AdBlock vs. AdThwart

I’ve been using Google Chrome as my browser for about three months now, ever since my previous browser, Firefox, grew morbidly obese and AVG AntiVirus decided to strangle it. It would hang up, grind to a halt, lock up, and refuse to shut down without a forced shut down in the Task Manager. After wrangling the two of them and researching online to discover that AVG 8 and Firefox weren’t getting along, I dumped AVG for a Avira AntiVir (disabling the annoying pop-up ad), and made the move to Chrome.

I missed my AdBlock add-on from Firefox. It’s probably one of the main reasons people weren’t making the move from Firefox to Chrome. I absolutely couldn’t stand surfing with ads. I’d grown quite unaccustomed to it. So, I went with using Privoxy, and things were shiny in Google Chrome land. I grew to really like Chrome, with it’s speed and pared-down interface.

A few months later, Google came out with extensions for Chrome. I waited a bit before diving in, noting that there were now two options to choose from for blocking ads: AdThwart and AdBlock. I was initially drawn to AdBlock, since that is the one I’d become accustomed to for all those years of using Firefox. But, I decided to do a little online research to see what others said. This is what I found:

  • AdThwart sucks.
  • No, Adblock sucks.
  • AdThwart slows everything down.
  • No, Adblock does.
  • AdThwart lacks such-and-such.
  • No, Adblock does.
  • AdThwart doesn’t block, it only hides!
  • That’s what Adblock does, too!
  • Install them both for best coverage.
  • Are you insane?!

I decided to try them both out, one at a time. You can take the following review for what it’s worth, it being a general user’s review, and not a tech writer or geek review.

I did not notice any reductions in browser speed with either extension. AdBlock, though, allowed the ad to appear momentarily before blocking it. AdThwart did not. There still remained, however, a white space where the ad would have been in both extensions.

My main reason for considering moving from the use of Privoxy was the inability to see any pages from the Statcounter.com website (not refused access, but simply not showing up at all). With AdBlock and AdThwart, I could access the pages. Nevertheless, I removed both extensions and went back with Privoxy. Privoxy wasn’t as easy to install and I don’t have the chops to start messing around with trust files and whitelists to allow Statcounter to be viewed, but I prefer how it handles not only ad blocking, but the blocking of certain kinds of sites and other browsing features.

I may decide to go with an extension under the assumption that some of the things I did not care for will be worked out. If I did choose an extension now, though, it would be AdThwart simply because I don’t want to see an ad before it’s blocked. However, Privoxy was working fine, and I guess I’ll stay with that for now.

UPDATE: Here is an additional review of the two products. If you have your own experiences or thoughts on the two, please leave a comment below. I’ll publish them if they are serious and in good taste.

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Comments

Comments

  1. Mario says

    BeBizzy, are you out of your mind?
    This Microsoft Essentials of the worst thing ever!
    People don’t install it, it never finds any infections on your CPU.
    What kind of an expert are you, BeBizzy? :]

  2. says

    I disagree. Avast is a solid antivirus program that compares well to full version PAID antivirus applications.

    Security Essentials is lacking in several areas, including…
    1) proper email scanning, including email sent and received using SSL.
    2) protection from P2P programs, chat, and other apps.
    3) a silent/gaming mode.
    4) It doesnt allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the behavior shield.
    5) No network shield, which prevents malicious URL’s from opening. Avast also includes a simple Intrusion Prevention system.

    I would never recommend Microsoft’s solutions over another free option like Avast. If you want to get Avast, and are looking for a really simple installation, head to http://www.ninite.com and just check the boxes next to the apps you want to install. It’s an amazing website.

  3. says

    I read quite a few reviews on Avira vs. Avast — pros and cons for each. I was fairly happy with Avira. It really just came down to making a decision, since people swear by whatever happens to be their favorite.

    Admittedly, for those who aren’t up for complicated virus software and maybe have nothing, something outdated, or a system that is far too complicated to run with popups they don’t know what to do with or updates that they don’t know how to handle…MSE is an option. It’s not so bad. Combining that with wise online behavior — it’s a viable option. You have to keep in mind that not everyone is out there with the capability of digging around and downloading and getting into some of these more comprehensive programs. Again, MSE is a viable option. It integrates well with the Windows system. It gets good marks in comparisons, too.

  4. says

    > Combining that with wise online behavior — it’s a viable option.

    Come on Julie, you don’t need an antivirus software at all with a “wise online behavior”.
    And conversely, no antivirus software is gonna keep you safe if you’re doing stupid things online.

    I stopped using one on my own computers on the last century, and never looked back.

    A few years ago though, a relative wanted to run some costly piece of software on her computer.
    The software required being, hem, “patched” before she could run it, so I downloaded the small program from some random website.
    I knew I couldn’t trust the file, but the freshly updated Norton AV found nothing wrong about it.
    The second I ran the patch, NAV got kicked badly in the ass, and that was it. Computer totally broken.
    Took me 2-3 hours to get it back to life (and files were lost in the process: the virus actually “fought back” when I started to kill its processes, I couldn’t believe it!)
    That’s the only time I ever tried to rely on an antivirus software.

    I’ve seen so many computers getting “infected” while running AV over the last 10 years, that I now firmly believe the only way to safe computing is through user education.
    But that’s not a marketable thing, and obviously to the direction MS and others are leaning to.

    One last thing: these days, VMs are a great way to try out software you don’t trust, be it coming from some obscure website or from a leading software vendor whose interests might not exactly coincide with yours.

  5. says

    This post garners the most hits and, oddly, the most vehement responses. Several comments I have not published due to a rather virulent attack nature by the writer towards other commenters and their suggestions.

    Few things garner as much emotion as politics, religion (including Mac vs. PC, as well as Apple vs. Android), and…the best anti-virus/malware/ad option to use.

    “Wise online behavior” differs in degree to the person exhibiting the behavior. We can’t act beyond the wisdom we posses, and some have been online more than others. A good bit of anti-virus software helps make up for the steep learning curve of those who may not be as skilled as someone else.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the game was over before the announcer could spit out the actual penalty. If there was a real-life AdBlock, the entire game would have consisted of the Bobcat mascot Scratch wandering around aimlessly in [...]

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