Adblockers are getting relatively popular nowadays as content creators aggressively push annoying ads in numerous forms. As a result, more and more people are shifting towards adblocker software or extension even though it was once considered unethical.
The biggest problem is finding the right adblocker that works on an internet filled with many. Since you’re here on this page, you have already done your research; we know that. It all boils down to the two most popular contenders, uBlock and uBlock Origin.
The most confusing part is how these two adblockers differentiate from each other. It’s a debacle as both the adblockers seem and feel pretty similar. Is that the case? Well, we’ll try to find exactly that in this article.
Why Do You Need Adblockers?
If you’re still confused about whether you need an adblocker or not, then let us first talk about that. That’s not the case with you? Feel free to skip to the relevant section.
We’ve always heard that using adblocker software is unethical as it prevents the content creators from earning their deserving money. In other words, you’re stealing from the creator, and the creator might stop pushing new content after all. Being a team of creators, we agree with this statement to some extent.
The thing is, certain creators or publications end up pushing advertisements or pop-overs to an extreme level. Imagine reading an article and seeing ads covering more real estate than the content itself. On top of this, imagine some pop-up ads that contain random videos and whatnot. It’s insane, to be honest. Adblockers were designed not to block all ads but to block spammy ads that are irrelevant, obscene, and too frequent.
We strictly recommend not blocking ads on those web pages where you are not annoyed or are getting some worthy reads. Another key benefit of blocking an ad is keeping yourself safe from harmful malware that can sneakily attack your system.
uBlock vs. uBlock Origin: The Story Behind
uBlock was initially developed by Raymond Hill and released in June 2014. The extension or software used community-maintained blocklists while also adding some extra features. Soon after, Hill transferred the project’s official repository to Chris Aljoudi since he was frustrated with all the incoming requests.
It turns out that Aljoudi removed all the credits to Raymond Hill and portrayed himself as the uBlock’s original developer. Furthermore, he started accepting donations showcasing overblown expenses to churn out some money from the project.
Instead of development, Chris was focused more on the business and advertisement side of the adblocker. Hill decided to keep working on his extension separately, which resulted in the discrepancy because of the same name. As a result, Chrome took down Hill’s version while Chris’s version remained available.
Raymond Hill decided to rename and rebrand his extension to uBlock Origin. We’re now looking at two similar adblockers, uBlock and uBlock Origin. The former is Chris’s version, while the latter is the original adblocker. Now comes the question; which one is better?
uBlock vs. uBlock Origin: Comparison
Similar User Interface
One of the key similarities between uBlock and uBlock Origin is their user interface. Since uBlock comes straight from uBlock Origin, you would see very few visual differences between the two.
Both are browser-based ad-blockers that have a very elementary user interface. When you click on the extension icon, a small pop-over window will appear, consisting of a simple icon that will toggle the adblocker. You’ll see some statistics below the button, such as requests blocked on the page, requests blocked since the installation, and more.
The only significant difference in UI is adding a header that mentions the extension name in uBlock. uBlock Origin has no such title and offers a much cleaner experience. Instead of the header, uBlock Origin provided some extra functionalities in the window’s footer. Around four additional icons on the bottom allow you to access some advanced options right from the window.
Of course, both the extensions offer much more in-depth information and options through their dedicated webpage that you can access from the respective extension.
All in all, you can expect a somewhat similar user interface and feel with both these ad-blockers. However, we like uBlock Origin’s clean user interface and experience a bit more.
uBlock markets itself as the fastest and most potent adblocker. It can block ads, sneaky tracking, overhead, and more. The developer also claims that it is fast, memory-efficient, and lightweight.
On the other hand, Raymond Hill is marketing his version as a free, open-source ad content blocker. According to him, uBlock Origin is not an “ad blocker” but a wide-spectrum content blocker. Essentially, both the extension does the job ideally and has an identical set of features. These are all just marketing tactics and presentations decided by the developer.
Blocking & Filtering
uBlock Origin supports the filter lists as that of AdBlock Plus and AdBlock. The developer has, by default, kept the EasyList and EasyPrivacy filter lists enabled. Furthermore, the extensions also have malware domain blocklists by default.
