Key Takeaways: Blocking Ads With VPNs
- Ad blockers themselves don’t hide your IP address, but VPNs with ad-blockers can.
- The best VPNs with ad-blocker features are NordVPN, Surfshark, Proton VPN, CyberGhost and Private Internet Access.
- Atlas VPN is an honorable mention, and we highly discourage using other VPNs that claim to block ads, as most of them are not secure or private.
If you want to prevent annoying ads from ruining your internet browsing experience, but also have the extra security and privacy of a VPN, you should consider using a VPN with ad-blocker capabilities. In this guide, we will list the best VPNs that offer ad blocking all in one package — plus some VPN services to avoid.
In this guide, we suggest five trustworthy VPN ad blockers, all of which made our list of best VPN services. However, you can also use an independent VPN in conjunction with an ad-blocker.
Why You Should Use a VPN With Ad Blocker
External ad blockers are effective at their jobs, but some aren’t very configurable, letting you adjust only a few settings. Others let you customize which ads to block and enable you to add specific sites to an allowlist. However, you still have to open the ad blocker on your browser, and these services don’t mask your IP address or encrypt your internet connection like VPNs.
Using a VPN service with a built-in ad blocker lets you handle everything within a program to simultaneously block ads and stay anonymous online. These ad-blocking solutions are robust, preventing most ads. Moreover, they work with the VPN’s security features as you stream or shop online.
Additionally, getting a new IP address can allow you to access geoblocked streaming services while blocking ads (some of our suggested VPNs are excellent VPNs for streaming services). Platforms like Hulu and YouTube have ads unless you pay to remove them; using these VPNs is the best way to watch shows and videos without ads from anywhere.
Before proceeding, we should state that from our testing, the best VPN ad blockers can’t block every single ad, and some ads might slip through, depending on the platform.
What Makes the Best VPN With Ad Blocking?
The best VPN with ad blocker doesn’t just get rid of ads through their built-in ad-blockers; they also should come with standard VPN features like a kill switch, split tunneling, multiple VPN protocols and DNS leak protection. We recommend selecting the VPN with features that best suit your needs.
Top Suggestions: Best VPN With Ad-Blocking Features
- Surfshark — VPN with unlimited connections that blocks ads the best
- NordVPN — The fastest VPN that blocks most ads
- Proton VPN — The best free VPN, but ad-blocking is a paid feature
- CyberGhost — Powerful VPN with a great ad blocker
- Private Internet Access — A decent ad-blocker VPN with many servers
Besides the standard features above, we highly recommend you find a VPN with a large server spread. You can unblock more streaming services from other countries, particularly those like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. You won’t have to worry about ads appearing constantly as you watch your favorite shows.
The best ad-blocker VPNs also let you configure what you want to block. Being able to set up filter lists and prevent malicious ads is a must, and the ad blocker should ideally work against pop-up ads, banner ads and floating videos that spring up out of nowhere. Some web pages are packed full of ads to earn more ad revenue.
Unfortunately you’ll notice that there are no free VPNs with ad-blocking, although Proton VPN has a free plan, the ad blocker is a paid feature. Finally, if the VPNs offer ad-blocking browser extensions, it can offer another avenue for blocking ads on a web page, without you having to enable the VPN manually.
VPN Performance: How Well It Blocks Ads
A VPN shouldn’t be all talk and no results, so we ran ad-blocking tests on each of them. We focused on blocking Twitch ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Hulu ads and Peacock ads before recording the success rates. You can find a table containing the information below.
2. browser extension did block some
When performing the tests, we noticed that ads on Twitch, YouTube, Hulu and Peacock tend to load first in larger chunks. However, the VPN may kick in and block ads if you skip ahead or simply continue watching. The ad blockers don’t get every advertisement, but they tend to reduce the frequency of ads appearing significantly.
In Facebook’s case, none of the five VPN ad blockers were able to prevent sponsored content from appearing because these ads are delivered as posts. However, the Surfshark browser extension did manage to prevent ads from appearing at the side of the page on desktop browsers.
The 5 Best VPNs With Ad Blocking Capabilities
The best VPN–ad blocker combo services are the only ones on our list. Even though Surfshark had the best performance, we recommend checking each provider before deciding.
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.49 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: No
- Provider website: surfshark.com
- Unlimited connections
- Affordable plans
- Ad-blocking extension
- Higher latency readings
- Can’t torrent on some servers
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN industry, but it can stop annoying ads while offering dependable security and privacy. Surfshark lets users create dynamic MultiHop server pairs, which means you can make your own double VPN combinations. Of course, Surfshark’s main selling point is that it allows an infinite number of devices to connect using one account.
