I despise ads.
They’re invasive, annoying, they track you, and they’re pretty much everywhere.
And sometimes, they’re disguised in a way that begs you to click them.
But it gets worse.
Some ads are dangerous – a source of malware that can put you and your private data at risk.
And that’s only the beginning.
This is why I made it my mission to find the best ad blocker VPN.
The process wasn’t easy, though.
I spent 1+ weeks testing all the VPN providers I could find that include ad blockers in their VPN apps.
But, fortunately, my hard work paid off.
At the end of my tests, one VPN stood out: NordVPN.
Not only did it block the most ads during my tests, thanks to its built-in feature CyberSec, but it continues to do so and helps me avoid malicious websites as a bonus.
Plus, I think its ad blocker even speeds up my internet!
Stay tuned for the details, including my testing process and in-depth results!
Top 3 VPNs With Ad Blocker
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers a robust ad blocking feature called MACE that excels in blocking ads, trackers, and malware. It’s built into the app on all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android (requires .apk), Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
NordVPN’s ad blocking feature, CyberSec, scored a 28/28 during my tests – a perfect score! Rightfully so, as CyberSec blocks all major ads, trackers, and malware – including YouTube ads! It’s also built into the app on all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Surfshark boasts CleanWeb – an ad blocker that effectively blocks most ads, trackers, and malware. Better yet, it’s a “one-click solution,” so you simply click and let it do its job! Surfshark’s CleanWeb feature is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.
Finding the best VPNs with ad blocker was a challenge – but a challenge more than worth my time, as my testing process helped me deduce which VPNs excel at blocking ads and which fall short.
As a result, my recommendations are guaranteed to be your saving grace!
Keep reading for my in-depth analysis, including my testing process and results!
Need an Ad Blocker on Short Notice? Check Out My Top 4 Picks!
If you’re banking on the most trustworthy ad blocker VPN on short notice, don’t stress!
Here are my top four picks:
- NordVPN – Best Ad Blocker VPN With Premium Security
- Private Internet Access – Robust Ad Blocker (MACE) With Some Caveats
- Surfshark – CleanWeb (Blocks Ads, Malware, & Trackers)
- Perfect Privacy – Efficient Ad Blocker for Advanced Users
But if you have time, stick around!
I don’t expect you to take my word on everything.
On the contrary, I go into detail on everything in this guide – including how and why I came to the above results.
Thanks to its ads and malware blocker, CyberSec, NordVPN slides into first as the best VPN with an ad blocker feature. According to the VPN provider, CyberSec is an advanced technology solution that enhances your security and privacy by blocking sites that host malware or phishing scams. It also blocks annoying ads, of course! Plus, as a result of CyberSec’s efficiency, you might also experience faster speeds while browsing!
Detailed List of the 4 Best VPNs With Ad Blocker
My testing process started with a list of all the VPNs offering some form of an ad blocker.
From there, I tested each one on various websites to gauge their ad blocker’s efficiency.
In the end, I came up with four VPNs to comfortably recommend, thanks to their stellar results (which are discussed later in my “Testing Process” section).
Here they are!
1. NordVPN – Best Ad Blocker VPN With Premium Security – Score: 28/28
I’m not really one for “saving the best for last.”
After all, the best deserves some recognition for being exactly that.
And the best ad blocking VPN is hands down NordVPN.
So here it is, in first place, at the top of my list.
What makes NordVPN the best is its ad and malware blocking feature, CyberSec, and its ad blocking score: 28/28.
CyberSec functions as an advanced technology solution by blocking malicious websites (including phishing scams, trackers, spyware, etc.) and annoying ads.
For malicious websites, CyberSec compares the website address of every site you visit against a giant database of blacklists.
If one of those addresses lines up with one in the database, CyberSec immediately notifies you and blocks your access.
But CyberSec also has another useful feature: negating botnet armies.
In fact, CyberSec will detect and cut any communication between your device and the botnet’s server, regardless of whether the malware is already in action.
This means your device will never unwillingly serve as a soldier in a “botnet zombie army” (as NordVPN puts it).
This sets NordVPN’s ad blocking feature apart from the others on my list, as it’s the only one to even mention DDoS attacks and botnets!
