AdFender is a straightforward ad blocker which works with just about any browser, and requires the minimum of setup - just install the program, restart any open browsers and you should find ads in web pages are blocked immediately.

The program has been around for a long time, but development doesn't seem to have slowed, quite the opposite - version 1.75 adds some very significant improvements. There's support for 64-bit browsers in general, for instance. AdFender now works with AOL Browser, Ice Dragon and Waterfox. A malware domains filter list helps to keep you safe online. Improved content support (gzip, deflate) delivers better results, and there's improved performance, too.

Does it work? Yes, mostly. We noticed a significant difference immediately, with the enormous majority of ads (not quite all, but near enough that you won't care) disappearing, all without you having to do anything at all. This speeds up your browsing by reducing the amount of data you're downloading, too, and hovering a mouse cursor over the AdFender system tray icon will show you a tooltip with the total amount you've saved too far.

There's also the potential for problems. AdFender works as a content filter, stripping out anything which looks like an ad, and we've seen this effectively break sites before, very occasionally. But this was always rare, and as of version 1.83 we couldn't find any problems at all.

Even if you do have issues, it's possible to create custom filters to block ads on some sites, and not others. That's suddenly not looking quite as straightforward, of course, but the option is there if you need it.

Version 1.83:
    ?Fixed issue with AOL email attachments
    ?Fixed issue with uploading large files using Google Chrome
    ?Fixed issue with enable/disable tray icon menu options on Windows XP

Verdict

AdFender blocks a lot of ads immediately. It can also prevent some sites from working, but this seems a very rare problem in the current builds, and if you're affected then you can just turn the program off for any affected sites.