Opera's Built-In Ad Blocking Goes Live

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Opera's native ad-blocking technology is now available in the Opera desktop browser and Opera Mini mobile apps.

The feature can speed website load times as much as 89 percent, and provides a 45 percent faster browsing experience than third-party ad blockers—no extensions or plug-ins needed.

Desktop users can opt into the ad-blocking tech via the shield icon in the address bar. Tap to activate or deactivate; it will turn blue when in use. Once you've disabled ad blocking on a website, it is added to an exception list, which can be managed from Opera's settings. There, you can also check out how many ads you've blocked on a page and overall, and benchmark speeds with and without advertisements.

Opera Mini users can visit the "O" menu in their app, tap the data-savings summary, and toggle "Block ads" on or off. On iOS, the feature is available in Opera Turbo mode; it works in Opera Turbo and data-saving modes on Android.

"Growing demand for ad-blocking tools tells us that the current approach to advertising is damaging user's online experiences," Krystian Kolondra, senior vice president and head of Opera for computers, said in March. "It interrupts your Web surfing, slows down your browser, and, at Opera, we want to fix it."

To celebrate today's expansion of its built-in ad-blocking, the company is hosting a giveaway on Twitter: Users can enter by sending screenshots of their Opera browsing speeds to @Opera.

Adblock Plus took a similar step last year with the introduction of Adblock Browser for Android, which promises to block intrusive ads and save battery life. Asus followed suit in December, announcing plans to bake Adblock Plus into all iterations of its mobile browser this year.

Samsung, meanwhile, added support for ad-blocking technology on its Android browser; the first app to take advantage was Adblock Fast. Promising fewer distractions while surfing the mobile Web, Adblock Fast was promptly removed from, then returned to, the Google Play store last month.

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