And, of course, CyberSec will block those annoying, flashy ads that appear all over the internet.
This includes pop-ups, auto-play video ads, side-bar ads, banner ads, overlay ads, and any other advertising material that clogs your screen the second you click on a website.
Here’s CyberSec’s ad blocking score on a standalone ad block test website (without other ad blockers enabled):
NordVPN is the ONLY VPN on my list to score perfectly in my standalone ad block tests for the mini-reviews.
That said, I go into more detail on my overall testing process after my mini-reviews.
Moving on, as a result of CyberSec’s ad blocking capabilities, your browsing experience will also be faster, as the websites will load quicker!
Plus, CyberSec blocks most YouTube ads – something the other VPNs in my list struggle to do, such as PIA and Surfshark.
There is something else I want to mention, though.
On NordVPN’s CyberSec page, the provider says its ad blocker isn’t available on the Google Play Store version of its Android app.
This is no longer the case.
Google reversed its decision to pull ad blocking apps from its app store (quite a while ago).
So, you don’t need to install NordVPN’s .apk version of its Android app to enjoy the CyberSec feature.
This is true for all of the VPNs on my list and their ad blocking features – except PIA.
Thus, NordVPN’s CyberSec feature is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
It’s also available in the provider’s browser extensions (Chrome and Firefox).
Better yet, enabling and using it is easy!
This is another huge benefit to NordVPN, as others, like Perfect Privacy, have a somewhat more complex setup.
Here’s how to enable CyberSec in the NordVPN app on PC:
For Android and iOS users, CyberSec is enabled by tapping the cog icon in the upper corner of the app (settings), tapping “Tools,” and sliding the “CyberSec” option to the right.
Briefly, in addition to its CyberSec feature, NordVPN also offers a myriad of other security features, including a double VPN, obfuscation, and Onion Over VPN – plus 256-bit AES encryption and a verified no logs policy.
It also has affordable subscription plans:
But if you want the MOST SAVINGS, sign up with this link!
2. Private Internet Access – Robust Ad Blocker (MACE) With Some Caveats – Score: 20/28
In second place on my list of the most reputable VPNs with ad blocker and with a score of 20/28 is Private Internet Access (PIA) with its ad blocking feature MACE.
MACE isn’t exclusive to just ads, either.
The feature ensures your browsing experience is (mostly) free from ads, malware, and trackers.
It ensures this by working at a DNS level, thus making it quicker and more effective at blocking dangerous requests before they load.
Plus, like Surfshark’s ad blocking feature, CleanWeb (mentioned below), MACE promises to save money on your mobile data by blocking the most intrusive ads immediately while simultaneously speeding up your browser (thanks to pages loading faster).
Time for the first caveat.
While PIA is deserving of its spot on my list, it does struggle with blocking some ads, like pop-ups, push notifications, page push ads, and banner ads.
And, unlike NordVPN, it doesn’t block YouTube ads.
This is disappointing, as YouTube ads are some of the most annoying ads out there – especially considering videos that aren’t monetized now feature ads throughout!
That said, most ads and malicious websites were blocked and PIA scored the second-highest standalone ad block test score on my list (with no other ad blocker enabled).
Take a look:
Moving on, PIA’s MACE ad blocking feature is available with a huge variety of platforms – more than NordVPN and Perfect Privacy!
This includes Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
But there’s another caveat.
Despite most of PIA’s competitors offering their ad blockers directly in the Play Store version of their Android apps, PIA has yet to reintroduce MACE in the Play Store version of its Android app.
This doesn’t make sense to me, as there should be nothing stopping the provider from reintroducing it.
This is one of the reasons PIA placed second instead of first.
In fact, if it hadn’t outperformed Surfshark during my standalone and overall tests, it would’ve been third or fourth on my list.
But it did outperform Surfshark.
And, fortunately, installing the .apk version of the Android app is relatively easy (and includes MACE).
Just make sure you download the .apk version from the provider’s official website!
There are APK mirrors floating around that don’t include MACE (like on APKpure)!
Back to the good news.
Like NordVPN, PIA’s ad blocker is super easy to enable!
