Internet-related electricity consumption is rising rapidly as global Internet users spend more than 6.5 h per day online. Open source ad blockers can reduce the time and thus electricity spent using computers by eliminating ads during Internet browsing and video streaming.
In this study, three open-source ad blockers are tested against a no-ad blocker control. Page load time is recorded for browsing a representative selection of the globally most-accessed websites. The time spent watching ads on videos is quantified for both trending and non-trending content.
The results show that page load time dropped 11% with AdBlock+, 22.2% with Privacy Badger, and 28.5% with uBlock Origin. Thus, uBlock Origin can save the average global Internet user more than 100 h annually.
The energy conserved if everyone in the United States used the open source ad blocker would save over 36 Americans lives per year if it were to offset coal-fired electricity generated-based pollution. In the United States, if all Internet users enabled Privacy Badger on their computers, Americans would save more than $91 million annually. Globally, uBlock Origin could save consumers more than $1.8 billion/year.
Open source ad blockers are a potentially effective technology for energy conservation.
- Joshua M.Pearce, Energy Conservation with Open Source Ad Blockers. Technologies 2020, 8, 18.; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8020018 Academia open access
In the News[edit | edit source]
- How open source ad blockers could save you 2 hours a week EIN NewsDesk 41k (widely copied listing <150k)
- Ask 189
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette 17.6k
- Daily Herald Chicago 22k
- The Buffalo News 27k
- Market Place 34k
- News9 38k
- WRCB TV NBC 43k
- KAKE ABC 46.5k
- San Diego Union Tribune 64k
- WFMJ NBC 67k
- WBOC CBS72.9k
- KVTN 74k
- Erie News Now89k
- RFD TV131k
- News Channel Nebraska
- Telemundo Nuevo Mexico
- Punxsutawney Spirit
- Lubbock CW
- Tux Machines