Opera Brings Native Adblocking To Android And Desktop Browsers

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Opera Mini gets built-in adblocker for Android that claims to boost page loading speeds by 40 percent, while stable desktop version with feature is also released

After bringing a free VPN (virtual private network) to its latest desktop browser last month, Norway’s Opera has now updated its Android browser with built-in adblocking.

Opera claims that the addition of adblocking on Android will boost page loads times by 40 percent and reduce data consumption by 14 percent.

Native ad-blocking is now a feature of the stable version of desktop Opera and the company asserts it is 45 percent faster than Google Chrome – the world’s most popular web browser – with third party ad blocking extensions.

“Opera is the first browser company to offer a native ad blocker across devices,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera.

Data-savings

ad block“We do this because we want to provide people with the fastest browsers in the market. Our speed test shows that online ads slow down the browsing experience. Now, with Opera, you can browse a lot faster than, for example, in Chrome.”

Many people use ad blockers because they find ads intrusive while others believe some creatives slow down system performance, use excessive amounts of data and reduce battery life, while others hold security fears. A number of advertising networks have been used to launch malvertising attacks in recent times.

Opera says it is not against advertising as such, it wants publishers to recognise the impact bloated ads have on web speeds, privacy and security and use more efficient, safer creatives.

More than 120 million users access the web through Opera’s Mini Android smartphone browser each month, said Opera, and those will now get access to the adblocking feature ‘out of the box’, without the need for add-on installation. Under the “O” menu in Opera Mini, users need to tap the data-savings summary. From there, users can toggle “block ads” on and off. On Android, the ad blocker is available in both high- and extreme-savings modes.

Ad blocking

It was April when Opera released a web browser with a built-in virtual private network (VPN), offering free 256-bit encryption that can hide IP addresses and bypass firewalls. The function, an optional tool on Opera 50, follows the acquisition of VPN service SurfEasy last March.

The built-in VPN effectively allows users to unblock firewalls, stop your browser session from leaking onto public WiFi networks, and make it more difficult for websites to track your location and identify your computer. In March, Opera added native adblocking to that same browser, which is now available to the general public for use.

Research from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) suggests one in five British adults use ad blocking, but would be less likely to do so if adverts didn’t interfere with what they were doing. However nearly two thirds claimed they prefer free, ad-supported content to a subscription-based model.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has suggested the government might step in to aid publishers in their battle against ad blocking software amid rising concerns within the industry.

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