Zen is a free and open-source system-wide ad blocker for PC. It works on macOS, Linux, and Windows. By operating at the system level, it provides comprehensive protection beyond what browser extensions can offer. This means it can intercept and block ads, tracking scripts, malware, and other unwanted content not just from web browsers, but also from desktop applications and even operating system components.
Zen actually works by setting up a proxy that intercepts HTTP requests from all applications, and blocks those serving ads. It also stops tracking and telemetry scripts running on your operating system such as Windows. Zen comes with many pre-installed filters, but also allows you to easily add hosts files and EasyList-style filters, enabling you to tailor your protection to your specific needs.
Benefit of using Zen ad blocker:
Here are some of the advantages of using Zen Ad blocker on a PC.
- Protects your privacy: Zen blocks trackers that follow you online.
- Makes browsing faster: By blocking ads, Zen reduces website loading times, making your browsing experience quicker and smoother.
- Saves resources: Zen reduces CPU and memory usage by preventing ads from loading, leading to smoother system performance and potentially extended battery life.
- Customizable filtering: You can create custom filter lists to block specific types of ads or websites you don’t want to see.
- No browser extension needed: Zen works independently of any browser extension, avoiding potential conflicts and ensuring compatibility with all browsers.
- Easy to use: Zen has a simple and user-friendly interface, making it easy for anyone to set up and use.
- Free and open-source: Zen is free to download and use, and its open-source code allows anyone to inspect and contribute to its development.
How to install the Zen ad Blocker?
There are two ways to install and Zen ad blocker. You can either download its setup file from its GitHub releases, and then install it like any other software. For Windows, get the EXE file and for macOS, get other dedicated binaries.
Other way is that you download the portable version of Zen. The portable version comes as a single EXE file in a ZIP file, and you don’t need to install it in order to use it. Just launch it from the downloads folder directly and then start interacting.
How Zen Ad Blocker works to Disable ads System-wide on PC?
To make it work, you just run it right away. When you run it for the first time, then it will ask your permission to install a certificate. Simply allow that and start the software. It will now start working in the background. You can continue your browsing and use the apps that comes with ads.
In the software, you can switch to the main screen of the Zen ad blocker after running it and then you will see list of all the domains and endpoints that blocks for you. They are mainly Google Ads and other ad network domains.
You can also configure the list of domains to block. By default, it uses the Dan Pollock’s host file. But you can use some other list here as well. It supports Peter Lowe’s Ad and tracking server list as well.
Once you no longer need, you can turn it off and exit the software. You can use it again in the same way next time. Also, you can completely uninstall it as well. Also, delete the certificate that it installs on your PC.
If you no longer want to use ad blocker extensions because they conflict with other plugins, then you need Zen Ad Blocker. Just install it and it will block start blocking ads for you right away. You can further play with the different block lists and the configure them as per your needs. Overall, I really liked it because it just works. One more thing that truly deserves praise is its compatibility across various platforms, not limited to just Windows.