Ads and pop-up windows on your computer are one of the most annoying things in the world, and that's why practically everyone has a pop-up and ad blocker installed on their desktop. But for some strange reason not everyone bothers to do the same thing for their Android smartphone (I know many a Nexus 5 owner still suffering through banner ads). Today, we're going to show you how to block ads, including pop-ups, on your Android device and save some of your precious data at the same time.
Did you know that all those ads (static and video) actually use up tons of your data allowance? Just think about it. If you load a web page and there's a bunch of video ads playing on the side the entire time you're on the site, that data flow has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is your data plan. So installing an ad blocker on your Android can not only save your sanity but also your hip pocket.
For starters, you can use a browser like Chrome that automatically blocks a lot of pop-ups. That's going to be a major boost to your sanity levels. You can also go into your Chrome Settings > Bandwidth Management > Reduce Data Usage to save even more of your precious bits.
I'm rooted, so I used Adblock Plus. Simply hit the link on your Android, download the Adblock Plus APK (you'll need to enable Unknown Sources in your Security Settings first) and launch it. If you're rooted, Adblock Plus will ask you for Superuser permission. Grant it and you're done. You can then choose a subscription – EasyList is fine – and decide if you want all ads blocked or just ''inappropriate'' ones. It's up to you if you can handle some advertising or want everything blocked. Inappropriate ads include video ads and those with sounds etc.
To hide the icon in your notification drawer you can tick the box but this will only make the notification icon invisible. If you want it out of your notification bar entirely you'll need to go to your device's Settings > Apps > Adblock Plus and uncheck the Show Notifications box.
If you're not rooted, don't despair. You simply need to do a little more leg work with your proxy settings. Just go to your Settings and select Wi-Fi, long press the connection you're on (you'll obviously need to do this for all of the Wi-Fi networks you regularly log into) and select Modify Network. From here, go down to Show Advanced Options and switch the Proxy Settings to Manual (it'll be set automatically to None). This will bring up further options: you simply need to change the entry in the Proxy Hostname field to localhost and the Proxy Port to whatever number Adblock Plus has told you to change it to. For me it was 2020. You don't need to add any exceptions.
Now, you can set your notification options as above and start launching ad-heavy websites as much as you like. Instead of seeing all the banner and sidebar ads you'll just get white space – it may seem a little weird at first but that nice ''breathing space'' is actually kind of nice once you get used to it. Not to mention the fact that you won't be seeing all sorts of flashy, noisy and moving image ads all of the time. Some sites, like Forbes, will still show their initial pop-up advertisement, but there will be nothing in it. Some of these are unavoidable. Combined with Chrome's pop-up blocker (plenty of other browsers have similar functions), Adblock Plus will save your sanity, your data and your impulse to consume.
Do you use an ad blocker or pop-up blocker on your Android? What combination do you use?