Here’s how to enable MACE in the PC app:
For iOS and Android users, open the app and click the three lines in the upper corner.
Tap “Settings” and then “Privacy.”
Next to “PIA MACE,” toggle the slider to the right.
PIA also offers 256-bit AES encryption, a trusted no logs policy, port forwarding, SOCKS5 proxy, and a split tunneling feature.
And its monthly plan is the cheapest on my list!
But if you want EVEN MORE savings (especially on a long-term plan), click here!
3. Surfshark – CleanWeb (Blocks Ads, Malware, & Trackers) – Score: 19/28
Next up, with an ad blocking score of 19/28, Surfshark’s ad blocking feature, CleanWeb, promises to block ads, malware, and trackers (including phishing attempts) while simultaneously saving mobile data and boosting your browsing speed!
For ad blocking specifically, this includes ads, banners, pop-ups, adware, and malware on both websites and apps.
Here is Surfshark’s score on a standalone ad block test site (with no other ad blocker enabled):
While not as thorough as the others on my list, like NordVPN and PIA, Surfshark still out-performed all the other VPNs I tested that didn’t make my list and tied with Perfect Privacy.
However, it did struggle with some pop-up, overlay, banner, and miscellaneous ads.
I discuss this more in my testing process section, but the reason Surfshark is third instead of second is that it couldn’t block as many ads as PIA.
Moreover, CleanWeb doesn’t block YouTube ads.
And considering NordVPN’s CyberSec blocks most ads (including YouTube) and PIA’s MACE blocks more ads than CleanWeb, I hope Surfshark steps up its ad blocking game in the future.
On the bright side, CleanWeb is more than efficient at blocking malicious websites, as it references Surfshark’s regularly updated databases and the 1+ million infected websites indexed there.
Plus, as promised, CleanWeb helps you save money on mobile data by blocking the ads that take up the most data.
This is excellent because, otherwise, as the VPN provider puts it, “you’re paying money to see ads.”
And, of course, the provider isn’t lying about speeding up your browser because, thanks to CleanWeb, the sites you visit load faster!
Better yet, CleanWeb is available on many devices – even more than NordVPN and Perfect Privacy.
And while it’s tied with PIA for device compatibility, you don’t need to install the .apk to enjoy CleanWeb on Android!
All in all, CleanWeb is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, and FireTV.
Meanwhile, something Surfshark shares in common with NordVPN and PIA is how easy its ad blocking feature is to enable!
Here’s how to enable CleanWeb on PC:
For Android and iOS users, you can enable CleanWeb in the mobile app by tapping “Settings” then “Connectivity.”
Under “Other VPN features,” toggle the slider next to “CleanWeb” to the right.
It also offers the most affordable long-term plans on my list!
Take a look:
But you can save EVEN MORE by clicking here!
4. Perfect Privacy – Efficient Ad Blocker for Advanced Users – Score: 17/28
I really wanted to put Perfect Privacy higher on my list…but its advanced ad blocker setup and its (to be blunt) ugly, buggy app stopped me.
Don’t get me wrong – the ad blocking feature is still easy to implement (for the most part).
The advanced part of Perfect Privacy’s TrackStop is actually its multitude of options that require research and reading before activating.
So, while the other VPNs on my list offer an easy one-stop solution for ads, malware, and trackers, Perfect Privacy has everything separated (though it still scored 17/28).
Here’s the list of filters you can activate: child protection, tracking & advertisement, fraud, fake news, Facebook, Google, and social media.
Conveniently, the VPN provider at least includes an explanation as to what each filter takes care of.
For example, the child protection filter blocks inappropriate websites (like porn and gambling sites) while the tracking & advertisement filter blocks annoying ads and trackers.
Or, if you don’t use Facebook, the Facebook filter blocks all Facebook domains (and trackers).
Overall, each filter assists in blocking tracking cookies, malware, phishing sites, tracking methods (like browser fingerprinting), and general ads.
And for an extremely advanced setup, you can add filter lists to exclude certain websites from TrackStop.
To put TrackStop’s effectiveness into perspective, during my standalone ad block test, Perfect Privacy tied with Surfshark:
However, like the other provider, Perfect Privacy’s ad blocker also struggled to block some ads, including banner, pop-up, overlay, and other miscellaneous ads and push notifications.