Many users enjoy watching YouTube or Netflix on their mobile devices, and we’re happy to say that Surfshark’s mobile apps are easy to use. It takes 10 seconds to activate CleanWeb and connect to a server for an ad-free streaming experience. We noticed some high latency readings, but Surfshark is fast enough for streaming and more. More details are in our Surfshark review.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb prevents ads from loading while alerting users of breaches and malware. It works on all supported devices, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of customization or allowlisting.
However, if you need these features, you can try CleanWeb 2.0, available on the Surfshark browser extension. It’s an upgraded version of CleanWeb that lets you select what to block, including pop-up ads and annoying video ads. Our tester even found it somewhat effective against Facebook ads, which are notoriously difficult to block.
Surfshark’s plans last for one month, one year or two years, and all are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. We highly recommend the two-year Surfshark Starter package that has the complete VPN experience for $2.49 a month.
- Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in One, plus Data removal
- Unlimited GB
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.19 per month (two-year plan + three months)
- Free plan: No
- Provider website: nordvpn.com
- Fast speeds
- Large server spread
- Powerful security
- Mobile UI is clunky
- NordLynx has no specialty servers
NordVPN is the fastest VPN service, boasting top-tier encryption and VPN protocols for the best combination of speed and security. The VPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol is speedy and allows for smooth streaming without lags or stuttering — common issues that plague lesser VPNs. Besides some common features, NordVPN has a dark web monitor, specialty servers and an app kill switch.
Thanks to NordVPN’s large server network of 5,000 servers across 60 countries, you can unblock geo-restricted websites like online banking services or government sites. NordVPN also doesn’t keep logs of your browsing history. While it was breached in 2018, the provider hasn’t experienced anything in recent years. Read our NordVPN review for more information.
NordVPN’s threat protection feature will block malicious sites, intrusive ads and malware if you download files from the internet. While the full version doesn’t need a VPN connection, Threat Protection Lite (best for mobile devices and browsers) does. Therefore, NordVPN eliminates ads even if you don’t need a VPN connection. The ad blocker works best after you initiate a VPN connection.
NordVPN has Standard, Plus, Complete and Ultimate subscription tiers, but Standard is enough if you only want the whole VPN experience. Each tier has three plans lasting one month, one year and two years, and we recommend getting the two-year subscription for just $3.19 per month.
3. Proton VPN
More details about Proton VPN:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: Yes, but doesn’t include ad-blocking
- Provider website: protonvpn.com
- Backed by Swiss privacy laws
- Powerful security features
- Obfuscation included
- Ad blocker is locked behind Plus plan
- No Mac/iOS split tunneling
Swiss provider Proton VPN enjoys a good reputation due to its focus on preserving the privacy of all customers. It has everything you’d ever want in a VPN, though features like secure core servers and NetShield are only available if you purchase its Plus subscription. Proton VPN has an excellent track record of bypassing the geo-restrictions streaming sites enact without significant speed drops.
Proton VPN introduced its Stealth protocol in late 2022, allowing Android, iOS and macOS users to disguise their internet connection and get past censorship. Another feature, alternative routing, further helps Proton VPN get around third-party software designed to block this VPN. Alternative routing is available on all mobile and desktop apps. Visit our Proton VPN review for more info.
Proton VPN’s servers all have dedicated DNS protection to prevent leaks, and paying users can activate NetShield to prevent malware, ads and trackers. NetShield will check each incoming DNS request against a continuously updated blocklist to prevent leaks, ads and trackers. You can even check how many ads and trackers it blocked, plus how much data you saved.
Proton VPN has three paid plans for one month, a year and two years, with the two-year plan saving more money; all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The freemium plan is free forever, but the built-in ad-blocking features are disabled until you pay. Read our guide to learn how to use Proton VPN premium features.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
More details about CyberGhost:
- Pricing: $2.37 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: No
- Provider website: cyberghostvpn.com
- Customizable automation
- 45-day refund period
- Large server spread
- Slower download speeds
- Couldn’t unblock Peacock
CyberGhost is a premium VPN service owned by the same parent company as ExpressVPN, and both are on our list of best VPNs. Blocking ads isn’t a problem for CyberGhost, but it also has powerful automation features under the “smart rules” tab. With some tinkering, you can ensure the app connects to a specific VPN server, such as when launching Google Chrome or anything else.
At the time of writing, CyberGhost has VPN servers in 91 countries. This large spread is perfect for watching content from around the world, especially if you connect to the streaming-optimized VPN servers CyberGhost offers. Sadly, Peacock managed to block CyberGhost in our tests. For a deeper look at the VPN, check out our CyberGhost review.
