Ads are a part of online culture. Some users don't even notice them, while others find them irritating. Chrome users can block unwanted ads using free extensions from the Chrome Web Store. However, block ads consciously: ads are how most website owners make an income when they provide free services. While an ad blocking extension is the easiest way to remove ads, you can choose a more supportive way to remove ads.
Ad Blocking Extensions
The most popular extension for blocking ads in Chrome is AdBlock from getadblock.com; over 10 million users have installed it on Chrome, and it has a five-star rating in the Chrome Web Store. Close in popularity is AdBlock Plus, made by adblockplus.org. It also has more than 10 million users, though it has only four-and-a-half stars in the Chrome Web Store. Another alternative is Adblock Pro, a compilation of several ad blocking tools for individual websites. It has just under 400,000 users, but has a five star rating.
Syncing Across Machines
Chrome offers the options to sync your settings and extensions between different computers -- so that once you've installed the ad blocking extension in Chrome on one computer, it automatically installs on the others. To do this, you need to sign in to your Google account in Chrome. In "Advanced Sync Settings," you can choose to sync everything, or selectively choose elements to sync. If you're syncing selectively, select "Extensions" to sync your ad blocking extension to other versions of Chrome.
Don't forget: most websites use ads as a way to get revenue from the free services they offer. Some of these websites don't have paid alternatives -- for instance, you can't pay to removes ads from Facebook. However, some services offer free ad-supported accounts, with the option to purchase a paid account without ads. If it's within your budget, you can remove ads by supporting these services with a paid account.
Ethics of Blocking Ads
Since ad blocking services have become popular, some have argued about the ethicality of blocking ads on websites that use ads to generate revenue. Those opposed to ad blocking services argue that you're robbing the website of its revenue stream. Those in favor of ad blocking services believe that intrusive or annoying ads are a bad business model and one that doesn't benefit consumers. How you feel about ad blocking tools is up to you. If you frequent blogs or websites that get revenue only from unobtrusive ads, consider whitelisting their websites so they can continue to derive income from your visits.
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