Browser Add-on AdGuard Browser Extension Updates Thread

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ForgottenSeer 92963

So AG4 vs Ublock Origin?

What we saying?
AG4 has new rules engine (tsURLfilter) which is a typescript library and seems to be ready for Manifest V3 see link

AdGuard said:
The idea is to have a single library that we can reuse for the following tasks:
  • Doing content blocking in our Chrome and Firefox extensions (obviously)
  • Using this library for parsing rules and converting to Safari-compatible content blocking lists (see AdGuard for Safari, AdGuard for iOS)
  • Using this library for validating and linting filter lists (see FiltersRegistry, AdguardFilters)
  • It could also be used as a basis for the VS code extension

Besides being faster, the main advantage of this new rules engine are the new modifiers: $removeheader, $redirect-rule, $ping, $path, $noop, and $denyallow and improved $redirect modifier. TSUrlFilter is a rule application module that will be used in various projects, including AdGuard DNS. New filtering engine also has a new rules converter which facilitates the new ManifestV3 format rules (see picture).

Note: it is an open source project, and uBO users will recognize NOOP and DENYALLOW. This would pave the way for smaller (one-man-band) projects to reuse this code.
 

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SeriousHoax

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@Kees1958 I saw someone writing on uBO reddit that the main reason Peter Lowe's host is enabled in uBO even though all/most hosts included in the list are already covered by EasyList and EasyPrivacy is "performance". Apparently uBO is faster at filtering host based format.
Is it true? Is it true for uBO? Is it true for Adguard also? Is there any measurable performance improvements for both extension when Peter Lowe's or maybe even your own EU_US+most_used filter (even though I see you have decided not to create a host based filter) is added along with their respective default filters?
Or that person's information wasn't correct?
 
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ForgottenSeer 92963

@SeriousHoax

For Adguard
Just enable optimized filters and you are good to go.

For uBlock
Disable cosmetic filtering and enable it only on websites where you see annoying white spaces and/or advertising leftovers. Also disable useless malware blocklist (use a DNS for malware blocking)

RE: Your question uBO

It think it has nothing to do with the host file format. It is more likely how the internal filter rules data base is organized. I don't know how uBO's engine works, but I am guessing that all (link) requests of a website are broken down in strings of information and tokenized to search the rules data base. The rules data base is probably grouped in baskets in a trie like structure. In a way sort of similar how the intelligent text prediction in your mobile phone works. When you type in more letters, the results narrow. Because Peter Low blocks on domain level, a hit is found faster.

The other reason I can imagine is that Peter Low's list does not contain cosmetic filters. Cosmetic filtering is more complex and half of the Easylist rules are cosmetic rules. This also attributes to a more effective search and faster block-hide-noop-allow decision. When you realize that on average only 2 to 20 percent of the content is affected by the adblock rules, the effectiveness determining whether to allow pieces of content is as important as the steps it takes to decide whether you should block, redirect or modify that piece of content. When you found a domain name hit, no need to check for any cosmetic filters.

This is an oversimplified guestimate, I am sure uBO's filtering engine does it a lot more sophisticated.

When you want a blazing fast experience with optimal blocking performance in uBlockOrigin use these filters:
1. AdGuard Base + Easylist optimized (link)
2. Peter Low's list or Kees1958 EU-US most used ad and tracking networks (link)
3. EasyPrivacy allow list and Adguard Tracking white list (on Github to overwrite any false positives in Peter's or Kees' list link1 and link2)
4. Your local language Easylist+AdGuard blocklists
 
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ForgottenSeer 92963

Thanks for the explanation :)

So, Peter Low's list or Kees1958 EU-US is not necessary on Adguard?
This needs some more explanation.

The reason for me to create my own (ad and tracking, but mostly tracking) blocklist was the near ridicule unbalance in anti-tracking in EasyPrivacy filter. Tracking is done through cookies, third-party scripts, pixel tags, websocket connections and CNAME spoofing. EasyPrivacy only focussed on 1 or 2 and ignored the other tracking mechanisms.

When you only provide a partial solution, it makes no sense to detail this on the millimeter (while ignoring other large holes). I also found it quite stupid (of EasyList) to focus on the websites you visit (like in EasyPrivacy) and not focus on the advertising/tracking networks which put the ads (through bidding mechanisms) on the websites you visit (Peter Low blocks the ad serving networks behind the websites you visit).

Other problem with community maintained filters is the dead wood they contain (contributors add new rules, but don't remove them when ads change or websites die). To give you an idea Fanboy (now working for Brave) curated the Easylist filters and reduced them by half in size (took him 1.5 year to do that). So I disliked the partial focus (only block one tracking mechanism) and their approach (focus on websites you visit in stead of the adserving networks behind those websites) and the dead wood this approach generates when volunteers maintain them.

I first started to feed Peter Low with new tracking networks, until the developers from SmartAdBlock added my small 200 tracking networks list to their build-in choice of blocklist and explained me how easy it is to create your own blocklists on Github. Because I liked uBO I started to maintain and expand my Kees1958 list on Github. Because the community maintaining EasyPrivacy only has eyes for one or two of the tracking mechanisms, I think it is better (more effective and more efficient) to use Peter Low's or my Kees1958 for blocking most popular ad and tracking networks.

AdGuard provides both the application and maintains the blocklists and has its own DNS service (which allows them also to acquire depersonalized big-date on new tracking tactics and effectiveness of blocklist). Adguard introduced the optimized blocklist filters. They also added cname cloaking and $websocket blocks to their lists, introduced URL parameter cleaning, added self destructing third-party cookies (uBO today still does not has the $cookie option).

