Fast Chrome Based Browsers with Built-In Ad Blocking

Nobody likes ads. I’m willing to bet that most people program themselves mentally to tune out ads, be it an unskippable (Merriam-Webster should really add it to their dictionary) pre-roll ad on YouTube, video-streaming site or good old cable TV, from their daily lives.

Update: Do you know that you can block ads in Chrome without any extensions? All you need to do is specify ad servers to block in your Hosts file.

This article isn’t a tirade against ads. Advertisements are still the most creative and ideal way for people, companies and small businesses (like this blog) to promote themselves and earn a living. It simply works – and has for centuries! This article rather aims at preventing the small minority of sites and services that abuse this great medium at the expense of its users by educating the readers on blocking out intrusive elements. It’s become such a strain to users that companies like Google, whose profits heavily depend on ad revenue are working on their own solution.

Sure there’s a new browser being released every week that touts something unique and markets itself as the best browser ever. We at Gtricks are more than happy to cover those browsers if they truly bring something new to the table. There’s a lot of great choices but this article will focus on the major ones which we feel is the most well rounded and stable browsers at the time of writing this piece. The following is a list of browsers based on Google’s open-source Chromium code with ad blocking built-in for Android and PC.

Best Chromium Based Ad-Block Browsers for Smartphones and PC

Brave Browser: Android

Brave Software was started in 2015 by Brendan Eich, the visionary behind the Javascript programming language who went on to co-found Mozilla after his years working at Netscape. With the goal helping users who are sick of bad advertisers who stop at nothing to mine personal data, he and his team launched Brave Browser last year for Android (and iOS much more recently). While the browser is still in early stages for Windows, MacOS & Linux, its mobile apps are gaining a huge following due to its fast performance and simple user interface.

Upon first glance, you’ll notice that the user interface looks very similar and almost identical to that of Google’s Chrome browser. So if you’re a Chrome user, you will feel right at home. Think of this browser as Google Chrome Plus. The only real visual difference is the Brave icon next to the address bar which is for blocking ads.

Mobile & Tablet UI: Left to Right

Click the Brave icon and you’ll get a pop-up with Up & Down buttons. Up is to enable, and down, as you guessed, is to disable ad blocking. It’s the browser’s standout feature and does an excellent job of blocking ads natively. Being a privacy oriented browser, it offers other features like:

  • HTTPS everywhere: Highly recommended for staying secure when browsing unknown sites.
  • Block 3rd party cookies: Block cookies which tracking your previous browsing history to collect user information.
  • Browser fingerprint blocking: The browser blocks sites from collecting information on what device, browser and version of operating system you’re using.
  • Block unknown scripts for automatically running malicious code

Privacy-oriented features

Privacy settings of Chrome vs Brave – From left to right

Visually similar to Google Chrome

In addition to privacy protection, it offers the following notable features which are necessary for any browser to do well these days:

  • Data saving feature to make sure the users save on monthly data plans.
  • Optimised for best battery life. It’s a light browser without plugins that meant give a smooth performance without compromising on battery life.
  • Download web pages for offline reading.

In case you are not against ads, you can at least make ads more relevant to you.

Vivaldi: Windows, MacOS & Linux

Next is a browser made by Vivaldi Technologies that was founded by ex-Opera co-founder because of user’s negative reception to Opera’s highly publicised change to the Presto Engine from Blink. Instinctively, Presto uses Blink just like Brave Browser and has been gaining the attention of enthusiasts & web-developers quietly.

The Vivaldi Browser user interface

After using it extensively for some time, I can see why people are taking a liking to it. The browser inherits Opera’s DNA bringing standard features like reading mode, speed dial & personalisation. Visually it looks different but it is based on Chromium (Open source branch of Chrome) but we’ll be taking a look at its main selling points which are as follows:

  • Page tiling: If you’re browsing between multiple tabs at the same time and would like to see them side by side or as four windows at once you can achieve that by Control(Windows) or Command (Mac) clicking the tabs and then pressing the Page tile icon at the bottom.
  • Page Capture: Built-in by default to quick capture ideas and information. Press the camera icon next to page tiling.
  • Note Taking: Take notes easily inside the browser by pressing the notes icon present in the sidebar.
  • Tab Stacking: Stack multiple tabs by dragging and dropping tabs on top of each other and stack them. It’s a really efficient way to browse sites that are regularly frequented.
  • Quick Commands: Press F2 (Windows) & Fn-F2 (Mac) to trigger an Alfred-like interface to launch commands like opening bookmarks and history. You can even create custom keyboard shortcuts to launch certain websites.
  • Mouse gestures: Last but certainly not the least, is mouse gestures. It’s a pretty cool feature that lets users program swipes and gestures to do tasks like open a closed tab, going back, etc. The option can be found in the settings and is an excellent tool that really saves a lot of time after using it for some time.
  • Content Blocker: The inbuilt ad blocker of Vivaldi which hides iFrame of blocks that are sized like common advertisements by CSS.

Page tiling: Browse pages in multiple layouts

Tab Stacking: Drag tabs on top of each other to stack them together

Customisable mouse gestures to carry out a plethora of tasks

Worthy contender with features like note taking and tab pinning

Comes with plenty of options to personalise the browser to your liking

Related: Best Android Browsers

That about covers the two major ones in this space right now. There’s no doubt that there will be more for us at Gtricks to cover, so do let us know in the comments section if there are other alternatives browsers with inbuit ad blockers you think we missed. If you still have any other queries we are just a hello away.

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Filed under Android, Google Chrome. Posted by Ambariish and last updated on July 5, 2017.

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