TrackStop also failed to block YouTube ads, making NordVPN the only provider on my list capable of blocking them.
Another reason Perfect Privacy is last on my list is its device compatibility and app usability.
For devices, the provider doesn’t specify which apps support TrackStop – and despite opening a ticket to confirm with their support team, I haven’t heard back.
However, Perfect Privacy only offers native apps for Windows, macOS, and Android.
And the apps aren’t exactly…user-friendly.
In fact, I don’t like the Windows app at all.
It took me over an hour just to get the app to work.
I ended up messing with my Firewall settings (using this video) before the app connected to a server.
The Android app is a little prettier to look at, but my ad blocker tests scored low enough that I’m certain TrackStop doesn’t apply to Android.
In the end, Perfect Privacy is an advanced VPN service in general.
I don’t recommend it to beginners.
I also don’t recommend it if you’re impatient (like me…lol).
But if you’re sold on it, you can enable TrackStop by going to your customer settings (in a web browser; not the app), selecting “TrackStop,” and enabling any filter you want to use.
Don’t forget to create a custom list for sites you don’t want to be affected!
Finally, Perfect Privacy is also quite expensive.
In fact, all of its plans are the most expensive on my list!
Luckily, you can get an exclusive discount by clicking here!
The Ad Blocker VPN Testing Process
It’s time to dive deeper into my testing process!
In the sections below, I’ll discuss what sites I used, how I used them, and my results.
Let’s jump in!
What Sites Were Used? How Were They Used?
In my testing process, I used the following ad block testing sites:
I also used the following malware testing sites:
Finally, I also browsed sites like YouTube and Facebook and checked out several news outlets to further confirm each VPN’s ad blocking capabilities.
Here is a detailed overview of how I tested each VPN:
- I opened the VPN being tested and verified its ad blocking feature was enabled.
- I disabled any other ad blockers in use (like uBlock Origin).
- I navigated to each website listed above.
- I marked the results, paying close attention to the different types of ads that were or weren’t blocked. (For identifying the different types of ads, “Can You Block It?” was the most helpful.)
- I compared each VPN’s test results to find the best of the best.
After my tests, I created the table in the next section using the following specs (from best to worst): yes, most, some, and no.
“Yes” means the VPN blocked all ads.
“Most” means the VPN blocked most of the ads.
“Some” means the VPN blocked at least half of the ads.
And “No” means the VPN didn’t block any of the ads.
I then assigned each spec a number:
- Yes – 4
- Most – 3
- Some – 2
- No – 1
Finally, I added up each VPN’s overall score.
This is the ad block score I assigned them in my mini-reviews and the table below.
Ad Blocker VPN: Test Results
|VPN Provider||YouTube Ads||Overlay Ads||Banner Ads||Pop-Up Ads||Page Push Ads||Malicious Websites||Push Notifications||Ad Block Score|
How to Choose The Right VPN With Ad Blocker?
The following buying guide is designed to help you find the most reliable VPN with an ad blocking feature!
So, if you prefer testing the waters and doing your own research, keep the following sections in mind.
Before Purchasing, Look for These Features in an Ad Blocker VPN!
Finding the best ad blocker VPN wasn’t easy…at all.
In fact, it was more complicated than any other “best for” article I’ve worked on before!
So, if you’re dead-set on finding your own reliable VPN with an ad blocker, be prepared for a lot of testing.
After all, you don’t want to purchase a VPN solely for its ad blocker only to find out it doesn’t block ads!
To help you out, refer to this checklist before purchasing a VPN:
Built-In Ad Blocker That WORKS
This might seem obvious.
But you can’t just find a VPN with an ad blocker and call it good.
You need to do your own tests to ensure the ad blocker actually works.
And it shouldn’t just block ads!
It should also block trackers and malicious sites (including phishing sites).
To test if your ad blocker VPN is working, I recommend taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantees offered by most providers.
You can do this by purchasing the VPN, testing its ad blocker by using the sites I linked above (under the testing process section), and, if it doesn’t perform to your expectations, requesting a refund immediately.
The next thing to consider is the VPN’s usability.
