Best VPNs for Ad Blocking in 2021: Stop The Ad Terror

Ads are all over the internet. There is little chance that you will not come across ads online as you surf through the internet. Many websites and companies use ads to target customers and ultimately generate revenue. You may wonder why certain ads pop up after you visit a website. It is because websites can track you. To prevent unwanted ads from constantly popping up whenever you’re online, you need an adblocker. 

VPNs are becoming more sophisticated. Some VPN services provide ad-blocking capabilities. Using such VPNs is better than using a standalone adblocker because of the all-around protection VPNs offer. A VPN with an adblocker will keep ads away, especially malicious ones. In this piece, we look at the best VPNs with ad-blocking capabilities.

Recommended VPNs for Ad Blocking 

Here are some of our best recommendations of VPNs with ad-blocking features:

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN devices

Features

  • Number of servers: More than 3,000
  • Speeds: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • 24 live chat: Yes
  • 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Pros/Cons

  • Fastest VPN out there
  • Strict no logs policy
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Few discounts
Visit ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has a longstanding reputation for its dependability in the VPN industry. Its presence in 94 countries allows you to access several geo-blocked websites you otherwise do not have access to. ExpressVPN’s over 3000 servers in 160 locations enable you to have a plethora of countries and cities to choose from.

You can depend on ExpressVPN if you’re an active torrent downloader as it supports any P2P activity. It is also fast enough for you to stream in HD or Ultra HD. However, it depends on your connection rate before you use the VPN, as there is always a slight speed reduction anytime you connect to a VPN. 

ExpressVPN’s location in the British Virgin Islands means no spying government or data regulation authority can enforce policies that require it to store or hand over user data. Its TrustedServer technology further ensures that it does not have the capacity to store data, allowing it to abide by a watertight No-Log Policy. 

With private DNS servers, AES-256 encryption, and perfect forward secrecy, ExpressVPN makes you feel safe on the internet. While it does not have an adblocker, it allows you to use third-party adblockers to stop unwanted ads. With VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Lightway protecting your connection, you have little to worry about. You also have Tor over VPN, Split Tunneling, and a Kill Switch. 

You can use ExpressVPN with different operating systems. It has three subscription plans and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of them. With ExpressVPN, you can use five devices concurrently.

  • Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $6.67

NordVPN

NordVPN devices

Features

  • Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
  • Servers: 5342 in 58 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Lots of pricing options
  • Netflix support kept up to date
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Slow app
Visit NordVPN

NordVPN is the best VPN with in-build ad-blocking capabilities. This VPN service provider is constantly working to improve its service for its customers. With more than 5400 servers resident in 59 countries, it is one of the VPN services with reliable servers you can depend on. 

It is one of the fastest VPNs because of its WireGuard implementation known as NordLynx. This custom protocol ensures NordVPN outperforms other VPN services in terms of speed. NordLynx is easily the fastest if you put it alongside other protocols under the same conditions. 

NordVPN is committed to ensuring it protects customers’ privacy. It has proved this by inviting a third-party company to access its privacy features, especially its No-Log Policy. Twice, auditors have confirmed that NordVPN fully complies with No-Log Policy. Its Panamanian headquarters ensures it is not forced to stray from that policy. 

Security-wise, NordVPN uses protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx. It also uses the best-in-class encryption (AES-256), together with perfect forward secrecy. NordVPN’s adblocker—CyberSec—does not only block ads, but also blocks malware, trackers, and known phishing websites. It also includes Tor over VPN, Double VPN, and obfuscated servers as part of its security features.

NordVPN has a 24-hour support team to help you with any issues you might have. It is also cross-platform compatible and has plans that are very affordable. With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices at the same time. Its 30-day cash-back guarantee gives you the opportunity to use its services risk-free for thirty days. 

  • Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest price: $3.71

Surfshark

Surfshark devices

Features

  • Free trial? Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Ad blocking? Yes
  • Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries

Pros/Cons

  • No footprints
  • Allows torrenting
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Not the fastest
Try Surfshark

Surfshark is a high-end VPN service with robust security and privacy features. It has been in the VPN industry for about three years. Despite its late entry, it has risen to be one of the most sought-after VPN services, primarily due to its rich features and budget-friendly price. 

Present in 65 countries with over 3000 servers, Surfshark’s server network is sufficient to meet your needs. It unblocks geo-restrictions with ease and gives you access to geo-blocked sites. Plus, Surfshark comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a fast VPN service. Streaming high video quality such as HD and UHD is possible if your original connection is swift. 

