I suppose it was inevitable, that what was once a free resource was destined to become a commercialized platform for intrusive and annoying advertisements. If you’ve watched videos on YouTube in recent months then you’ve probably noticed that most now force you to watch a TV commercial before the video starts. In the worst case you’re forced to wait out the whole commercial, while in the best case you can skip it after five agonizing seconds. With monetary rewards to include such commercials, YouTube posters now have a genuine incentive for including them. However the real price is paid by you the viewer who now has to sit through the commercial. This of course is a complete waste of your time, especially if you need to access the video for business needs. So, if you’re starting to get annoyed by these commercials, then we may have found a solution for you.
In a recent web search we stumbled across a free plug-in cleverly named “Block YouTube Ads”. The description claimed that it blocks all ads shown on YouTube and that videos will become smooth and annoyance free. With such magnificent claims we just had to try it.
The install process was a bit tricky, requiring a careful read of each and every screen, since it asked to install a slew of unwanted extras (presumably software which provides sponsorship allowing the plug-in to be free). So be sure to read each screen and all options carefully if you plan to try it, or you may find yourself with some “extras” installed on your PC.
After install, it was time to fire up a browser and hit YouTube. After viewing a few videos we got the sense that the ads were indeed gone. We did however run into a couple of videos where the ads showed up in full screen and then disappeared when we returned to normal mode. However, this only occurred on a couple of occasions and may have been a bug from a previous version of the plug-in. Which brings us to the next point: updates.
We’ve found that when visiting YouTube, the plug-in will frequently tell you that it requires an update. As annoying as this can be, we found it a necessity, otherwise the YouTube ads would return. Just be careful though, because like the install process, the update screens require careful scrutiny as they try to sneak some extras onto your system. That being said, it’s nice to see that the plug-in is being updated frequently.
Another small side effect is that the plug-in inserts some text below the YouTube video asking you to “like” it on Facebook. However it’s non-intrusive and a small price to pay for the promised result. On a more serious note we did find on one occasion that when visiting Google, a big screen came up telling us that the Block YouTube Ads plug-in was in use. We expect to see this screen again at some point and admit that it is very annoying.
So does it work? We’ll, videos definitely do appear to be commercial free and also seem to load quicker and run a little “snappier” and “smoother”. Aside from the couple of ads that still appeared as mentioned above, we haven’t seen an ad since we’ve run the last few updates.
So our verdict is that Block YouTube Ads is definitely a worthwhile download. Just be careful with the install and updates to ensure that Block YouTube Ads is the only download being installed onto your system.
You can fetch Block YouTube Ads from here: http://download.cnet.com/Block-YouTube-Ads/3000-7786_4-75742538.html.