Short on time? Here’s the best VPN with an ad blocker in 2023:
- 🥇 Private Internet Access: PIA MACE is a feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware, allowing ad-heavy pages to load fast and preventing users from visiting malicious sites. It’s easy to use and included on most major platforms. Private Internet Access also maintains very fast speeds, comes with top-of-the-line privacy and security features, allows unlimited connections, offers cheap plans, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I hate ads as much as anyone else — they get in the way of your entertainment, make web pages load slower, and also compromise your privacy.
Unfortunately, many third-party ad blockers can’t get rid of most ads — even worse, some of them even whitelist so-called “acceptable ads.”
Luckily, I found a better solution: VPN ad blockers — in addition to getting rid of pretty much any ad, they also protect you from malicious websites, secure your digital footprints, and hide your location, so that advertisers can’t spy on them.
Of course, not all VPN ad blockers provide a good experience, as some can’t block many ads or protect you from shady sites — not to mention many VPNs lack essential security features, have slow speeds, or are hard to use.
But all the VPNs on this list come with really good ad or malicious site blocking, and they also provide great value through strong security features, fast speeds, and more. My #1 pick is Private Internet Access with its MACE feature, which blocks pretty much all ads, trackers, and malicious sites.
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Quick summary of the best VPNs with ad blockers:
- 1. 🥇 Private Internet Access (PIA) — Best VPN for blocking ads, trackers & malicious sites. Its ad blocker, PIA MACE, gets rid of pretty much all ads, and it also protects you from malicious links. The VPN also comes with excellent security features, the fastest speed on this list, and more.
- 2. 🥈 NordVPN — Great at blocking ads & malicious downloads. Its Threat Protection feature blocks ads, malicious sites, and malware-infected downloads, so it’s also pretty good while torrenting. The VPN also comes with great speeds.
- 3. 🥉 Proton VPN — High-end security & privacy features + great ad blocker. NetShield, its ad blocker, is great at blocking ads and malicious sites. The provider also comes with high-end security and privacy features, including double VPN connections and open-source apps.
- 4. Surfshark — User-friendly & affordable VPN with a good ad blocker. Its ad blocker (CleanWeb) is pretty good at getting rid of ads and malicious links. The VPN also has super affordable plans are very easy-to-use apps.
- 5. CyberGhost VPN — Great malicious site blocker & very good for streaming. While its ad blocker (Content Blocker) can’t get rid of many ads, it’s really good at protecting you from shady sites. The VPN is also great for streaming, as it works with 50+ streaming services.
- Comparison of the Best VPNs With Ad Blockers.
🥇1. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Best VPN With an Ad & Malware Blocker
Private Internet Access (PIA) comes with its proprietary MACE ad, tracker, and malware blocker. In addition to stopping frustrating and potentially dangerous pop-ups, MACE stops practically all ads from appearing on the pages you visit, which can help pages to load more quickly and provide a better all-around browsing experience.
MACE performed great during my ad-blocking testing. Pages that are usually overloaded with ads (like news sites and social media pages) loaded really fast, and MACE even stopped those super-annoying pop-up ads on some of my other favorite sites. When it comes to trackers, most ad blockers will check potential trackers against a list before stopping them. MACE handles trackers a little differently, and I really like this way better — it reroutes the tracking request to the local computer (and not your computer), which means the tracker has no chance of getting to you.
As for the malware blocker, it works extremely well too. I tested MACE against fake online malware sites, and I received a warning 100% of the time that the site was potentially harmful to my device — plus, MACE stopped me from visiting the sites every time. It’s also great that PIA regularly updates its list of malicious domains.
And I also like how MACE is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can also get it on Android if you install PIA’s .apk app, which requires a quick, simple manual installation. Plus, it’s great that PIA allows unlimited connections, so you can protect as many devices as you need.
In addition, PIA also provides excellent security and privacy features. It includes RAM-only servers that wipe all data with every server reset, perfect forward secrecy (changes your encryption key so hackers can’t spy on your data), and full protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. Plus, all of its apps are open-source, which allows anyone to check the codes for cracks in security, and its no-logs policy has been independently audited and proven true in court many times.