Surfshark has a solid No-Log policy that prevents it from storing user connection logs. It also has a warrant canary to communicate with users should a spying government force it to release user data. Fortunately, Surfshark’s headquarters in the British Virgin Islands makes the chances of that happening slim. 

CleanWeb, Surfshark’s adblocker, is similar to NordVPN’s CyberSec. It blocks ads, malware, phishing sites, and invasive trackers. Aside from blocking malware and ads, Surfshark uses 256-bit encryption, secure VPN protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2), and perfect forward secrecy to keep your data secure. In addition, Double VPN, Tor over VPN, and a Kill Switch contribute to keeping your data safe. 

Surfshark is the only VPN on this list that allows unlimited simultaneous connections. It is good that it works on several operating systems, so you don’t have to worry about it working on your device. Its subscription packages are cheap, and it has a 30-day refund policy. 

  • Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
  • Lowest Price: €2.09

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN devices

Features

  • P2P support? Yes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
  • Country of origin? Switzerland
  • Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
  • Simultaneous devices: 5

Pros/Cons

  • Professional support
  • Modern interface and apps
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Lesser known provider
Try ProtonVPN

Many VPN providers claim to be privacy-focused but cannot back up their claims. ProtonVPN is a VPN service provider that can boldly proclaim to be privacy-focused. Established in 2014, ProtonVPN has a server network of over a thousand servers. With this VPN, you have access to servers in 54 countries.

With a significant number of its servers in Europe and North America, ProtonVPN unblocks many popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Although it is not as fast as some premium VPNs, ProtonVPN will give you little or no problem while you stream. 

ProtonVPN’s Switzerland home gives it an edge over other VPNs when it comes to privacy. With solid privacy laws backing up its No-Log Policy, no government agency can interfere in its operations. It does not store or track customers’ internet activities. When necessary, it releases a transparency report, and security experts from SEC Consult have verified its applications to be secure.

Using only secure VPN protocols such as IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN combined with military-grade encryption, ProtonVPN keeps malicious entities away from your data. Its adblocker—NetShield—blocks malware, ads, and trackers. You can change the settings to choose to block all three or malware only. ProtonVPN supports Tor over VPN and has a Kill Switch.

All ProtonVPN’s custom applications are open-source and available on mainstream operating systems. While ProtonVPN isn’t cheap, it includes a free plan customers can use and offers a 30-day cash-back guarantee on other subscription plans.

  • Pros: Professional support; Modern interface and apps; AES-256 encryption;
  • Lowest price: €4

CyberGhost

CyberGhost devices

Features

  • Connected devices at once: 7
  • Automatic kill switch? Yes
  • One click connect: Yes
  • Servers: 5900 worldwide

Pros/Cons

  • No logs policy
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Apps for mobile devices and routers
  • No free option
Try CyberGhost

CyberGhost has been in the VPN industry for about a decade. This long-time VPN service is present in 89 countries, with over 6700 servers available for its users. Its extensive server network is one of the reasons why many choose to use it. Apart from that, it can bypass geo-restrictions on geo-blocked sites to give access to its users. 

With CyberGhost, you have access to several features. One of them is a fast connection. However, other things can affect the speed of your connection, including your ISP and the distance to the server you use. Cyberghost puts no limit on your bandwidth. When you stream, you have access to a high-quality network. 

CyberGhost does not keep your data on non-volatile storage. Keeping your connection information on volatile storage (RAM) allows it to protect your data even in the case of a physical breach. It enforces a solid No-Log Policy which is encouraged by its headquarters in privacy-friendly Romania. 

Unlike other adblockers that block all sorts of ads, CyberGhost’s adblocker only blocks malicious ads. Another worrying thing is that its adblocker is effective only on HTTP and not the secure version (HTTPS). CyberGhost has many other security features, including 256-bit encryption, app protection, perfect forward secrecy, Split Tunneling, in-built leak protection, and Tor over VPN. OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 are the protocols available. 

CyberGhost is cross-platform compatible and subscribing allows you to use it on seven devices simultaneously. Its 45-day money-back guarantee gives you a risk-free usage period that is longer than the standard 30 days.

