Published on: April 7, 2022
Short on time? Here’s the best VPN with an ad blocker in 2022:
- 🥇 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 all major platforms. Private Internet Access also maintains very fast speeds, comes with top-of-the-line privacy and security features, allows 10 connections, offers cheap plans, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I never browse online without an ad blocker. Whether they’re pop-ups, interstitial ads that completely cover your mobile device’s screen, or banner ads, they all slow down pages from loading and interrupt the browsing experience.
Fortunately, a quality VPN that comes with a good ad blocker will quickly and easily fix all of these issues. When you buy a VPN with an ad blocker, you get a security tool that is bundled with other excellent security and privacy features for one affordable price.
After testing a wide variety of VPNs with ad blockers, I found that many of them didn’t work very well, weren’t consistently able to deal with large number of ads, or didn’t include tracker or malware blockers.
However, I managed to narrow down my list to the top 5 VPNs with excellent ad blockers as well as exceptional web security. Here are my top recommendations.
Quick summary of the best VPNs with ad blockers:
- 1. 🥇 Private Internet Access (PIA) — Best VPN for blocking ads, trackers & malicious sites.
- 2. 🥈 ProtonVPN — High-end security & privacy features, including an excellent ad blocker.
- 3. 🥉 CyberGhost VPN — Highly intuitive with a great malware blocker.
- 4. TunnelBear — User-friendly VPN with a free ad blocker for Chrome.
- 5. Mullvad VPN — Good privacy features with ad and tracker blocker.
- Comparison Table of the Best VPNs with Ad Blockers.
- How to Choose the Best VPN with an Ad Blocker in 2022.
- Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut.
- Frequently Asked Questions about 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 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, I tested MACE against fake online malware sites. I received a warning 100% of the time that the site was potentially harmful to my device. And one of my favorite things about MACE is how it’s available on the most popular platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac, and it also comes with gaming consoles, Smart TVs, and routers.
In addition to having industry-standard VPN security features, PIA includes RAM-only servers (they don’t store any data on the hard drive and all of the data is erased each time the server is turned off/on), perfect forward secrecy (changes your encryption key so hackers can’t spy on your data), and full leak 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.
PIA also comes with some other great extra features, including:
- Tor support.
- Email breach monitoring.
What’s more, PIA is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. I tested my connections speeds on servers in 10+ countries, including my country (the UK), Ireland, Canada, the US, and Japan. I had an average speed reduction of just 24% (local servers only reduced my speeds by 7%). Pages loaded instantly, and I always had a smooth streaming experience — videos started basically right away and played in crisp HD quality.
Private Internet Access allows 10 simultaneous connections, offers cheap monthly and yearly plans (that start as low as $2.19 / month), and covers all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access has the best VPN-bundled ad blocker on the market in 2022 — 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.
🥈 2. ProtonVPN — High-End Privacy with an Excellent Ad Blocker
ProtonVPN 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, and even Linux, and it’s only included in ProtonVPN’s premium plans.
By checking against a list of domains known to host ads, trackers, and malicious content, NetShield stops ads from loading and warns you that a website may be dangerous. 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).
ProtonVPN has some impressive speeds, too. When I connected to a local server, my speeds were hardly affected at all, and thanks to its Accelerator feature (a state-of-the-art tool that reduces latency to provide enhanced speeds on distant servers), I maintained very fast speeds on servers in Argentina, Japan, and the US. However, Private Internet Access had slightly faster speeds than ProtonVPN.
In addition to NetShield, ProtonVPN and also has:
- Dedicated P2P servers.
- Plus servers dedicated for streaming.
- Tor support.
- Secure Core servers.
As for security and privacy features, it comes with full disk encryption (scrambles all of the data on the server so it can’t be deciphered if the server is compromised), perfect forward security, full leak protection, and open-source apps that have also been independently audited and confirmed.
ProtonVPN has reasonably priced monthly and yearly plans that start at $4.99 / month and come with 10 connections, servers in 60+ countries, NetShield, streaming and P2P support, Secure Core servers, and Tor over VPN. All plans are covered by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
ProtonVPN uses NetShield to block ads, trackers, and malware, and the feature eliminated just about all of the ads from websites in my testing — and it also stopped me from accessing potentially malicious pages. ProtonVPN is also very secure, very fast, and very feature-rich. It backs all plans with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Easy to Use with a Great Malware Blocker
CyberGhost VPN has a decent ad blocker (called Content Blocker) and an excellent malware blocker. In my tests, the ad blocker didn’t really prevent too many ads from appearing on sites (unlike Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN), but I really liked the tracker and malware blocker — it identified multiple dangerous sites that all of my browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge) failed to detect.
You get the ad, tracker, and malware blocker on Android, Windows, macOS, and Android TV, while the iOS private browser only stops ads and trackers (most iOS devices have a built-in malware blocker).
There are also ad blockers for browser extensions and even for routers. Similar to ProtonVPN, CyberGhost gives you the option to enable ad, tracker, and malware blocking or just 1 or 2 of these features.
I’m a big fan of CyberGhost’s sleek yet simple design. It’s very easy to navigate all of the apps, find features (including the ad, tracker, and malware blockers), and connect to a server. Plus, it took me just a matter of minutes to download and install the VPN on 5 different devices.
On top of great malware protections, CyberGhost has other excellent security features like RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and leak protection.
CyberGhost allows 7 connections, offers very competitive pricing (starting at $2.23 / month), and has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee for yearly plans (the monthly plan has a 14-day refund window).
CyberGhost’s ad blocker isn’t that great, but I really like its tracker and malware blockers, which both performed exceptionally well in my tests. The features are available on all of the major apps (though iOS doesn’t have malware blocking), and they are easy to locate in the apps and turn on and off. CyberGhost is also very secure and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee for its longer plans.
