An ad is an advertisement. It is the promotion of a brand, product, or service to select customers to attract interest which leads to sales. There are different types of mobile advertising that target smartphones and tablets. They include banner ads embedded on a website and text ads via SMS. As many people refer to them as annoying, they are necessary for many websites to provide free information or services. Google uses ads to offer lots of their information for free.

Benefits of Ads

  • They assist in Marketing and boost brand recognition.
  • Advertising lets you target specific customers.
  • Helps businesses stand out and retain customers.
  • Advertising may increase sales.

Some of the reasons ads seem annoying are due to their sizes and frequency on the web pages and lack of relevancy with lousy targeting. Due to some of these reasons, people opt to block or filter the type of ads they get to view. Google provides a setting to opt-out of interest-based ads or opt-out of ad personalization. The brave browser blocks ads without any configuration needed.

Apart from using the phone or browser settings to block ads, there are other tools that are built to block ads. These tools include;

  • AdAway can be used with root and non-root devices to block ads.
  • AdLock gives you an option to block specific websites and filter all your traffic through HTTPS secure filtering.
  • AdGuard sets up a local VPN to filter/block ads and trackers.
  • Blokada effectively blocks out ads, trackers, phishing sites, and malware servers.
  • DNS66 Ad Blocker establishes a VPN service and redirects DNS server traffic to it.
  • Unicorn runs on Samsung Internet and Yandex browsers saving the data expense that ads waste up to 4 times through blocking ads, and making web surfing up to 3 times faster.
  • Adblock Plus allows you to block annoying ads and disables tracking.


AdAway is an open-source ad-blocking application for Android using the host file and local VPN. In a rooted device, it uses a host file that contains an updated list of mappings between hostnames and IP addresses. Using a non-rooted device, the application uses the VPN feature to block outgoing connections to ads and trackers. When an app requests an ad or a tracker from a host in that file, this request is redirected to the local IP so these requests go nowhere, and no ads can be served.

You can also create a whitelist of website addresses to which you can add the exception of not blocking the ads. However, AdAway requires root for the best results as the host files are located in the root system which is normally read-only. The best part with AdAway is fast and lightweight and blocks out both browser and in-app advertisements. It has a simple user interface that is convenient and easy to set up.

This guide will show you how to install AdAway and block ads on Android devices.

Install AdAway on an Android Device

Go to the official AdAway GitHub page and get the latest APK and install it on your Android device. Alternatively, you can download it from the F-Droid page.

Launch AdAway App on Android

Once downloaded, Install it. You may be required to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources as the app is not in the Google Play Store.

It will require you to enable a VPN connection to continue. Click OK.

Choose the option to continue with. Either Rooted or Non-rooted then tap Next.

It will sync your data and show the following. Click on Next.

You can donate to the developer or skip that part to open the AdAway dashboard.

The dashboard allows you to customize it as you want. Click on the bottom-left menu and select Preferences to change the theme.

You can click on Blocked to view the list of addresses blocked as shown below.

You can add a URL if it is not there by tapping the ‘+’ sign. Enter the address then press ADD.

You can also add an address to the whitelist which does not block its add.


From this guide, we have gone through what are ads and the types of tools used to block ads on applications and web browsers. We have gone through AdAway and how to download and install it on an Android phone. AdAway works best with rooted devices but can also work well on non-root devices.

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