In short the guys from AdGuard are the innovators who broadened the playing field of tracking protection. They also have the means to collect big-data on the effectiveness of their block mechanisms and blocklists, so they are the people who know a lot more about tracking protection, that is why I think it is better to use AG filters in AG application.

Hope this answers your question.
 
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Nightwalker

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This needs some more explanation.

The reason for me to create my own (ad and tracking, but mostly tracking) blocklist was the near ridicule unbalance in anti-tracking in EasyPrivacy filter. Tracking is done through cookies, third-party scripts, pixel tags, websocket connections and CNAME spoofing. EasyPrivacy only focussed on 1 or 2 and ignored the other tracking mechanisms.

When you only provide a partial solution, it makes no sense to detail this on the millimeter (while ignoring other large holes). I found it quite stupid (of EasyList) to focus on the websites you visit (like in EasyPrivacy) and not focus on the advertising/tracking networks which put the ads (through bidding mechanisms) on the websites you visit (Peter Low sort of explains the same, block the ad-networks behind the websites you visit).

Other problem with community maintained filters is the dead wood they contain (contributors add new rules, but don't remove them when ads change or websites die). To give you an idea Fanboy (now working for Brave) curated the Easylist filters and reduced them by half in size (took him 1.5 year to do that). So I disliked the partial focus (only block one tracking mechanism) and their approach (on websites you visit in stead of the adserving networks) and the dead wood this approach generates when volunteers maintain them.

I first started to feed Peter Low with new tracking networks, until the developers from SmartAdBlock added my small 200 tracking networks list to their build-in choice of blocklist and explained me how easy it is to create your own blocklists on Github. Because I liked uBO I started to maintain and expand my Kees1958 list on Github. Because the people maintaining EasyPrivacy only have eyes for one or two of the tracking mechanisms, I think it is better to use Peter Low's or my Kees1958 for blocking most popular ad and tracking networks.

AdGuard provides both the application and maintains the blocklists and has its own DNS service (which allows them also to acquire depersonalized big-date on new tracking tactics and effectiveness of blocklist). Adguard also started to measure the effectivess of rules. They also added cname cloaking and $websocket blocks to their lists, introduced URL parameter cleaning, added self destructing third-party cookies (uBO today still does not has the $cookie option).

In short the guys from AdGuard are the innovators who broadened the playing field of tracking protection. They also have the means to collect big-data on the effectiveness of their block mechanisms and blocklists, so they are the people who know a lot more about tracking protection, that is why I think it is better to use AG filters in AG application.

Hope this answers your question.

Nice insights there, thanks for the explanation.

Some years ago I bought a lifetime license for AdGuard and it was one of the best software purchases that I made, super satisfied with it (I use the Android and Windows versions).
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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SeriousHoax

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I've been using the Adguard Browser Extension version 4 for almost 3 weeks now, and I must say I find its filters to be better than EasyList filters used in uBO. Gandalf_The_Grey already mentioned a few times that it does cosmetic filtering better, but I would add that it's more than just better. 2x better than EasyList in my experience. It's even able to bypass some website's redirection timeouts using its own scriplet filters, or whatever the proper term is.
Reporting issues is super easy from the browser's context menu. Anyone should be able to report issues within a minute or two. Their reaction time to fix issues is overall faster than EasyList. As Adguard said, some of their filter maintainers are from Ukraine, so currently the response time is probably slower than average.
Not having that advanced popup UI like uBlock Origin and an element zapper mode is the main downside for me at the moment.
I created an issue a few days ago asking for an advanced UI, and they have tagged the issue with "Version: AdGuard v4.1". So I guess they'll try to do something for this in version 4.1.
 

Kongo

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This one is element picker, not element zapper. Element zapper in uBO lets you block/hide things temporarily for an instance without creating a rule. The blocked entry will remain blocked till the webpage is reloaded.
Oh, my bad then. AdGuard once had a page where you could submit any ideas as far as I know. Can't find it at the moment tho...
 

superleeds27

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I've been using the Adguard Browser Extension version 4 for almost 3 weeks now, and I must say I find its filters to be better than EasyList filters used in uBO. Gandalf_The_Grey already mentioned a few times that it does cosmetic filtering better, but I would add that it's more than just better. 2x better than EasyList in my experience. It's even able to bypass some website's redirection timeouts using its own scriplet filters, or whatever the proper term is.
Reporting issues is super easy from the browser's context menu. Anyone should be able to report issues within a minute or two. Their reaction time to fix issues is overall faster than EasyList. As Adguard said, some of their filter maintainers are from Ukraine, so currently the response time is probably slower than average.
Not having that advanced popup UI like uBlock Origin and an element zapper mode is the main downside for me at the moment.
I created an issue a few days ago asking for an advanced UI, and they have tagged the issue with "Version: AdGuard v4.1". So I guess they'll try to do something for this in version 4.1.
Sounds promising :)
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Does Stealth Mode do more than Privacy filters?
Does Stealth Mode differ from Privacy filters?
Why is Stealth Mode off by default?
Please read this:
Not on by default probably because of this:
But be careful: while blocking third-party cookies can't cause more than just some minor inconvenience (e.g., you will have to manually enter your login/password), restricting the first-party cookies can break some websites.
 

Arequire

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Yes, I've read before. Stealth Mode vs Privacy filters remains head scratch, for me.
Thanks for trying.
Privacy filters are used to block network requests to various tracking resources (scripts, pixels, iframes, etc.), thus stopping them from loading and stopping any data being sent to the domain associated with the resource(s).

Stealth Mode generally alters and/or removes the information your browser sends to websites and the third-parties present on them.
It's meant to compliment the filters, as any domains not on the filter list get sent less information about your browser.
 
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