What’s more, PIA is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. I tested my connection speeds on servers in 10+ countries, and I always had really fast speeds — websites always loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos loaded instantly and didn’t buffer, and I never experienced lag while gaming.
On top of that, this provider has other great perks — it works with top streaming sites like Netflix and Disney+, allows P2P traffic on all servers, has servers in 80+ countries, and has very user-friendly apps.
Private Internet Access offers affordable plans that start as low as $2.19 / month. It covers all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access has the best VPN-bundled ad blocker on the market in 2023 — in my tests, PIA MACE prevented almost all of the ads from loading on a site (including pop-up ads and interstitial ads), blocked trackers from monitoring the sites I visited, and stopped me from accessing potentially malicious websites. PIA also has really fast speeds for all of your online activities and comes with top-notch security features and cool extra features. PIA’s plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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Read the full Private Internet Access review
🥈2. NordVPN — Great for Blocking Ads & Malicious Downloads
NordVPN’s Threat Protection protects against ads, shady sites, and even malicious downloads — it scans any executable file you download that’s up to 20 MB for signs of malware and removes any malicious content it detects. Even better, Threat Protection does this without compromising your privacy.
In my tests, Threat Protection worked really well — it stopped me from accessing shady HTTP sites, successfully detected malicious downloads, and got rid of almost all ads on ad-heavy web pages. That said, it wasn’t able to block as many ads as Private Internet Access’s MACE.
I also like how convenient Threat Protection is — it stays on even if you’re not connected to a VPN server (most VPN ad blockers only work if you’re connected to a server).
Threat Protection is available on Windows and macOS. There’s also Threat Protection Lite on iOS, Android, and Linux, which only blocks ads and malicious sites — but for Threat Protection Lite to block ads on Android, you’ll need to use NordVPN’s .apk app.
Because Threat Protection prevents malicious downloads, I also think it’s good while torrenting — and this provider has really good P2P support, as it comes with 4,500+ P2P servers in 45+ countries. Also, it works with top P2P apps like Vuze and uTorrent, and has SOCKS5 proxy servers, which change your IP address like a VPN but don’t use encryption, so they provide significantly faster downloads.
NordVPN also provided me with fast speeds in my tests — websites loaded instantly, HD videos loaded instantly, and 4K videos took just 3–4 seconds to load and there was only minor buffering when they started. That said, Private Internet Access has slightly faster speeds.
NordVPN has several tier-based subscriptions that come with monthly and yearly plans. The Standard subscription, which I recommend, starts at $4.99 / month and comes with all the provider’s features (including Threat Protection) — while the Plus subscription adds NordPass, a password manager, and the Complete subscription adds NordLocker, a cloud encryption service. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN has Threat Protection, which blocks ads, shady sites, and even malicious downloads — the feature worked pretty well in my tests, and I also like how it stays on even if you’re not connected to a VPN server. Threat Protection is also good while torrenting, and NordVPN also comes with really good P2P support. It also has fast speeds, affordable tier-based subscriptions, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. Proton VPN — High-End Privacy With a Great Ad Blocker
Proton VPN blocks ads, trackers, and malicious sites with its intuitive NetShield feature, allowing you to browse online without being slowed down by constant ads and making sure you avoid sites that may contain malware and spyware. NetShield is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TV.
NetShield checks against a list of domains known to host ads, trackers, and malicious content. In my tests, pages that are usually ad-heavy loaded quickly — though not as fast as with Private Internet Access’s MACE, which doesn’t need to check sites against a list. I like that you also get the option of customizing NetShield. For example, you can enable it to block malware, ads, and trackers, or just to block malware (though I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want all 3 protections).
In addition to NetShield, the provider also has high-end security features, including full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and full-disk encryption, which keeps all data safe on a server even if it’s compromised. Proton VPN also has Secure Core servers, which send your data through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 server — and one of the servers is located in an ultra-secure location in a privacy-friendly country.
Proton VPN also comes with really good privacy features — its no-logs policy has been independently audited, and all of its apps are open-source and audited.
Proton VPN has some impressive speeds, too. Plus, it comes with VPN Accelerator, which uses speed-enhancing technology to boost VPN speeds on distant servers. In my tests, sites always loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos loaded instantly, and there was only minor buffering at the start of some 4K videos — that said, Private Internet Access provided me with faster speeds.
