DEFINITION of 'Ad Blocking Software'

Ad blocking software removes advertisements from websites. Some (maybe most) users prefer to browse the Internet without ads, which can be distracting and time consuming.

BREAKING DOWN 'Ad Blocking Software'

Advertisements can be large files (animated GIFs, flash videos). Ad blocking software, by stopping large advertisements' automatic download, can allow web pages to load faster.

Ad blockers can be system or browser specific. They work by targeting files which have certain size and URL characteristics. This practice, unfortunately, means that advertisers must become more creative if they hope to get their advertisements through the ad blocker. The resulting ads can be more aggressive or annoying than regular pop-ups or banner ads.

Opponents of ad blocking software argue that users who don’t “pay” for content by viewing ads are stealing content. On the other hand, only a small number of Internet users install and use ad blocking software.

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