The Google Chrome browser is becoming increasingly popular and gaining about 1% market share every month, most of the users are switching over from Internet Explorer. Besides being faster and more secure, Google Chrome is surpassing the Microsoft browser by offering many free extensions from external developers. Two of the most popular extensions are “AdBlock” and “Adblock Plus” – but what is the difference between the two and which one is better?
Despite the similarity in the name, the two extensions are created by different developers. Chrome Adblock Plus is based on the addon that was originally created for Firefox, with more than 120 million downloads the most popular browser addon in the world. A few months ago, Adblock Plus was ported to Google Chrome and in no time it has become the third most popular extension for Google Chrome. Adblock Plus is developed under open-source license by an international community of voluntary helpers as a non-profit project. “AdBlock” was inspired by this Adblock Plus movement and originally created for Chrome and Safari by an independent developer who is generating revenues with the software by asking for donations.
In order to analyze which one of the two operates more efficiently, the following criteria were used as a basis for the comparison:
- Blocking capability: How many ads are still coming through with an adblocker enabled?
- User interface: Which adblocker offers the best customization features?
- Performance: Is there any impact on the surfing speed?
Both Chrome extensions are working very similar: Once installed, all ads are gone automatically. The ads are even blocked before downloading, which makes browsing the internet not only cleaner but also a lot faster by saving bandwidth. The items that are blocked are defined by filter lists such as the “EasyList” that originally were created for Firefox Adblock Plus. That’s why both adblockers are blocking the same elements. They do both have one wekness: blocking video ads. While the Firefox version is very efficient in this aspect, both adblockers for Chrome are not 100% reliable on this due to a bug in the WebKit engine Google Chrome is based on. So regarding the first aspect of our criteria, both adblockers work very similar, although Adblock Plus is slightly more advanced when it comes to blocking ads on youtube.com.
The original Adblock Plus has a rather minimalistic user interface, that’s why it is still in “beta” until it offers the same functionalities as the Firefox version. AdBlock has a more sophisticated user interface and is offering advanced options such as displaying all items that are blocked on a website.
This is a very important aspect as speed is what makes browsing the web enjoyable. AdBlock has always had an inferior code-basis, causing the browser to crash and slowing Chrome down significantly when a user is opening a new tab. Since the latest update to version 2.4, there has been a major improvement. However, Adblock Plus (which is based on the code that is being used for the Firefox version) is significantly faster (about 30% on the machine used for testing) and has not once caused the browser to crash.
So which one is better?
In conclusion, both ad-blocking plugins block ads reliably, only on video sites they are both inferior to the Firefox version to limitations in Google Chrome. AdBlock for Chrome is older and still has more users. The more sophisticated adblocker, however, is Adblock Plus for Google Chrome due to a significant better performance that is making browsing the web faster instead of slowing it down.
Guest article written by: Simon Miller, one of the editors of chrome-plugins.org, a non-profit website with real reviews of extensions, apps and themes for Google Chrome.