On top of all of that, you also get other perks — 1,900+ servers in 60+ countries, really good streaming support, P2P servers in 15+ countries, and user-friendly apps.
Proton VPN has plans that start at only $3.99 / month — it also has one of the best free plans out there, but it doesn’t come with NetShield, so I don’t recommend trying it. All paid plans are covered by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN’s NetShield is great at blocking ads and malicious sites, and the provider has high-end security, too — including advanced features like full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and full-disk encryption. It also provides really good privacy via open-source apps and an audited no-logs policy. Proton VPN is also very fast, feature-rich, and great for streaming. It backs all plans with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Proton VPN review
4. Surfshark — Easy to Use & Affordable VPN With a Good Ad Blocker
Surfshark has some of the cheapest plans on the market. In addition, it comes with very intuitive apps that are very simple to navigate and make it easy to enable and configure its ad blocker. What’s more, the VPN allows unlimited connections.
Surfshark’s CleanWeb feature is pretty good at getting rid of ads and blocking malicious sites — when I ran tests, it stopped me from connecting to HTTP websites and prevented most ads from loading on various websites. However, it wasn’t always able to block pop-up ads (like Private Internet Access, NordVPN, and Proton VPN‘s ad blockers).
Plus, you can use CleanWeb on tons of platforms — the feature is available on the VPN provider’s iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TV apps.
In addition, you also get strong security features, as Surfshark comes with advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. It unfortunately only has DNS leak protection, so it lacks full leak protection (like Private Internet Access, NordVPN, and Proton VPN have) — that said, I never experienced any leaks in my leak tests.
Surfshark also has pretty good speeds, as websites usually loaded instantly, HD videos loaded instantly and there was only minor buffering at the start, and 4K videos loaded in less than 5 seconds and I only experienced minor buffering when skipping through them.
The provider also has other great perks, including 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries, the ability to access sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and P2P support across all of its servers.
Surfshark has super affordable plans that start at only $2.30 / month. It also backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark has very cheap plans and intuitive apps that make it easy to use its ad blocker. CleanWeb itself is also good at getting rid of most ads and protecting you from shady sites — plus, it’s available on tons of platforms. The provider also has strong security features, good speeds, and great P2P support. It has very affordable prices and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full Surfshark review
5. CyberGhost VPN — Great Malicious Site Blocker & Also Really Good for Streaming
CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker (Content Blocker) is really good at blocking malicious sites — I tested it by trying to connect to 5 shady HTTP websites, and the feature always prevented me from doing that. The ad blocker is also available on many platforms, including Android, Windows, macOS, Android TV, and Fire TV.
Unfortunately, the provider’s ad blocker isn’t very good at getting rid of ads — it stopped ads from showing up on search engines, but it wasn’t able to get rid of ads on most websites. Private Internet Access and the other VPNs on this list are honestly much better at getting rid of ads.
But I think CyberGhost VPN is also a good pick if you’re interested in streaming — it has 100+ streaming servers that are optimized to access 50+ streaming platforms, including top services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.
And this provider has good speeds, but it’s not as fast as Private Internet Access — in my speed tests, sites loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos loaded instantly and there was some buffering when I skipped through them, and 4K videos took 5 seconds to load and there was minor buffering at the start.
CyberGhost VPN has affordable prices that start at $2.11 / month. It backs the long-term plans with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, and the shortest plan with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost’s ad blocker isn’t that great, but I really like its malicious site blocker, which performed well in my tests. Its ad blocker is also available on most major apps. The provider is also really good for streaming, as it works with 50+ streaming services. CyberGhost VPN is also affordable and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee for its longer plans.