The content blocker feature blocks ads when you browse the internet, but it’s only a single toggle, with no way to configure what you want to block. For example, clicking the threat protection switch lets you choose what to block, and there’s no option for this when using CyberGhost. It’s helpful, but as with all ad-block VPN services, it can’t stop them all.
CyberGhost’s one-month plan has a 14-day refund period, but that’s extended to 45 days if you purchase a six-month or two-year subscription (which is the best one at $2.37 a month). We have a CyberGhost refund guide if you want to try the VPN.
5. Private Internet Access
More details about Private Internet Access:
- Pricing: $3.33 per month (one-year plan)
- Free plan: No
- Provider website: privateinternetaccess.com
- No-logs policy
- Highly customizable
- Extensive server network
- Doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer
- Inconsistent upload speeds
If you’re looking for an affordable VPN that doesn’t disappoint, Private Internet Access (PIA) is a solid choice. PIA has been around for years, and its security features and privacy solutions have been battle-tested. While it can’t unblock every streaming service, support for unlimited connections at once makes PIA an excellent service option.
PIA’s VPN app lets you customize your connection, primarily if you use OpenVPN. The advanced kill switch is best if you’re in a country that actively censors internet users, while Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 further improve the VPN’s obfuscation abilities. Our PIA review has everything you need to know.
MACE is PIA’s ad-blocking feature, and it manages to block most ads. However, it loses some points with the lack of customization (it’s a toggle switch), along with how PIA can’t bypass some streaming platforms. Nevertheless, MACE can help prevent many ads from appearing as you watch videos and movies.
PIA’s best deal is the three-year subscription that costs just $3.33 a month, followed by its annual and standard monthly plans. All three are backed by a 30-day refund period , but if you want try out its premium features, check out our guide on how to use PIA VPN’s free trial (remember though this only applies for their mobile apps).
Honorable Mentions: Ad-Blocking VPNs
Not every VPN ad-blocker is created equal, and it’s not surprising that many services don’t score high enough to earn a spot here. Here’s one more VPN ad blocker that we think is worth mentioning.
Nord Security — the owner of NordVPN — also owns Atlas VPN, and both VPN services share some features, including an ad blocker. However, it still pales compared to the former, especially in terms of speed. Split tunneling is only available on Android, and the lack of more advanced features sets it back.
Atlas VPN’s ad blocker is called SafeBrowse, and it doesn’t have as much room for customization as NordVPN’s threat protection. Therefore, while Atlas VPN can block ads on Netflix and other platforms, it still isn’t good enough to compete with the five VPN ad blockers we’ve chosen. You can use this premium feature by testing out Atlas VPN’s seven-day free trial.
Avoid These VPNs With Ad Blockers
Many other VPNs offer ad blockers, but we don’t recommend using them due to security risks or poor ad-blocking performance. Others don’t actually block ads as advertised, so it’s best to avoid them. Instead, stick to the top five ad-blocking VPNs we just covered.
For example, services like Beetle VPN, Buckler VPN and Hat VPN Pro claimed to protect users’ privacy and block ads, but Avast called them out as fleece-ware, overcharging subscribers for an almost useless app.
Another VPN we don’t recommend is Perfect Privacy, which has a customizable ad blocker, but the poor speeds and lackluster server network make it not worth using.
Finally, if we haven’t covered a particular VPN and it claims to be free, you should avoid downloading or subscribing to it. There’s a high chance that free VPNs won’t function as their description advertises. Always research a service before committing to using it.
Final Thoughts: VPN Ad Blocker
VPN ad blockers are a convenient package, working with VPN protocols to keep your connection safe while blocking ads. Many VPNs claim to block ads, but only a few employ powerful ad blockers. Our list includes services like Surfshark, NordVPN, Proton VPN, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access and Atlas VPN as an honorable mention.
While unable to block every ad, VPN ad blockers can also prevent privacy leaks and other security risks. Many streaming platforms are working hard to get past ad blockers, and VPN providers have plenty of catching up to do. Our tests determined that these VPNs are highly successful at blocking ads.
We also have tested the best ways to block ads on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, Paramount Plus, YouTube, Spotify and Peacock.
What are some other VPNs we didn’t include that can block ads? What do you think about the VPNs we selected? Are there any other ad-blocking VPNs we missed? Let us know in the comments section. As always, thanks for reading.
FAQ: VPNs with Ad-Blockers
You can block ads with a VPN that comes with built-in ad-blocking features, and not every provider supports this function.
CyberGhost has ad-blocking capabilities, thanks to its content blocker, and it can also prevent malware from wreaking havoc on your computer.