There is no shortage of adblocking tools available as dedicated desktop and mobile apps, or as web extensions. AdLock is one of the best and most popular tools for blocking ads when you are online. It provides an undetectable ad blocker that allows you to browse without having to deal with obtrusive ad banners, pop-ups, and alerts.
In some ways, advertising makes the online world go around. Most websites and platforms use ads to monetize their content and services… from the smallest blog to multi-nationals like Facebook and Google. Consumers mostly accept some level of online advertising, but do not appreciate being bombarded by ads that target them specifically.
Some sites are better at delivering ads than others, and users value being able to understand which ads they see and when they see them. That is why adblocking tools have become so successful and popular, giving users full control to block ads.
AdBlock and the similarly named by not connected Adblock Plus are two hugely popular free adblockers. So, how does AdLock stack up against these rivals? Well, I decided to find out and I was largely happy with my experience using the AdLock app.
I can't really name drop those two AdLock alternatives and ignore price, so that is a good place to start. AdBlock and Adblock Plus are completely free services where you never need to pay for when fulfilling your adblocking needs. AdLock is different because it is a paid service available via subscription.
However, there is a free two-week trial that lets you get to grips with the app before committing to a purchase. One important consideration to make is registering with AdLock, which can get you an extra 30-days on your free trial.
At the time of writing, the product was on offer for the one-year and five-year subscriptions, while the rolling one-month plan was at its normal price. If you do want to pay monthly, it will cost you $3.5 each month. Moving up to the one-year plan, the normal price is $42 dollars, while the five-year plan is $210 dollars.
It is always worth checking because AdLock has frequent special deals where you can get significant savings on the longer payment plans.
While a free adblocking tool is probably enough for most personal users, I am not against the idea of a paid platform, especially for more pro-level needs. The big question is whether AdLock can deliver those business-grade tools that warrant a price tag? For some users, probably not, but if you want all your ad-blocking to go undetected, AdLock is much better than those free alternatives.
While free adblocking tools have rather bland looking hubs attached to browsers, AdLock functions as a full desktop application. Moreover, it is a completely modern and slick looking app that is a joy to use. Setting up the app is a straightforward process where you download the .exe file and install it on your machine.
Following the installation, AdLock will guide you through the start up process, which is thankfully short and sweet. The app prompts you to agree to the terms and conditions and the overall user agreement. During the initial set up, you also have the option to start the Adblocking but can also choose to skip and enable it later.
The app interface is beginner friendly, with all main tools just a click away. Naturally the app opens with the Adblocking tool, giving you the option to turn it on or off. On the left menu panel, you can find all the primary features, account options, settings, and contact. Clicking on each opens the relevant section within the main window.
There are three major features that comprise the AdLock experience: Ad Blocking, Traffic, and Protection. We will cover each of these tools below, starting with the core feature… adblocking.
This review would be ending rather abruptly if the ad blocking on AdLock was subpar. Luckily, the main feature on the app is excellent, providing quick adblocking and granular management should you need it. To put this to the test, I chose an ad-rich website off the top of my head… TechRadar. Yes, I love the reviews by the folks at TechRadar, but their ads are too obtrusive for my taste.
As you can see below, TechRadar does not offer a lot of reading real estate when all the ads are running:
So, I fired up AdLock and turned on the ad blocking features:
Next, I returned to TechRadar with the adblocker from AdLock running. As you can see below, instead of all those ads, the screen real estate is now blank thanks to AdLock blocking the ads:
Sure, just about every reputable ad-blocking tool on the market will do that, so what sets AdLock apart? You may have realized I have not mentioned any requests to turn off the ad blocker. Websites track ad blockers and know when a visitor is using an ad blocker, especially a free one.
Adblock Plus is my go-to blocker because it is a handy browser extension that is free. However, most websites know that I am running it and either request I turn it off or force me to. It is usually the former, which is not a massive problem but a minor inconvenience of having to dismiss a pop-up.
Right at the start of this review and indeed in the headline, I call AdLock an undetectable ad-blocking tool. That's because it is. Across my tests over dozens of familiar websites, none of them knew I was using AdLock, and none asked me to remove my ad-blocking software. I consider that a win and a big boost to my browsing efficiency.
Of course, I have not tested every site so cannot comment on the undetectable nature of AdLock across the board. But from my experience, it lives up to its reputation on this front.
When browsing, the main ad-blocking window in AdLock, app will show you how many total requests have been blocked and how much traffic you have saved. This is across your browsing activity so is an overview of all your usage.
There are more granular management options below: Allow List, Ad Report, and Adblocking Statistics. As usual, the allow list gives you the ability to give permission to websites you want to see ads from.
The Ads report section is useful, allowing you to see which apps and domains the AdLock app has blocked ads from. Here you can also report any ads that have sneaked through the AdLock net so the developers can look into it.
In the statistics page you can see details on blocked ads, such as their URL and nature (blocked DNS, URL filter, etc.)
Moving on from the ad blocking, AdLock also has a Traffic feature that lets you decide how the apps you have installed behave on your device. There are three filter settings available:
- Disable Filtering – allow ads on the application.
- Enable Filtering – Creates a filter on apps that use the internet but have too many ads.
- Block – Stops apps that connect to the internet only to serve ads.
With the Protection feature on AdLock, it is possible to mask your online activity so ad trackers cannot find you. Essentially, you are preventing advertisers from using trackers to targets ads to you based on your browsing activity. There are three options available in the section:
- Anti-tracking – Hide your online activity, browsing, and personal data.
- Safebrowsing – Have protection from phishing and other online attacks.
- Statistics – Here you can see information on blocked trackers.
AdLock is available across platforms on both desktop and mobile. You can download the app on the following operating systems:
- Windows (Dedicated app)
- Android (Mobile app)
- Firefox (extension)
- Microsoft Edge (extension)
While the app is available on Android, you will not find it in the Google Play Store because Google does not allow adblockers. When you check on the store, you may see plenty of blockers and think what I just said is nonsense. However, these are all placeholder apps from browser extensions. Either way, you cannot install AdLock directly so will need to get the APK file from the official AdLock website.
AdLock Review Conclusion
AdLock is an awesome adblocking tool with some added perks that allows you to really understand and manage how and when you see ads. Still, there are loads of free adblockers on the market, so does AdLock justify its price?
I would say yes, especially if you are in a business environment and need to have the smoothest browsing experience possible. You pay for that little bit extra blocking quality, which includes remaining undetected, so websites won't know you are using an adblocker. Throw in controls for filtering and tracking and you have a complete ad blocking solution.