privacy policy of AdFender, but can’t really find anything on its website
  • There is no easy way to disable AdFender for specific websites, such as for websites you want to support or for websites in which you notice AdFender is breaking functionality

Discussion

AdFender for WindowsAdFender works as advertised. It is a standalone software so its compatibility isn’t limited to a specific type of web browser. Moreover, this software can block almost all types of flashy and obtrusive ads especially those that randomly pops up every time you get to load a certain website or blog. This software can even block those ads that usually appear on browser-based games and videos. It also helps protect your online privacy since majority of the ads that are being served online are designed to collect your personal information and track your browsing behavior.

After installing this software, it will automatically run as a background process while keeping its icon in the system notification area. You’re then free to customize its settings according to your preferences. To do this, simply click the software’s icon in the system tray area to open its main console. You will then see an overview of the total number of ads that it has successfully blocked and you can also monitor the status of your ad blocker as to whether its content filtering feature is enabled or not. If you wish to disable its filtering feature, just click the “disable filtering” button.

What I like about this software is that it can easily block those ads that usually appear on browser-based games, web-based apps and YouTube videos. Other than this, this software also features some other tools that helps protect your online privacy. You can this software to remove unwanted cookies and it also blocks those ads that are usually integrated with your P2P client and internet messenger. As of now, AdFender supports the following internet messengers and P2P applications – AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Paltalk Messenger, Trillian, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Bearshare, BitComet, iMesh and Pando.

All in all, I can say that AdFender does a very good job in blocking ads. It is also very easy to use and it doesn’t cause your web browser to lag or crash. It is also compatible with majority of today’s web browsers plus it silently runs in the background. It is also very easy to enable or disable. Nonetheless, there’s still no guarantee that this software can completely wipe out the ads from certain websites or blogs. Some blogs directly host their ads without using any codes or scripts. This is already beyond the scope of AdFender. It is also important to note that this tool eventually replaces the ads with solid background colors.

Conclusion and Download Link

AdFender offers a great solution for users who wish to make the most out of their web browsing experience without being constantly bothered by ads — especially those annoying flashing ads. The best part about AdFender is that it works with almost any browser you can think of, something which can’t be said for other ad-blockers like AdBlock or AdBlock Plus. However, when it comes down to it, AdFender does the same thing as AdBlock Plus or similar ad-blockers: it blocks ads. So my recommendation is the following. If you are already using an ad-blocker and are happy with it, there really is not major reason to switch. However, if you don’t have an ad-blocker already or aren’t happy with the one you are using, then AdFender deserves a download. Just be sure to whitelist dotTech and our sister site SharewareOnSale… once you figure out how to whitelist, that is, because setting AdFender to ignore specific websites is quite a task. :-)

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.80

Supported OS: Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Download size: 2.59MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/49

Is it portable? No

AdFender homepage

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18 comments

  1. Neil from Ohio

    [@CJ Cotter] If it is anything like Adblock Plus–and subsequent comments about whitelisting strongly suggest that it is–then, no, it will not prevent those overlays from popping up.

    However, if the content of the overlay is recognized as an ad, then it is possible that the overlay will be blank, making it easier to find the “X” that pops it down.

  2. Mike S.

    For whatever it’s worth, program has been working pretty well for me the past 24 hours. A few ads missed but then caught on a refresh–almost as if the program was learning. And whitelisting may not be working consistently (it’s a bit unclear). Recommended, as of now–

  3. Mike S.

    To whitelist a website:

    Open the Main Console; select Filters; click Custom rules; click Add; and then at its most basic, type in

    @@||xxx.com

    where xxx.com is the website you want to whitelist;

    and then click Add; and then Apply.

    For example, to whitelist the dottech.org website, the exception rule would be as follows.

    @@||dottech.org

    Other examples of parsing (for those who can follow it) can be found via the Help file, under the subsection Filters of the section The AdFender Interface, clicking, at the bottom, “NOTE: To know more about how to write custom rules please click here”–this takes you to http://adblockplus.org/en/filters.

    Would be nice to have a simpler system for whitelisting a site, but using the above info. and the examples already in the exceptions list, easy enough to whitelist a site (or more).

    (And if someone sees that I’ve screwed something up here, please let me/us know!)

  4. ian

    Click here to purchase all the various versions of AdMuncher at 50% off, in their End of 2013 sale (still on):

    https://www.admuncher.com/buy?Coupon=Christmas2013&Complete=1&utm_source=Ad+Muncher+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5f8b047f64-Newsletter_2012-11-28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fed4adf9ae-5f8b047f64-19963061

    I bought a lifetime license a while ago, using an offer just like this. Ad Muncher works and can be customized to some extent.

  5. Mike S.

    Will be checking this software out–may be just what I need, including to handle the now-obnoxious Yahoo mail ads.

    In the meanwhile, would be helpful to see instructions on how to whitelist a site–the article says that it is a task but then doesn’t go on to explain how to do it (even though asking users to whitelist the dotTech and SharewareOnSale sites).

  6. CJ Cotter

    Have you ever gone to a website, where, you are about to click on something, but then a semi-see-through black screen covers up the entire page. A nag box then appears in the middle of the page, wanting your attention about some advertisement, or wanting you to sign up for a membership. You are not allowed access to the rest of the page until you agree to the nag-box demand.

    My question: Does this program override the black screen and unblock the page?

  7. .mau.

    [@Ashraf]
    Hi Boss, thanks for the tip!
    I don’t know if any of you remember what Douglas Adams wrote about ads on the Internet: he was thrilled, because they were unobtrusive but let the interested person search for more information. Alas, this was 15 years ago…

  8. jivadas

    [@Ishaan]

    Whatever blocker you block.with, note this. There must always be an easy way to unblock: the places you like, as I have liked this place since it was created by young Ashraf, in his ancient days.

    May your New Year be as happy as mine!

    xØx
    jd

  9. Ishaan

    [@.mau.]
    Try PrivDog by Comodo if you feel you can allow some trusted ads…

    @Others
    I’ve triedthis and yet its not that good compared to AdBlockPlus as Element hiding isn’t working for all.. Also it broke a most important site at my work place.. So I’ve skipped from my list…

  10. jivadas

    [@Ashraf]

    Hi, The Boss. I was just noticing the membership figures. I recall the number was about a thousand when I joined, long ago. Happy New Year.

    +++

    Recently, when I was testing an SoS download, I got a notice that you had detected that AdBlock was on. And would I pretty.please allow ads (because that’s where you get the money for your midnight parties?), and even showed me how to unblock in a well-designed popup.
    Of course, I was happy to comply, AdBlock is easy to use, so you are getting my penny for your ads. Wish it were more.
    I haven’t tried the current offering. I’m happy with AdBlock. But I think you should put a note within any such offering about how AdBlock is for the bad guys, certainly not for The Boss.

    xØx
    jd

  11. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@.mau.] That likely won’t ever happen. Why? Because the way ad blocking works is connections to ad networks are blocked hence ads cannot be served. There is no way to differentiate what type of ad is being served from an ad network.

    You can, however, solve the video and pop-over type ads issue by enabling click-to-play for Flash.

  12. .mau.

    I would like a blocking ad software which lets me choose which type of ads should not be shown. For example, I don’t mind text ads, and I accept still images, but I hate videos or animated gifs, and i don’t definitely want pop-up, pop-under, pop-over and the like.