Read the full CyberGhost VPN review
Comparison of the Best VPNs with Ad Blockers in 2023
|VPN||Starting Price||Platforms With Ad Blocker Support||Blocks Ads||Malicious Site Blocker||Number of Connections||Money-Back Guarantee|
|1.🥇 Private Internet Access||$2.19 / month||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||✅||✅||Unlimited||30 days|
|2.🥈 NordVPN||$4.99 / month||Windows, macOS (Threat Protection)
iOS, Android, Linux (Threat Protection Lite)
(except some ads)
|3.🥉 Proton VPN||$3.99 / month||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux||✅||✅||10||30 days (prorated)|
|4. Surfshark||$2.30 / month||iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, Fire TV||✅
(except some pop-up ads)
|5. CyberGhost VPN||$2.11 / month||Android, Windows, macOS, Android TV, Fire TV||✅
(only on search engines)
|✅||7||45 days (long-term plans only)|
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How to Choose the Best VPN with an Ad Blocker in 2023
- Look for good ad and tracker blocking capabilities. I recommend picking a VPN ad blocker that can get rid of most ads, or at least some of them. Also, the ad blocker should prevent ad trackers from monitoring your online preferences. All the VPNs on my list can at least some of the ads you see online — Private Internet Access can block pretty much all of them.
- Check if it blocks malicious sites. I also recommend choosing a VPN ad blocker that can prevent you from accessing malicious links in addition to blocking ads — all of my top picks can block access to shady sites.
- Consider strong security features. Look for VPNs that use AES 256-bit encryption, which makes your data unreadable to unauthorized people, and a strict no-logs policy. A reliable VPN should also have a kill switch that disconnects your internet if the VPN connection drops and protection against IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks to prevent any potential information leaks.
- Test for fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your connection due to the encryption process and the distance that your data needs to travel to get routed through the VPN servers. However, quality VPNs minimize the speed loss to a point where you’ll barely notice any latency.
- Find a VPN with easy-to-use apps. You should only go with VPNs that have easy-to-install apps that make it simple to enable the ad-blocking feature and connect to a VPN server.
- Get a VPN that offers good value. I recommend looking for VPNs that also come with fast speeds, great streaming and P2P support, good pricing, and generous money-back guarantees.
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Top Brands that Didn’t Make the Cut
- ExpressVPN. It’s the best VPN on the market for 2023 thanks to industry-leading security features, speeds, and streaming and torrenting support. While it has a feature that blocks malicious sites, it can’t block ads.
- Perfect Privacy. Perfect Privacy has a good ad blocker, good security, and good speeds, but it’s very expensive and not worth the value.
- Hola VPN. Hola VPN has an ad blocker for its Chrome extension, but the VPN isn’t safe — it has a terrible no-logs policy and doesn’t encrypt your traffic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best VPN with an ad blocker?
Private Internet Access is hands-down the top VPN with an ad blocker on the market in 2023. MACE is PIA’s ad and malware blocker — it removes almost all ads (including pop-up and banner ads), blocks all trackers, and stops you from visiting sites that may contain malware.
Do all VPNs block ads?
No, only VPNs that come with ad blockers are able to block ads. While good VPNs come with a wide range of security features like AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy, you must purchase a VPN with an ad blocker to get this feature.
My favorite VPN with an ad blocker is Private Internet Access — it has a top-of-the-line ad, tracker, and malware blocker (called MACE), and it also includes high-end security features, super-fast connection speeds, and really cheap prices.
Are free VPNs with ad blockers safe?
Free VPNs rarely come with ad blockers. For example, Proton VPN has a great free plan, but you have to upgrade to a paid plan to get its ad blocker. I normally don’t advise people to get free VPNs — they usually lack essential security features, have slow speeds, and limit how much data you can use per day/month.
Instead, it’s much better to purchase a premium VPN like Private Internet Access — it has excellent ad-blocking features and offers a great value since it has very fast speeds, very good streaming and torrenting support, and really intuitive apps.
Why do I need a VPN and an ad blocker?
A VPN can help protect you in a lot of ways, but it won’t block ads by default. Only VPNs with ad blockers will actually stop those pesky ads from appearing on your screen, block trackers, and prevent you from visiting possibly dangerous websites. When you get a VPN that comes with an ad blocker, you also get all of the great VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy.
I think the best VPN with an ad blocker is Private Internet Access. Its ad blocker (MACE) stops ads from appearing on sites and shields you from trackers and malicious sites — plus, the VPN is also very secure, really fast, and very good for streaming and torrenting.