SmartAdblock updated: memory optimizations and custom filter support

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 14, 2019
Firefox, Google Chrome

The developers of the free cross-browser adblocker SmartAdblock have released an updated version of the extension that introduces a number of improvements and optimizations.

We looked at the initial release version of SmartAdblock last month and found it to be a well designed extension. It blocked advertisement efficiently and included some nice-to-have extra features such as options to bypass adblock detectors and cookie notifications on sites.

One thing that we did not like to much was that it did not provide any control over the blocking other than to toggle it on or off.

SmartAdblock 1.09

The new version of the content blocker is already available on the Google Chrome Web Store and on Mozilla AMO. Users who have it installed already should receive the update automatically.

The main new feature introduced in SmartAdblock 1.09 is support for custom filters.

You may use the functionality to add custom filter rules or add filter lists to the extension. The extension will use those next to all integrated rules when it comes to blocking content in the browser.

Custom filters use the AdBlock Plus filter syntax. A detailed guide is available on the AdBlock Plus website. Just type a custom filter and click on add rule afterward to add it. Doing so requires some knowledge of website technology as you need to identify the elements that you want to block on specific sites. You may also add URLs of filter lists to add these all at once to the content blocking extensions.

The developers improved the extensions memory usage in the new release by fixing "some memory leaks" and optimizing memory usage. They claim that the extension is the adblocker with the lowest memory usage, and that it beats uBlock Origin and others fair and square (uBlock Origin is listed as the second best in regards to memory usage while popular choices such as Adblock Plus use a multiple of the memory).

SmartAdblock users ran into some issues with the initial version on select sites, e.g. Google Maps. Speed issues on sites like Google Maps or Gmail should be resolved in this version.

Closing Words

SmartAdblock is a set and forget extension for the most part that does a good job at blocking content.

The new version is a first step towards adding more options to the extension; I wish it would provide more information, e.g. display what is blocked, and give control over these elements.

Filter list support is a welcome step in the right direction, as is the extension's low memory use.The developers seem very responsive, users can make requests and report issues with certain sites and these seem to get fixed rather quickly.

Definitely an adblocker to keep an eye on.

Now You: Have you tried SmartAdblock?

SmartAdblock updated: memory optimizations and custom filter support
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SmartAdblock updated: memory optimizations and custom filter support
The developers of the free cross-browser adblocker SmartAdblock have released an updated version of the extension that introduces a number of improvements and optimizations.
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  1. Anonymous said on February 17, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    @ the probably single person named alternatively “trollinvasion”, “paidtrollorwhat”, “trollsarmy”, “paidtrollbythedozen”, “whywoulyoupaytrolls” and maybe other intentionally less explicit nicknames, and who implicitly calls rational defenders of ubo and critics of smartadblock “trolls” in every single comment he does like if that was a sound form of argumentation :

    Unlike your opaque proprietary extension, ubo is not a business, so unlike your extension’s owners, it’s definitely not paying people to manipulate users into using it independently of its own merits.

    A good point for you however : you’re not completely hiding that you’re working for the smartadblock owners, according to this comment :

    Real honesty would have required you to make this more explicit in this and all your other comments though.

  2. gwacks said on February 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Okay. This is fantastic on

    What if I told you SmartAdblock ultilized the whole EasyList and the Cookie List part of Fanboy’s Annoyance List (licensed by GPLv3/CC BY[-SA] 3.0), with two their own *All Rights Reserved* private filter lists and one built-in domain-level *ignorelist*?

    http://www.trafiklite .com/smartadblock/filters/sabfilter.txt
    http://www.trafiklite .com/smartadblock/filters/sabfilter_3.txt

    Would you still think it was a good point that they should at least provide an *option* to reveal which filter lists they exploited JUST because of usability?

    On their offcial site, they claim *Our business model is totally crap*.
    Of course it is. I’d buy list maintainers coffee instead because they are the true ones who deserve it.

    “SmartAdblock is a set and forget extension for the most part that does a good job at blocking content.”