  • Pros: No logs policy; 24/7 live chat; Apps for mobile devices and routers;
  • Lowest price: €2

PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess devices

Features

  • IP cloaking? Yes
  • Access to US domains? Yes
  • Devices supported: Over 30 (including iOS and Android)
  • Firewalls? Yes
  • Servers: 3000+ in over 25 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Military grade encryption
  • Firewall
  • Completely private browsing
  • Lesser known provider
Visit PrivateInternetAccess

US-based Private Internet Access is a top VPN service provider that has proved beyond doubt that its users come first. Its massive server network is enough to convince you to give it a try. With over 25000 servers present in 77 countries, unblocking geo-restrictions becomes an easy task.

Due to its massive server network, PIA users enjoy unlimited bandwidth and fast connections. More servers usually mean less crowding on individual servers, allowing users to have the luxury of choice when deciding which server to use. Despite being US-based, PIA has not succumbed to the pressure of releasing its users’ data. It operates a stringent No-Log policy that prevents it from keeping connection logs.

PIA’s adblocking abilities are under its MACE feature, which prevents tracking, malware infestation, and unwanted ads. Unfortunately, iPhone and iPad users will be sad to know that this adblocker is not available on iOS. PIA also guarantees data in transit security using military-grade encryption, secure VPN protocols, port forwarding, a Kill Switch, and in-built leak protection.

PIA’s custom applications are open-source, and its software is available to use on multiple operating systems. With affordable subscription plans, a 30-day risk-free period, and ten concurrent connections, new VPN users will benefit from using PIA.

  • Pros: Military grade encryption; Firewall; Completely private browsing;
  • Lowest price: €2.50

Windscribe

Windscribe devices

Features

  • Browser extension? Yes
  • Pricing options: 3
  • Free trial: No
  • Unblocking of all websites? Yes
  • Locations: Servers in 60 countries

Pros/Cons

  • Military grade encryption
  • Available on all major platforms
  • App for mobile devices
  • Lesser known provider
Visit Windscribe

Windscribe is a Canada-based VPN with servers in 62 countries. This VPN service has a reputable free version that is attractive to users who cannot afford to pay for a VPN. Its servers spread across 110 cities globally can circumvent geo-restrictions to give you access to geo-blocked websites. 

With unlimited data, Windscribe offers decent speeds to customers. It is not as fast as some VPNs above, but it is decent enough not to give you any problems. Connect to servers close to you if you want the best experience. Although it is Canada-based, Windscribe truly keeps no connection logs. It prevents storing any information that the government or malicious entities can use to identify you. 

Windscribe’s R.O.B.E.R.T. is a security suite that blocks ads, trackers, malware, unwanted social networks, crypto miners, etc. This feature gives you the option to customize your security as you can create a list of domains you don’t want to access. Windsribe also offers a Stealth Mode, in-built leak protection, secure VPN protocols, 256-bit encryption, port forwarding, Split Tunneling, and a Kill Switch.

With custom applications and manual installation instructions, Windscribe supports many operating systems. Its monthly plan is affordable, but extended plans might be slightly expensive compared to some VPNs above. Windscribe also allows you to build a plan that meets your needs, and you only have a 3-day risk-free period.

  • Pros: Military grade encryption; Available on all major platforms; App for mobile devices;
  • Lowest price: $4.08

How Ads Track Online Activities

Ads usually track you to understand your online behavior and sell you something based on that. Without your consent, that is an invasion of privacy. Companies typically do this to generate revenue. Plus, malicious entities can also take advantage of that to steal information and attack you. It is not the ads that track you, but something that comes with the ads: a tracker code. Below, we look at the different methods ads use to track you.

1. Cookies

These are small files that adware keeps or stores on your browsers so that websites you frequently use can identify you each time you visit. Cookies are essential as they make subsequent visits to a website smooth, but they also pose a security risk. Malicious entities can use them to install malware on your device, make you visit malicious websites, and monitor your movement online. 

2. Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting is a method that ad companies use to monitor you without storing files on your device. When you’re browsing online, your device gives the websites it visits information on your operating system, hardware, settings, etc. Ad companies can use the information to monitor your activities online. Fingerprinting can be very accurate, as your browser can give precise details on your device. 

3. Beacons

Beacons, also called tracking pixels, are transparent images that load when you load an ad. They are typically tiny (1 pixel by 1 pixel), so they are challenging to notice. Since they are difficult to detect, malicious entities can easily exploit beacons. They can show the number of times a page is loaded and help ad companies see their ad impressions. 

Conclusion

Since coming across ads is inevitable while browsing on the internet, you have to find a way to protect yourself from them, especially the malicious ones. Apart from standalone ad blockers, a VPN is another tool that can effectively defend you against all forms of ads. You can either decide to use it on your browser or on your device to protect every internet traffic that passes through it.