4. TunnelBear — Beginner-Friendly with the Best Free Ad Blocker
TunnelBear offers an ad blocker extension for Chrome for free — you don’t even have to purchase the VPN and can download the ad blocker separately at no cost.
I like how easy it is to add the extension (it took me less than a minute), and it’s extremely simple to use with a simple on-off toggle. It removed most of the ads on my pages, but I still experienced some pop-up ads.
While the ad blocker definitely isn’t the best on this list, I’m impressed with TunnelBear’s anti-tracking tools — they guard against some lesser-known tracking such as ultrasonic tracking (inaudible, high-frequency sounds that help TV and streaming advertisers track your viewing habits) and email tracking (to target you with ads based on emails you open and links you click on). It also helps you avoid accessing malicious sites by filtering out suspicious ads from appearing on your screen.
The only thing I dislike about the tracking blocker is that it’s not available for more apps (like Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN) — it would be great if TunnelBear added support for more platforms, even if it meant offering the feature as part of the VPN plans. When it comes to the VPN, it’s very secure, user-friendly, and affordable (there are even animated bears all over the apps that make it so much fun to use).
TunnelBear offers monthly and yearly plans, which start at $3.33 / month and allow 5 simultaneous connections. While it doesn’t have a money-back guarantee, there’s a free plan that comes with 500 MB per month to test out the product.
TunnelBear has an excellent free blocker for ads, trackers, and malware, but it’s only available for Chrome extensions (and the feature is not available for any other extension or app). The ad blocker isn’t anything special, but the tracking blocker is one of the best available. Adding TunnelBear VPN gets you an intuitive and fun interface and really good security features.
5. Mullvad VPN — Good Privacy Features with a Decent Ad and Tracker Blocker
Mullvad VPN has a good ad and tracker blocker that worked well during my tests. The ad blocker checks domain requests against a list of known ads (like ProtonVPN), and it was able to stop the majority of ads, but the pages didn’t load as fast as when I used Private Internet Access’s MACE.
The blockers are built-in on the iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux apps, but you have to manually configure them on Android (fortunately, Mullvad’s step-by-step guide walks you through the process). When it comes to using the features, all you need to do is turn them on or off in the Preferences section under Settings.
The only drawback is that there’s no malware blocker (unlike all of the VPNs on this list).
That said, Mullvad VPN has excellent security and privacy features. You get perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and open-source apps (that have been audited), and I also like how Mullvad VPN doesn’t even collect your email address and offers anonymous payment options (like cash).
Mullvad VPN allows 5 connections and uses a flat rate for all of its plans ($5.28 / month). It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Mullvad VPN provides a good ad blocker that prevents most ads from appearing on your screen and a tracker blocker that prevents companies from monitoring your browsing behavior. Unfortunately, unlike all of my other choices, it doesn’t have a malware blocker. Mullvad VPN is very privacy-focused and backs each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best VPNs with Ad Blockers in 2022
|VPN||Starting Price||Platforms with ad blocker support||Average speed slowdown||Malware Blocker||Number of Connections||Money-back guarantee|
|1.🥇 Private Internet Access||$2.19 / month||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||-24%||✅||10||30 days|
|2. 🥈 ProtonVPN||$4.99 / month||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux||-38%||✅||10||30 days|
|3.🥉 CyberGhost VPN||$2.23 / month||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||-32%||✅||7||Up to 45 days|
|4. TunnelBear||$3.33 / month||Chrome only||-39%||❌||5||None|
|5. Mullvad VPN||$5.28 / month||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux||-48%||❌||5||30 days|
How to Choose the Best VPN with an Ad Blocker in 2022
- Good ad and tracker blocking. All of the VPNs on this list offer an ad blocker either as a built-in feature, one that you need to manually configure, or one you need to download. Most of them also include tracker blockers to prevent companies from tracking your online behavior and malware blockers to make sure you don’t visit potentially dangerous websites (Private Internet Access has the best ad blocker).
- Strong security. I only recommend VPNs that use industry-standard VPN security features like AES 256-bit encryption (which scrambles your data, making it unreadable), a kill switch (that cuts you off from the internet if your VPN goes down), a strict no-logs policy, and leak protection. Many of the VPNs here also include advanced security features like RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and full disk encryption.
- Ease of use. The VPNs on this list take only a couple of minutes to install and have easy-to-use interfaces that make it quick and simple to connect to a server and find features (including ad blockers).
- Value. All of the VPNs I recommend have fast connection speeds, provide extra features like split-tunneling, allow at least 5 connections, and offer affordable pricing plans.
Top Brands that Didn’t Make the Cut
- ExpressVPN. It’s the best VPN on the market for 2022 thanks to industry-leading security features, speeds, and streaming and torrenting support. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have an ad blocker.
- 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.
Best VPNs with Ad Blockers — 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 2022. 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.
But there are a handful of other really good VPNs with ad blockers. ProtonVPN’s NetShield is great for blocking ads, trackers, and malicious sites, and it also comes with excellent privacy features. CyberGhost VPN’s content blocker is good for preventing you from accidentally landing on dangerous sites, TunnelBear’s Blocker is the best free ad blocker (for Chrome only), and Mullvad VPN is good for ad and tracker blocking (but it doesn’t have a malware blocker).
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, ProtonVPN 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 or one of ProtonVPN’s 3 paid plans — both of these providers have excellent ad blocker features and offer a great value.
Why do I need a VPN and an ad blocker?
A VPN can help to 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.
If you’re looking for the best VPN with an ad blocker, Private Internet Access is my first choice. Its ad blocker (MACE) stops ads from appearing on sites and shields you from trackers and malicious sites.