    So as uBlock Origin (in its *[very] easy* blocking mode).

    “I wish it would provide more information, e.g. display what is blocked, and give control over these elements.”

    But didn’t I want to set and then forget it because I’m so *dumb* to choose to use it? Why I need to read these useless information annoying like installing another NoScript?

    What *we* call this kind of ideology? Doublethink, baby. :P

    Just my very two cents, no offense.

    Sign. Yet another uBO troll

    1. whywouldyoupaytrolls said on February 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      I dont see whats wrong with the points you mentioned it is an info that anyone who could use chrome can find. Not really a secret. But it seems that your 2 cents were once again a trolling message in favor of ubo. How Strange ….

      1. ULBoom said on February 17, 2019 at 1:56 am

        I don’t use ubo. If you’re, in some indecipherable way, using those amateur user names and ad hominems without substantial rebuttals, attempting to build up SmartAdblock, uh, you’re not.

        More flies with sugar than vinegar? And YES, that’s the origin version of the expression. Ditch the childish sarcasm, work on getting to 500 users on FF and put some info that isn’t trite on your site page (there’s only one.) Oh, yeah, the y axis of the graph showing how tiny you are isn’t labeled. In what respect are you tiny? Currently, your business model is truly crap.

  3. Aegis said on February 15, 2019 at 8:31 am

    I haven’t tried this addon yet, but I prefer Adblocker that provide information about the things they block. And if I understand correct this addon does not provide this information at the moment.
    I use Pi-Hole + ublock origin in Firefox and Chrome. That is the perfect combination for me and don’t need anything else.

  4. Klaas Vaak said on February 15, 2019 at 7:16 am

    I tried it after Martin’s recent 1st article about it, but after a few days found that uBO does a better job so I unistalled SmartAdblock.

  5. Weilan said on February 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    It’s still in too early stage of its development. uBlock Origin + Poper Blocker + Privacy Badger still do the best job, this one might be good after 6-7 months, but not now.

    1. paidtrollbythedozen said on February 15, 2019 at 10:53 am

      The same Weilan who downvoted the extension on the chrome store ? How Strange ….. hmmmmmmmmm… So you prefer using 3 extensions to do the same thing? hmmmmmmm…

  6. pat said on February 14, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    It’s nice to be able to add filter lists, but unfortunately I searched the internet in vain for the lists used by smartblock.
    Nothing, nada, zero!
    So, what can I add if I don’t know what’s already there?

    1. jackma said on February 15, 2019 at 10:52 am

      LMAO extension menu ->backgroundpage -> Network activity load the extension and you will see the filters url. But to be honest if you were not able to find that I think it is better you just dont write filters manually, just use it as it is. Lool (zero nada…)

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 14, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Good point. I agree that there should be an option to find out, or at least a reassurance that dupes will be removed during the parsing.

      1. pat said on February 15, 2019 at 8:34 am

        I tried browserleaks .com/proxy for content filters detection:
        I don’t care about cookies

  7. Shiva said on February 14, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    “We have created the smartest adblock and coupled it with the strongest possible popup blocker”
    It does a very good job with Ads, I cannot say the same as popup blocker with a random video at
    Curiously, with the same default Ad\popup blockers (and filters) I noticed difference between Firefox and Waterfox: with the first I see the advise of blocked popup and I have to do one more click to play the video, with the second no advise and one click only. Mystery of faith!

    However SmartAdblock needs more options compared to other AdBlockers. Cookie and GDPR warnings? There are dedicated lists for uBlock or ‘I don’t care about cookies’ that works perfect.

    1. paidtrollsorwhat said on February 15, 2019 at 10:48 am

      just tried few movies on openload and it works perfectly. Wanna share an example ?

      1. Shiva said on February 15, 2019 at 12:24 pm

        On Firefox 65.0.1 I removed uBlock and PopupBlockerUltimate, checked the setting “Block popup windows” and installed SmartAdblock.

