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Ghostery and AdGuard - Adblocker Comparison

logos of Ghostery and AdGuard

How does Ghostery compare to AdGuard?

There are a growing number of ad blocking extensions available to download for laptops and mobile devices and understanding the key differences between them is not always made easy. While we believe Ghostery is one of the best ad blockers around today, our developer community is always looking for ways to improve the extension and one of the best ways to do that is through direct comparison. With that in mind, here we put AdGuard up alongside Ghostery to see how it fares and how it could be useful in improving your online privacy.

What is AdGuard?

AdGuard is a free ad blocker solution that can be used on multiple platforms. It is a browser extension that can be used to block trackers and ads that are lurking online and using your personal data to their benefit. 

What platforms does AdGuard work on?

You can install AdGuard on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Safari  (Mac and iOS)
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • Android

AdGuard Home is also available, which can be installed on home networks to block trackers and adverts on all your home devices. Or you can download a desktop version of AdGuard, although this requires a paid licence once the free trial ends.

How does AdGuard compare to Ghostery?

AdGuard and Ghostery logos and general settings icons

User Interface

AdGuard scores well with its user-friendly interface, making it easy to understand how to install and use.

This is encouraging news for users without much tech experience or who do not want to have to get into the finer details of dealing with ad blocking activities it takes care of.

User friendlessness is a key part of what makes Ghostery such a popular ad & tracker blocker, with a clean and professional design that is easy to engage with and understand.

Each section of the settings section is clearly labelled with additional information provided about every option if you are not sure what it means. This helps you to make more informed decisions with blocking ads.

Control options

The control options on AdGuard are solid, allowing you to make changes to the type of content you are exposed to while online.

Once the setup has finished the default mode allows you to block ads, trackers and phishing attempts. This can be altered by switching to the Family Mode, which offers protection against adult content.

However, the main issue with the control options is that unless you are comfortable with the terminology used, you may not fully understand what is being changed and the reasons for it. This small gaps in knowledge can make all the difference when it comes to safeguarding your family’s internet privacy.

This is an issue Ghostery looks to avoid from the start, with users offered helpful guidance about each setting option. We are firm believers that the more information you have at your disposal, the easier it becomes to minimize the amount of personal data being exposed to third parties online.

Ghostery will automatically block all elements on the page that could be tracking you, intrusively advertising or slowing down the page performance. You can easily adjust these settings to suit your preferences in the in the Ghostery Panel without any hassle.

Privacy

AdGuard is an open-source extension, so the code can be analysed for its safety at any time by anyone with appropriate experience.

While AdGuard mostly offers a good experience when it comes to blocking trackers and ads, it does rely on a curated database, so there will be instances where some ads and trackers break through beyond the extension’s defence lines.

This is not a concern with Ghostery, as the extension does not rely only on curated lists to block cookie pop-ups, adverts and trackers. Everything on the page that could pose a threat to your privacy will be automatically blocked, giving you as much protection as possible.

Ghostery also offers more all-round privacy protection due to its Private Search and Private Browser options that ensure third parties will struggle to even know you are online, let alone try to target you with advertising.

Speed

While you want to protect your privacy online, if it comes at the cost of page loading speed and performance, it will simply defeat the purpose of the extension being installed.

One issue that some AdGuard users have raised relates to the fact that their internet speed can be slowed down when the extension is in use. So, while users may not come into contact with as many trackers and adverts, using the internet becomes harder.

Due to the way Ghostery is set up by default it ensures that nothing is activated that will affect the performance of your device. It removes all elements on the page and can slow the loading process down to optimise speed, so your device does not have to work so hard to get it ready for you to view.

Not only will this help you get more from your time online, but it makes your device’s CPU and memory more efficient by using less energy, which could also help lower your energy bills.

What are the pros and cons of AdGuard?

AdGuard logo and brand colors - text pros & cons

Pros

  • Blocks a large percentage of online adverts, making it a good ad blocker.
  • Can be used with a wide range of browsers.
  • Its VPN offering can add even more privacy protection online.

Cons

  • A paid license is required for the desktop version.
  • Uses curated lists so some adverts can be missed.
  • Settings can lead to parts of safe pages being blocked.

What are the pros and cons of Ghostery?

Ghostery logo and brand colors, text pros and cons

Pros

  • Free to download and use with no license required as part of the Contributor Initiative.
  • Blocks adverts, third-party trackers and cookie pop-ups.
  • Easy to install on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera.
  • All known trackers are automatically blocked, detailed information on them is displayed to users.

Cons

  • Strong automatic ad filtering may occasionally break a page.
  • Additional tracker information not suited to all users.

AdGuard Paid Plans

AdGuard, a good ad blocker, offers free and paid plans for their ad blocking software.

  • Personal: for up to 3 devices
  • Family: for up to 9 devices

They offer both subscription and lifetime license options. The lifetime plan provides unlimited access without further charges but have limited transferability compared to regular subscriptions.

After your purchase, the AdGuard license key is sent to the email address you provided when purchasing. The next step is to activate AdGuard on your device using the key. Go to the License section in the app and follow their instructions.

AdGuard features also vary with different apps:

  • AdGuard has a basic free ad block extension, with an option to purchase an upgrade and use other filter lists.
  • AdGuard Pro provides system-wide ad blocking locally on each device.

AdGuard offers flexible paid plans to suit different users' needs, with the option of a one-time lifetime payment. Their ad blocking technology also aims to provide security by blocking malicious ads and sites.

Summary

There is no doubt that AdGuard is a reliable and mostly efficient ad blocker with blocking ads. However, some of the issues created by the control panel and the blocking database used to keep away trackers and cookies may not prove satisfactory. 

Of course, you could always install more than one adblocker – with AdGuard running alongside Ghostery, although this increases the chance of pages breaking more regularly.  This may be suitable for more advanced users, although the vast majority of people continue to find that Ghostery provides everything they need to keep their privacy protected whilst online.

Take control of your digital privacy today!

Compared to opting out or cookie blocking, downloading the Ghostery Privacy Suite is a more efficient way of enhancing your online privacy.

Get in touch with our team if you have any questions - we are always happy to help!

 

FAQ

Which is the most powerful ad blocker?

It depends what you are looking for in your quest for privacy online. The best choice would be a tracker and ad blocker like Ghostery, as ads also contain trackers.

A pure ad blocking technology might not protect you as good as a a tracker and ad blocker as it will miss some data collectors.

The above paired with a VPN would power up your private browsing experience.

Can AdGuard replace Ghostery?

This is a choice that users need to make based on preferences. AdGuard and Ghostery are similar in functionality. AdGuard offers a VPN service, Ghostery concentrates more on keeping tracking at bay in the browser and offering a private search. Some people at Ghostery use NordVPN.

Still have questions?

If there is anything you miss in Ghostery or have any questions, please drop a line to support@ghostery.com. We’re happy to talk to you anytime.