Software & Design

Opera Shows Off 'Faster' Native Ad-Blocking, But The Comparison Could Be Better

Advertising. It’s one of the first irritants you grab an extension for on fresh install of Chrome or Firefox. But what if your browser supported ad-blocking out of the gates? Opera has just debuted such a feature in the development version of its browser and should be rolled out soon to all users.

As Opera’s senior VP of global engineering Krystian Kolondra explains, the Blink-based browser now has native ad-blocking, though it hasn’t hit prime-time yet.

For now, you’ll need to grab one of the available development builds to try it out. How does native ad-blocking compare to an add-on or extension? In the performance arena, mostly:

…Many extensions spend a lot of time checking whether URLs or page elements occur in their block lists. Opera checks the block list using native code and fast algorithms, making the slowdown from checking negligible. Furthermore, Opera blocks ads as early as possible: right in the engine, when a network request for a URL is first being made.

There’s even a nice graph:

It appears to show Opera’s native implementation as speedier than Edge and the combinations of Chrome, Firefox and Adblock Plus. Unfortunately, ABP isn’t the fastest ad-blocking extension available — that title goes to uBlock Origin, which can handle some requests in a third of the time it takes ABP.

Seeing as Opera’s implementation is only a second or so faster than the next closest option, I feel uBlock would close that gap (or perhaps exceed it).

That said, being able to nip ads so close to the metal should allow Opera to tweak the performance much better than an extension — it can only improve as Opera refines the implementation.

[Opera]


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