uBlock Origin vs. Adblock Plus: Which One is A Better Adblocker?

uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus
Editors' PicksTechnology

The world of advertisements has never had an abundance of money. Even in the ancient times, a sizable chunk of world’s wealth was spent by the companies on advertising, and today too it’s no different. Every year more than $500 billion are spent by the companies worldwide to advertise themselves. And about half of this amount is spent on digital advertising, which is enough to explain the reason behind large number of ads that you see on almost every website. While majority of users don’t pay any attention to them, sometimes they can be really annoying! And that particular thing has led to the rise of adblockers.

The rise of Adblockers

As the size of internet economy has increased, so has the number of ads. But technology itself provides the solution for every problem it creates, so it didn’t take long for adblocking programs to start appearing on the web. These programs allowed their users to block all ads appearing on any website, thus helping them save data, time, and even money! As these programs grew in popularity, some of them became well-known brands of the internet space. And here we’re going to talk about two such particular brands, namely Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin. These are the two most popular adblockers in the world right now, and here we’re going to determine which one is the best. Let’s get started with a brief introduction of both.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is the adblocker of choice for millions of users worldwide. That is because it was the first product of its kind to be launched in the market. Developed by Vladimir Palant in 2010, it’s an open source project licensed under GPLV3. Its free version, called Adblock, came way back in 2002, so we can say that this is a very old player in the market. Its original version only used to hide ads from the view, but they were still downloaded. Later on it developed the ability to block ads even before they’re downloaded by the browser.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin has been around for much less duration than Adblock Plus, but still it has managed to gain a sizable ground. It was launched in June 2014 as uBlock by Chris Aljoudi and Raymond Hill. About an year later both founders of the project parted ways, and that laid the foundation of uBlock Origin. While Chris continued to be in charge of uBlock, Raymond developed uBlock Origin in 2015.

Just like Adblock Plus, uBlock Origin is also an open source project. And within this short period of 3 years it has managed to grow as much as 800%. But still, the team behind it doesn’t take any donations while the team behind uBlock (the other adblocker being offered by Chris Aljoudi) accepts donations.

uBlock vs. Adblock: Which one is better?

Now when we know a bit about both these adblockers, let’s take a look on what each of them has to offer:

  • Availability: While both uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus are available for all popular browsers, Adblock Plus is also available for Android and Internet Explorer. uBlock Origin, on the other hand, isn’t available for Android and IE. Adblock Plus has also been around for much longer than uBlock Origin it’s 12 yrs old while uBlock has been around for 4 yrs only.
  • User interface: The next thing to check out about both these adblockers is their user interface. Both Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin have got one single button to enable or disable them, and both provide you some statistics about the number of ads blocked. So it’s a tie in this department.
  • Features: Coming to the features of both these adblockers now. uBlock Origin has got functionality to assist people with color vision deficiency, and also a DOM inspector for making changes to the interface of a site. Dynamic URL filtering is also a feature of uBlock Origin. Adblock Plus, on the other hand, allows you to accomplish a bit more than blocking ads alone. With its help you can disable tracking cookies, malware domains and even social media buttons on web pages. Collectively these features help in speeding up your browser and saving data if you’re on a metered connection. So Adblock Plus clearly has the upper hand here.
  • Efficiency: We just saw the high number of features that Adblock Plus has got. However, these features come at a price. Benchmark tests have shown that uBlock Origin works more efficiently than Adblock Plus. This matters if you don’t have plenty of RAM on your PC, or if you’re a heavy multitasker.

In a nutshell, uBlock Origin is more simple to use, efficient and newer to market while Adblock Plus is more feature-rich, resource hungry and old player. So which one is better? Let’s see.

Conclusion

As you can see, both uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus have their own advantages to offer. While uBlock Origin is more resource efficient and straight-to-the-point type of adblocker, Adblock Plus throws in a number of other useful features that you may want to use. Therefore, I’d say that none is better than the other and the right solution for you depends upon what you want to achieve. If all you need is an adblocker, uBlock Origin will be more than enough for you. On the other hand, if you’re a more privacy-focused user then Adblock Plus will be better for you.