This type of software doesn’t require an introduction, because we are all familiar with Ad blockers and what it does. There are lots of Ad blockers in the industry and the two most used are 1) Adblock Plus (extension) 2) Admuncher (Program). So what makes Adguard so special in a high competition sector??
Before I begin let me remind you some types of Ads we might encounter while using the Internet.
Animated or gif-banner
Java and Flash banners
Widgets of social networks
Some of these ads may be dangerous as they might redirect you to malicious websites. Most of these ads are harmless but they are definitely annoying.
Installation & License terms
Adguard provides a Full 14 day trial for us to test and know about its abilities
Adguard Offers 2 types of License
Standard License provide
Blocking of ads and popups
Price: One Pc One year: $19.95
One PC Lifetime License: $49.95
Premium License provide
Blocking of ads and popups
Price: One Pc One year: $24.95
One Pc Lifetime License: $59.95
Don’t worry if you cannot afford to buy a license. Adguard has provided a promotional offer through which you can enjoy the full version of Adguard. Just recommend Adguard to 4 of your friends via a unique referral link, and if they install it, you’ll be awarded with a 1 year bonus license which is equivalent to a standard license. You can read more about it athttp://adguard.com/en/get-adguard-for-free.html
Download Link (online installer)
The installation is pretty straight forward and after the installation you will be greeted with a configuration wizard where you can choose according to your preferences.
Adguard User Interface
The Adguard GUI is simple and straightforward. The developer had put some extra efforts to provide a concise description of each and every option in the GUI. Most of the options can be easily turned off and on. You can select “Extended interface” to adjust advanced options. The GUI is divided into 5 parts:
Adguard protection contains 3 Main Modules.
(1) Ad Blocker
(2) Browsing Security
(3) Parental Control
(1) Ad Blocker Module
The Adblocker Module is responsible for the removal of popups, animated ads, banners, video ads and other types of ads. This is done through the various Filter lists that are being updated frequently.
Ad blocker filters list
a. English filter— Ad filter for the English speaking Internet. This list is originally based on the EasyList filter and modified by Adguard according to the complaints from users (this is a language specific filter if the user is Russian then Russian Filter is activated at first instead of English Filter)
b. User filter — Filters that’re manually added are stored here. Even if you add an exception or hide some elements of a website, the rules are stored here. And can be activated/deactivated when needed.
c. Spyware filter — the most complete list of various Internet trackers. This filter is developed by Adguard
d. Social networks widgets filter — this filter is to remove the “Like” and “Tweet” buttons on the pages of websites. This filter is developed by Adguard
e. Experimental filter — special filter created by volunteers. Anyone can take part in creating this filter.
f. Filter for useful ads— Filter that allows ads that may be useful to users. Advertising that falls under this filter shall comply with a set of rules.
Note: In the latest beta they have added an option to use ABP filter subscriptions.
(2) Browsing Security Module
The Adguard Browser Security Module is a special module that protect us from Malicious and Phishing website. They consist of Adguard’s own filters and Googles Safe browsing service provided by Google.
Adguard Browser Security filters
· Phishing sites filter
· Malicious sites filter
The Adguard for Windows will check each object loaded on it in addition to the page itself whereas the Adguard browser extensions inspects only those pages that you visit.
Adguard uses the protocol Safe Browsing API version 2.2 so as to keep personal data safe. I was informed that their servers know nothing about the websites that we visit as they use hash prefixes for checks instead of opened URLs.
To know more please visit this Link
(3) Parental Control Module
The latest addition to Adguard is the Parental Control Module. It will be of great use for parents to protect their children from various online threats and restrict them from visiting pages with inappropriate content.
Some of the Features are listed below
· Safe Search will be enabled (most of the explicit and unacceptable contents will be excluded from search result of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo)
· Using the Parental Control, one can also restrict anyone from downloading any exe file to the computer. This prevents children from downloading and installing any software/game/harmful executable off the internet.
· Password Protection: so as to prevent children from altering the settings and bypass the parental control module
· Pre-defined Sensitivity Level: we can select from a set of 3 pre-defined level which detects the protection level to be applied.
· Whitelist and Blacklist option
Even though Adguard consists of huge filtering list it can still miss out some sites. To overcome this issue a special browser module has been developed by Adguard named Adguard Assistant. The Adguard Assistant will help you to manually block any content on a website with ease. The Assistant is also integrated with WOT reputation so that when you visit a site the assistant will show the site’s reputation according to the WOT which will give added security. When you manually block an element using Assistant, the rule will be added to the user Filter.
Note: They have made a separate extension for WOT in the latest Beta so from now on you can disable it, if you don’t want to use WOT.
I am going to show some of the significant settings option that you might want to check out.
· Main settings page
“Activate the most appropriate filters automatically”:- it automatically activates the language specific filters appropriately according to websites you visit (for ex if you visit a Russian website the Russian filter will be activated so as to filter that page
· Adblocker Settings
User Filter: – You can manually add your own rules under this tab
If you are interested in learning about how to create your own rules please visit this Page to know more
· Browser settings
Here you’ll find the list of browsers that are supported by Adguard by default. You can also manually add any browser, if the one you use, isn’t on the default list, by clicking on the “Add a browser“ option. Actually you can even add some popular programs like Skype, uTorrent etc. and Adguard will filter these as well.
· Extension settings
Adguard now supports userscripts. Adguard Assistant is actually a userscript. From this settings tab you are able to install new userscripts which you like.
· Network settings
Filter https protocol: when enabled let you filter https pages
Use WFP network driver: The advantage to using the WFP driver is it can filter Internet Explorer 64-bit with Enhanced Protected Mode enabled and Metro UI Apps. This option is disabled in default but you can try it out and if you find any issue you can always revert back to stable network driver by unchecking this option. It’s almost stable now and is expected to be the default option in the later builds.
Let’s find out what are the strategies used by Adguard for Ad blocking
Adguard uses several blocking strategies simultaneously so as to completely remove all annoying ad banners from websites
· Blocking ads by URL
· Blocking ads using CSS
· HTML code filtration
I am not going too technical into these strategies. If you need to know more about these strategies please take a look at their official Website.
My Personal experience
I always wondered what are the qualities required for a product to be a top class one. Adguard has all the qualities to become a wonderful product and the qualities I found apart from it being a stellar product is it’s backed with an outstanding support from the developer. The developer actually hears what the customers wants and have done all that he could do to implement those features. The latest example being the Memory management and the ability to add custom filter subscriptions. If you want to enjoy an ad free web experience that extends to all the popular browser I highly recommend Adguard for Windows.