        At I searched “funny –openload –new” for a random video and selected this:
        When I opened it, the adress redirected to:
        On every start\stop there was popup like this (and related final sites)

        Note: my previously comment was wrong about difference between Firefox and Waterfox, I rarely use the first so I forgot to install ViolenMonkey and a dedicated script. Well, this time the addon was enabled during test but with fails with only SmartAdblock.

      2. paidtrollsorwhat said on February 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

        Ok thanks, is fixed now just reload the extension.

      3. orwhat (Shiva) said on February 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

        I can confirm: is fixed. But it doesn’t matter; with uBlock I don’t need a shield for
        1) script on Violentmonkey + uBlock: it doesn’t redirect to
        2) script on Violentmonkey + SmartAdblock: redirect to (the script partially works)
        First there is an advantage to have many available filters (including anti-adblock like nanodefender), second with only uBlock as ad\popup blocker, if it automatically fails, I can manually add to block popups.
        So I’ve got a bone to pick with you: if someone wrote the “strongest possible popup blocker” (a little bit presumptuous for a young project) I don’t expect after 5 minutes of surfing to fall in fail on a popular site.

      4. trollsarmy said on February 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm

        masks are falling and we have here one more ubo troll. How Strange …

      5. Shiva said on February 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm

        Well… I have done a video to confirm all: Waterfox with uBlock, Firefox with uBlock and Firefox with SmartAdblock. If anyone give a site for a temporary upload without an account I will post it.

        1) I am not defending uBlock but the huge availability of filters; each one maybe with a page on github and people that post suggestions. This is an exponential advantage compared to an extension without additional options or the possibility to subscribe these lists.
        2) “ is fixed now”, this means that before my 12:24 pm comment it wasn’t: Paidtrollsorwhat is a lucky guy. Only my openload links were redirected with popups…

        Next time I’ll shut up.

  8. lipp said on February 14, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    “for the most part that does a good job at blocking content.” – no, I don’t agree. Not in EU (cookies, GDPR, etc.). Too much ads is visible, not blocked. I prefer AdGuard.
    And most annoying is that it does not block detection notifications adblock.

    1. TelV said on February 15, 2019 at 1:44 pm


      Adguard servers are hosted in the Russian Federation. Their ISP is called Serveroid, LLC based in Moscow.

      Not that that should be a security concern, but it doesn’t particularly appeal to me somehow especially in the light of the recent announcement in the media that global Internet traffic may be briefly cut off shortly:

      1. Heimen Stoffels said on February 15, 2019 at 8:27 pm

        However, Adguards filters are hosted on GitHub, but you probably won’t like that either if you look at where GitHub hosts its servers… (NSA, NSA, …)

      2. TelV said on February 17, 2019 at 9:19 am

        @Heimen Stoffels,

        Thanks for the tip; didn’t know that.

        But investigating further I discovered that the “YousList” filter used by Adguard can also be imported to ABP which I just did. Instructions here for anyone else running a different adblocker:

    2. trollinvasion said on February 15, 2019 at 10:47 am

      So you are telling me you switched to the v1.0.9 which was published yesterday, browsed internet for long enough to find bugs, took the time to come report it here (without giving examples) and now decided to come back to adguard. No seriously? hmmmmmmm….

  9. Anonymous said on February 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I wonder why this specific one among this huge crowd gets so much attention from you, already a second article. You don’t do undisclosed sponsored articles right ?

    This is the one to use :

    Spotless integrity (that includes chosen filter list maintainers) and being proactive in defending user rights. Invest in the long term, vote for it with your number of installs, so that the next time they want to neuter adblockers they have again someone in front of them with enough balls to expose their real intentions !

    1. ULBoom said on February 17, 2019 at 1:17 am

      If you can deal with the primitive cryptic interface and fiddle with it to get it to do what you expected, ublock, not an ad blocker in their words, is OK.

    2. Tony said on February 14, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      Spotless integrity from uBlock Origin? I don’t know about now, but for a long time the comparisons presented by uBlock Origin were tremendously biased, comparing apples to oranges.

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