Can switchers give advice on Ad blocking in Android?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by TTTedP, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. TTTedP macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2017
    Let's skip the iOS vs Android and privacy debates for this one. A bit of info I can't find through the noise is how people's experience has been specific to ad-blocking when switching from iOS to Android.

    I dabble with Android devices pretty regularly but the one thing that drives me back every time is the increased advertising when browsing and using the device.

    On iOS I use Purify with Safari. TBH, it works really, really well. Especially when combined with Reader view. I see very little ads in my day-to-day.

    For Android, I have used paid version of AdGuard with Chrome but a bunch of stuff still gets through. They also just show blank placeholders where the blocked ads were. I am using the full features, certificate and local VPN set up. It is not, IMO, as clean of an experience.

    I am not interested in jumping through a bunch of hoops on Android; rooting my device, running 3rd party browsers, or setting up a network Pi hole. I am seeking a like-for-like experience similar to iOS/Safari/Purify.

    With all the debating about which platform is better, I still don't see this discussed too much. For the switchers out there, what combo are you using? Are you content with it?
  2. macrumors 68020

    Jun 17, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I know you don't want to hear about 3rd party browsers, but if you want adblock in a browser (Chrome), without root or DNS blocking apps, you'll have to use a 3rd party solution. I use Samsung Internet from the Play store and there's quite a bit of content blockers available for it as well on the play store. IMO, Samsung Internet is much more smooth to use and operate than Chrome but I know it lacks some Chrome / google tie ins people need. You can sync your bookmarks from Chrome browser on Windows / Mac to Samsung Internet with a Chrome extension, so at least there is that.
  3. TTTedP thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2017
    Thanks. I felt like I was missing something. I definitely would like to have synched bookmarks & tabs as one of the features. That's why I was fixated on Chrome (or Firefox if I had to).

    I am always leery of the 3rd party browsers that there is something compromising going on under the hood.
  4. Tig Bitties macrumors 68040

    Tig Bitties

    Sep 6, 2012
    I'm rooted on my Pixel 3 XL, and AdAway with extra hosts added is almost 100% perfect ad free in Chrome and Samsung browser, and other apps too, it stops all ads

    But for stock, I just found out about "AdClear" get the .apk you download from their website, not on the Play Store, and it works surprisingly well. It doesn't need root or anything, and once setup, and you set which apps to block, it really works
    --- Post Merged, Oct 29, 2018 ---
  5. The_Interloper macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2016
  6. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    From my research the most effective Android ad blocker is Firefox + uBlock Origin extension (this is open source and probably the engine behind other ad blockers like Purify). Since I prefer Chrome, a close second is Adguard app. Just make sure to disable 'allow search ads and self-promotion' and maybe why some ads are slipping through for you since I rarely/never see them. A few blank ad placeholders might show up but it's better than ads.
  7. IowaLynn, Oct 29, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018

    IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    Samsung Internet Beta. It supports 5 adblock extensions. Plus use well worth lifetime subscription for multiple devices.

    Sammy made their browser available to non-Samsung Android devices, seemed over a year ago. Nothing fisy. Very well done. It has a simplified reader view also.

    I've played with Chrome, beta, Dev, Canary, but no thanks, too many ads and marketing.

    If you use Windows, Edge can be useful too.
  8. TTTedP thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2017
    Good info, thanks. Something about "Samsung Internet" I still find fishy but I'll check on these. Firefox Focus has been a good discovery. If they had that for desktop + bookmark/tab synching, I would probably be set.
  9. Tig Bitties macrumors 68040

    Tig Bitties

    Sep 6, 2012
    Samsung internet beta

    really it is the best Android web browser out there and I'm not a Samsung fan at all but the team that put this web browser together is totally different than the people that make the phones and it's the closest to a safari type web browser you'll find an Android and ad blockers work very well with it
  10. koigirl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Samsung browser is my favorite browser. Better than Safari in my experience since switching from iPhone to Note 8. No freezes, it "just works". Not shady at all. Integrated adblocker works seamlessly.
  11. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Ditto on the Samsung browser
  12. chagla macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2008
    If you are rooted, I highly recommend using a Firewall (rooted) app. Allow only selected apps to access internet.
  13. Coffee_Time macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2017
    If you are not rooted:
    1. The best browser experience is by far OPERA BROWSER! I didn't beleive until I tried it. It has built in ad blocker, night mode, and black theme during the day. Also it's blazing fast. Zero lag! Never thought this.
    It you are still locked with Chrome, then Bromite is the key. Just google it.
    2. YouTube Vanced. Premium YouTube for free without ads.
    3. If you are lucky and your phone manufacturer didn't preinstalled FB, then Facebook apk without ads. Just search it.
    If you want to root:
    Google it, maybe Ad Blocker...
    --- Post Merged, Oct 31, 2018 ---
    P. S. Stay away from DNS, VPN ad blocking...
  14. Tig Bitties macrumors 68040

    Tig Bitties

    Sep 6, 2012

    so I could just install that without being rooted or anything just on a stock pixel 2 XL for instance? And what happens to the existing YouTube That's pre-installed already?

    this will be good for my wife's phone I have the pixel 3 XL which I'm rooted running AdAway and stuff so I'm good on ad blocking but for my wife she doesn't want her phone rooted or anything she wants it stock
  15. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Yes, there's a non-root version and it lives side by side with the official YouTube as a different app name YouTube Vanced. Additionally, you also need to install MicroG apk if you want to log in with a Google account. What's nice about it is no interrupting ads, you can set the preferred resolution and force VP9 codec.
  16. Tig Bitties macrumors 68040

    Tig Bitties

    Sep 6, 2012
    Thanks for the reply mi7chy

    So for my wife's 2 XL, non rooted, what's the best non vpn ad blocker ? She uses Samsung browser and sometimes Chrome.
  17. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Browser rendering correctness: Chrome (closest to flawless) > Firefox (close second) > Samsung

    Ad blocking: uBlock Origin (nearly flawless) > Adguard (some blank placeholders show up)

    Firefox + uBlock Origin if you prefer better ad blocking.

    Chrome + Adguard if you prefer better browser rendering.

    I have both installed and flip flop between them.

    Samsung browser has some minor but annoying glitches for me such as viewing Facebook event rsvp list, Yahoo comments and videos, etc.
  18. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    Never had issue with Adguard and Samsung. Never seen blank. Never use FB etc though. I use 5 extensions along with Adguard.

    Gave up on Firefox. Plus the reports their security was needing more work.

    I tend to use beta, Chrome Dev or Canary. Everyone has differing needs and expectations.

    I don't like how URLs often include added information on where and how you arrived on a web page.

    I used Netguard firewall but can't use it+ Adguard. Never rooted.
  19. snow755 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2012
  20. SigEp265 macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2011
    Southern California
    Another vote for Firefox + uBlock Origin extension

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