Apps & Software

Opera browser explores native ad blocker for desktop and Android

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While many of the web’s content creators are deciding how to deal with ad-blockers, Opera has baked a native ad-blocker option right into the Opera desktop browser, as well as the Opera Mini browser for Android.

The company states that up to “60 million people use Opera for computers,” while almost 120 million people use Opera Mini for Android every month. With the latest stable update, these users will no longer need to install an ad-blocking extension or download an app if they want to block ads from the web.

“By integrating the ad-blocker technology directly into the browser code, the new Opera for computers speeds up page loading by as much as 89% compared to browsing without ad blocking,” the company stated in today’s announcements.

With many online publishers and other content creators losing money on ad-blocking, some websites have started blocking content from users that use third-party ad-blocking apps, but that is still a rare occurrence at this time. Ad-blocking has caused a dramatic spike in “paid content” or “sponsored content” on the web as well, with more advertising tricks on the way to make up for the loss of ad revenue from these ad-blockers.

The company talked about the mobile version of the service in today’s announcement saying, “Ad blocking is also very useful on a mobile device, where online ads take up precious screen space, slow down the browsing, and adds to the user’s data bill.”

For cost-conscious mobile users, there is an added advantage to removing online ads, and that is saving money on the data bill. Opera Mini is known for its compression technology. By also blocking ads, Opera Mini users can achieve up to an additional 14% in data savings on top of that, so that less is deducted from a user’s mobile data allowance.

If you are looking to activate the native ad-block technology on Opera Mini, the company states that under the “O” menu in Opera Mini, tap the data-savings summary. From there, simply toggle “block ads” on and off. On Android, the ad blocker is available in both high- and extreme-savings modes.

If you use Opera for desktop, the integrated ad-blocker can be enabled with a single click in settings. The dialog shows statistics on how many ads you’ve blocked overall, as well as on the current page. You can also compare the webpage’s load speed with and without ad blocking.