Is it user-friendly?
Or is it like Perfect Privacy that has a buggy app and requires an advanced user setup for its ad blocking feature?
Ideally, your VPN app will be easy to use and offer a “one-click solution” for its ad blocker.
AKA: all you need to do is enable the ad blocker in the app with one click and let it do its job!
The last thing you want is to purchase a VPN for its ad blocker only to realize it doesn’t offer the ad blocker on your preferred device!
The most reliable VPNs with ad blocker will offer the feature on all of their apps, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browser extensions, and Linux.
Some VPNs, like Surfshark, will even offer their ad blocker on other devices like FireTV!
Don’t be fooled by VPN providers trying to offer an ad blocker as a paid add-on.
Likewise, don’t be fooled by expensive subscription fees when you can get a better deal elsewhere.
Compare each VPN you look at, including its monthly and long-term plans and features (such as security, streaming, torrenting, etc.).
Speaking of features, keep an eye out for essential security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a verified no logs policy and a kill switch.
Other security features to look for include obfuscation, a double VPN, and RAM-only servers.
Finally, keep your use case in mind.
For example, if you want a VPN to watch region-locked content, make sure your VPN offers a massive server network (3000+ servers) and unblocks streaming services.
Can I Use a Free Ad Blocker VPN?
If your only reason for using a VPN is to block ads (etc.), you’re better off using a free ad blocker instead of a free VPN.
I discuss the best free ad blocker in a later section.
However, if you’re looking for a free VPN in general, you need to be very careful.
Most free VPNs aren’t trustworthy, as they sell your data to third parties and/or disguise malware as a free VPN to infect your device (thus making both a VPN and ad blocker pointless).
But there are a couple of free VPNs I can recommend, though neither has an ad blocker.
Both offer a handful of servers, average speeds, and no bandwidth caps.
Still, I recommend switching to a premium provider ASAP.
Remember – you can get NordVPN with its phenomenal ad blocker, CyberSec, for an AMAZING deal by using my exclusive sign-up link!
Why Isn’t CyberGhost’s Ad Blocker Listed?
I was pretty excited about testing CyberGhost’s ad blocker, despite some sites claiming the provider replaces ads with ads for its own service.
However, while I didn’t experience any CyberGhost ads, I was disappointed with the provider’s standalone ad block test score:
Here’s a comparison with the other VPNs on my list:
Ad Blocker Test Score:
Unfortunately, when testing CyberGhost’s ad blocker on the other sites, my fears were confirmed: it’s just not…great.
I don’t feel comfortable recommending it on my list, at least.
And it seems many Reddit users, like this one, agree with me:
So, if you’re specifically looking for a VPN with an efficient ad blocker, I don’t recommend CyberGhost.
Instead, opt for NordVPN and its brilliant CyberSec feature.
Other VPN Ad Blockers to Avoid
There are other VPNs with ad blocking features that you should steer clear of.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some you should avoid at all costs:
- PureVPN – this provider advertises its “content filtering” as an ad-blocker. However, according to support, it doesn’t actually block ads (just sites you don’t want to access). To verify this, I contacted PureVPN’s support team again. This was their response:
This means the VPN provider is still actively advertising its content filter feature as an ad blocker despite knowing it doesn’t function as one. Not cool.
- HolaVPN – this VPN should also be avoided entirely, including its ad blocker browser extension. In 2015, it was caught selling user data and bandwidth to botnets. This compromised many users’ IPs.
- Any Ad Blocker VPN Without User Feedback – you should avoid any ad blocker VPN that doesn’t have a history of user feedback/reviews. If you haven’t heard of the VPN before, it’s probably not trustworthy! And if it is, it’ll work its way to the top by partnering with reputable sites and demonstrating its trustworthiness in real-time.
Is a VPN Ad Blocker Enough?
While the best ad blocker VPNs will provide a phenomenal user experience by blocking ads, trackers, and malicious sites, consider using a reputable ad blocker in addition to your VPN – to pick up anything that falls through the cracks.
My only recommendation for this is uBlock Origin.
I’ve used this add-on for years now and it blocks pretty much everything – ads, trackers, malicious sites, and even YouTube ads.
