It is no secret that the modern internet is powered by marketing. In fact, you could make the case that the public internet is nothing more than one big advertisement. You only have to open one page to see tons of advertisements pitching you to buy. That’s where ad blockers come in. They get rid of most or all the ads. But every now and again, ad blocking software doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. You have to manually configure it for a particular page.
If you have ever wondered why that is, the answer is found in how the blocking software actually works. And by the way, it works the same regardless of your internet service. Whatever ad blocker you might use would work the same way whether you were on Blazing Hog rural high-speed internet or a wired connection in the city.
Ads Are Usually Scripts
It is entirely possible for a website owner to place ads on their own pages, self-hosted ads that contain little more than graphics and text. But most online ads come from third parties. They are not hosted or produced by website owners. Furthermore, they are served to web browsers via third-party scripts.
For example, a website owner may paste an advertiser’s script into their website. When your browser reads that script, it reacts by fetching the advertisement from a third-party server The fetched content is displayed in your browser as an ad. What your browser has just done is execute a script. That is how most online ads work in the modern era.
Knowing this, you might now have an inkling as to how ad blockers work. They more or less look for scripts as they read the code on a website. Any scripts they find are compared against a database of websites and scripts they have been programmed to block. If a script is found in the database, it is blocked.
No Database Is Complete
Software developers are constantly poring over data in order to make sure their ad blocking databases are up to date. Their extensions also collect data from browsers themselves, using it to further strengthen ad-blocking capabilities. But no software database is complete. There are always scripts and sites that haven’t been accounted for. Loading a site with unrecognized content could mean all its ads coming up.
To get around that, you open your ad blocker and add the site manually. This tells the software that you have recognized ads you want blocked. With some extensions, you actually have to point out the content you don’t want to see. That’s because advertisers have learned how to disguise their scripts to prevent detection. You manually blocking the script adds it to your software’s local database for future blocking.
A Cat and Mouse Game
Serving ads and blocking them amounts to a cat and mouse game between advertisers and consumers. On the one hand, marketers have a point: nearly all the information found online is free to users. It has to be paid for somehow, and ads seem to be the way to go. Consumers also make a valid point: advertising has become obtrusive and obnoxious. It is just too much.
For rural internet customers, ads can be especially annoying because they consume precious bandwidth. And when your internet plan is based on bandwidth usage, you want as few ads as possible. The good news is that most ad blockers are remarkably effective at what they do. In cases when they do not work, fixing it is usually a matter of making a few manual adjustments.