Google Chrome has quietly released a feature that would block certain ads if they exceeded a certain amount of bandwidth or battery power in an effort to improve browser performance and user experience.
While there are numerous privacy issues surrounding ads and trackers, many of which are loaded onto every site you go on to, there’s also an argument against ads from a browser performance perspective.
The more ads and trackers that show up on a site, the more data is being downloaded and the longer you have to wait to load a site. This may be an issue if you’re browsing on a mobile device and have data caps or if you tend to have many tabs open on your desktop browser. The heavier your page load is, the slower your browser will perform.
To ensure Chrome is working as quickly as possible, it will now start blocking ads that use up more than 4MB of network data, 15 seconds of CPU usage in a 30-second period, or 60 seconds of total CPU usage.
This new heavy adblocker will primarily affect video ads but Google engineers also stated that this should discourage poor or malicious practices such as cryptomining, video decoding, and CPU timing attacks, which affect user experience.
This feature is built into Chrome’s latest version released Tuesday so update your browser if you haven’t already. The heavy adblocker will start working automatically but, according to Google’s own estimates, less than 1% of all ads will be affected.
If you really want to reduce your tracking and make your browser faster, we recommend installing a tracker blocker or an ad blocker. DuckDuckGo is an easy one to set-up and use, as is Ghostery.
For even more private browsing, you may want to eschew Google and opt for a browser that’s focused on privacy by default, like Firefox or Brave.
For more details on Google’s new heavy adblocker, visit Digiday.