This addition gives you the same malware protection as AdBlock, which is good. You can even import host files and several community-based lists.
Other features include dynamic URL filtering, color vision deficiency accessibility, logging functionality, and more. We’re also looking at DOM inspector, block link prefetching, IP address leaks via webRTC, and much more. You’re looking at many valuable features that help you get the most out of the extension. Most of these features are also available on the uBlock, so that’s not a significant problem.
Alright! Everything boils down to this; performance. It doesn’t matter how many features an adblocker offers; if it’s not optimized, it’s not worth it.
Both the ad-blockers claim to provide memory-efficient extensions that are lightweight. In our usage, we find uBlock Origin to offer much better performance than uBlock. But, you would not notice a difference if you’re a regular user. Flip it up to some heavy multitasking; that’s where you start to see the variation.
If you’re someone who deals with plenty of opened tabs, then uBlock Origin would be a better choice. We noticed a negligible impact on our browsing experience while the extension was doing its job behind the scenes.
Both the extensions are doing perfectly fine so far, with uBlock Origin taking a slight lead thanks to its optimized performance. Well, Acceptable Ads is a thing that will hugely influence your decision to choose uBlock Origin.
Acceptable Ads was initially created by Eyeo, the parent company of AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. In this, the adblocker allows certain ads to pass through. The company claims they only allow “respectful, nonintrusive, and relevant” ads while also caring about the user experience. The community disagrees with this statement; various allegations exist that acceptable ads allow publishers to push ads in return for a monetary benefit.
Extensions such as AdBlock and AdBlock Plus can charge money to publishers to allow their ads. This practice doesn’t sit well with the community and is considered highly unethical.
Out of uBlock and uBlock Origin, the former also follows the concept of Acceptable Ads. As a result, many users have shifted to the original uBlock Origin, which still offers the same old user experience.
It is worth noting that one can disable this feature from uBlock. Because of “acceptable ads,” we vastly prefer uBlock Origin as it seems more transparent and consumer-focussed. uBlock, on the other hand, appears to be profit and business-focussed.
uBlock vs. uBlock Origin: Which One Should You Choose?
If you’re still confused about which one you should go for, then you should keep reading as we discuss the ad-blocking extensions in three factors. These factors are usability, performance, and features.
Regarding usability, we strongly refer to the user interface and user experience. Both these factors are crucial as they primarily impact the user significantly.
Since uBlock and uBlock Origin comes from the same codebase, there are very few differences in the user interface. uBlock Origin appears to offer a much cleaner and more helpful UI. For most of us, the slight difference wouldn’t make much of an impact; but if you’re an advanced user, that could change.
Going on to the overall user experience, uBlock Origin impressed us more than its counterpart. Again, we are nit-picking here, and we highly recommend you to try out both to feel the difference. It would help you make the right decision.
uBlock and uBlock Origin also share the same number of features with a bit of difference. You get all the essential features that you expect from a typical adblocker extension.
We’re talking about features such as safe lists, deny lists, counters, tracking control, infected domain warnings, and much more. Other features include popular filter lists, importing custom lists, dynamic URL filtering, logging, interface enhancements, and more. uBlock Origin, in particular, comes with DNS API that presents some sites to bypass third-party trackers.
While both the extensions come with the same set of features, uBlock Origin appears to take a lead thanks to some extra additions that are very helpful.
An extension’s performance is another essential factor because it can break or make the entire experience. uBlock Origin and uBlock both have the same features and claim to be memory-efficient and optimized extensions. Well, that’s not the story, at least for one.
uBlock Origin appears to be much more optimized as we could do heavy multitasking on Chrome while it was working behind the scenes.
uBlock managed to impact our multitasking, and we had to turn it off to browse and switch between a long list of tabs. Again, these are when you heavily use your browser and have opened many tabs.
uBlock vs. uBlock Origin: Conclusion
Hopefully, after reading this article, you will have more clarity on the comparison between uBlock and uBlock Origin. We have tried to compare both the extensions in every way possible, from the user interface to real-time performance. There are subtle differences between uBlock and uBlock Origin, but those differences matter in the long run.
So, which of these adblockers did you finally settle on? Use the comments section below to let us know your answer, and also share your feedback about the article if you have any!