Do you know why people use ad blockers while surfing the web? Here is why

Why people use ad blockers
Why people use ad blockers

Why do people use ad blockers? If you don’t know what are ad blockers, they are add-ons and extensions, such as Google Chrome adblock extension that you can install within your browser so that you don’t see advertisements when you visit websites. As you may know, most of the content-based websites display advertisements from either Adsense or other advertising networks. For most of such websites, these ads are their bread and butter. Even on you see advertisements (if you haven’t installed an ad blocker).

In fact, people are so eager to use ad blockers that different apps and browsers are available that will have the ad blocking feature within, that is, you will need to install an extra add-on or an extension in order to be able to block advertisements while browsing websites. There is a browser called Brave that will block ads automatically. Smartphone companies like Samsung are trying to incorporate ad blocking within their own browsers although, they are being opposed by Google because they use the Android operating system which is made by Google and Google makes lots of money from Adsense. The new version of Opera will allow you to block advertisements without using an extension. Some publishers are retaliating. For example, the New York Times blocks you if you are using an ad blocker.

But why do people really use ad blockers? After all it is a legitimate way of making money for publishers. If the publisher is not selling something from the website or blog and if he or she isn’t even promoting any service through the website or blog, the only way of sustaining the publication is through advertising. If you’re getting high quality content, what’s the problem in coming across a few advertisements?

The problem is, the publishers go overboard with advertisements. On many websites there is a liberal smattering of advertisements to such an extent that it is difficult to access the actual content. This can be a bigger problem when you are surfing the web on a mobile device and you are paying for the data. This Business Insider report says that ads on news websites use as much a 79% of the users’ mobile data.

So if you are paying for your mobile data while surfing a news website, 79% of your expense goes towards the advertisements published on the website and you aren’t even gaining anything valuable out of them. So obviously you’re going to find ways to block those ads. Anyway there is so little space on a mobile phone and if most of that space is going to be taken up by advertisements, even of people are not aware that they are spending money on those advertisements, they’re going to find ways to block those ads.

The report says that it is one of the biggest reasons people download mobile ad blockers. The problem has grown so serious that carriers in UK and Italy have announced plans to block ads at the network level. That is, if you’re using their data plan the advertisements will be blocked at the server level, you don’t need to install any ad blockers.

A media research company, Enders Analysis asked its researchers to load full webpages from popular publications using an iPhone 6 browser. The researchers loaded the webpages without an ad blocker, with an ad blocker, and with an ad blocker and JavaScript disabled. These were the results:

Percentage of mobile data used by ads on news websites

As you can see, most of the data is being consumed by JavaScript and online ads (green colour online ads and yellow colour JavaScript). Except for one website, hardly any data is being used by the actual HTML of the webpages. Between 18% and 79% of the mobile data was consumed by online ads.

This is actually a big problem.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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