If you use uBlock with NordVPN (or any other VPN recommended here), you’re sure to have the ultimate ad blocking experience!
To give you an idea, here’s uBlock Origin’s standalone score without any other ad blocker enabled:
uBlock Origin is available for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari browsers.
Ad Blockers to Avoid
Of course, like with VPNs, there are ad blockers you should avoid.
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of the most prominent ones:
- Adblock Plus – although AdBlock Plus is a well-known ad blocker add-on, Business Insider reports that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are paying the creators of Adblock Plus monumental fees to keep their ads unblocked. And no matter how old the article is, you’re better safe than sorry.
- AdBlock – there are a lot of “adblock”-labeled ad blockers (which makes sense). AdBlock might be one of the originals – but during my tests, it scored way below average. You’re better off with uBlock Origin.
- Pop up blocker for Chrome – this ad blocker specifically targets pop-up ads…and it’s not even good at that. If you’re going to use an ad blocker besides a VPN + uBlock Origin, avoid this one.
- Most Ad Blocker Extensions – A good way to tell a reputable ad blocker from an iffy one is if the browser add-on/extension page includes a GitHub link. Most ad blockers with GitHub links are open source and include detailed FAQs. There are hundreds of ad blocker extensions – but only so many ad blocker extensions with GitHub pages.
Will My VPN’s Ad Blocker Help With Browser Fingerprinting?
Unfortunately, no, your VPN’s ad blocker won’t help with browser fingerprinting.
VPN ad blockers are designed to target ads, trackers, and malicious websites.
And while there are exceptions to this rule (like Perfect Privacy), you shouldn’t expect any ad blocker to help with browser fingerprinting.
Instead, you should enhance your online privacy and follow safe browsing practices.
Do All VPNs Block Ads?
No, not all VPNs block ads.
In fact, it’s somewhat unusual for a VPN to include an ad blocking feature.
However, the best VPNs are an exception.
For example, NordVPN is a reputable VPN provider that offers an efficient ad blocker (CyberSec) that blocks ads, malicious sites, and YouTube ads.
Furthermore, just because a VPN offers an ad blocking feature doesn’t mean it will work well.
For this reason, you need to test your VPN’s ad blocker before trusting it to do its job.
Can ExpressVPN Block Ads?
No, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer an ad blocking feature.
However, the VPN provider is big on ad blockers in general and recommends its users use uBlock Origin.
That said, if you’re looking for a reputable VPN provider that offers an ad blocking feature, give NordVPN’s CyberSec feature a chance.
Can IPVanish Block Ads?
No, IPVanish doesn’t offer an ad blocking feature.
So, if you want to block ads while using IPVanish, you’ll need to use uBlock Origin as your primary ad blocker.
Alternatively, you can try one of the VPNs recommended in this guide.
How Do Ads Track You?
Ads track you in many ways, including tracking cookies, URL trackers, IP addresses, tracking pixels, and browser fingerprinting.
Using these methods, companies can study your activities and preferences.
And pretty soon, they know enough about you to fill your browsing experience with personalized ads.
How Does a VPN Block Ads?
The most common form of ad blocking that a VPN does is via its own DNS servers.
This is done by blocking or redirecting DNS requests.
Once a DNS request is blocked/redirected, you’ll stop seeing ads.
Another way VPNs block ads is by sending ad trackers to fake IPs, making it impossible to resolve them.
On the other hand, VPNs block malicious websites by referencing blocklists.
Sometimes these blocklists are from third parties.
Sometimes they’re from the VPN’s own databases.
And sometimes, it’s both.
Either way, the best VPNs with ad blocker will keep their blocklists updated and relevant.
I don’t blame you for trying to find a VPN that offers an ad blocking feature.
Ads are damn annoying!
Luckily, you now have four reputable VPNs with ad blockers that will get the job done.
Of course, my top recommendation is NordVPN, thanks to its CyberSec ad blocker that scored a perfect 28/28 during my tests!
CyberSec will keep you safe from ads, trackers, malicious websites, and even block YouTube ads – something no other VPN on my list can do!
So, if you’re ready to be amazed by NordVPN, click here!
My exclusive one-time discount won’t last forever!