Blokada is a free standalone APK which can easily alter the hostfile and DNS of your Android phones or tablets. It is -in my humble opinion- an absolute must-have on every android phone or tablet. You can download it here and simply install the Blokada.APK file.
By changing your DNS to e.g. Cloudflare’s 184.108.40.206 and applying webfilters like ‘adaway’ and/or Steven Black’s Hostfile and/or many other curated lists of malicious, shocking or privacy invading websites… you’ll get an all-round better experience with your devices:
- It blocks most ads all over your device. So yes, you’ll experience less or no ads in games, and in your browser.
- It blocks most tracking and spyware services, so it protects your privacy
- And because it blocks all these ads and scripts to run in the background:
- It speeds up your phone
- It saves battery, CPU, memory and modem resources
- It saves you large amounts of mobile data (and thus money!)
Like I explained in earlier articles, the hostfile and DNS are your device’s gateways to the internet. I’ve been using Blokada for a few years now. And in the last 6 months it has blocked 647.344 requests. Think about it: that is the exact amount of times my phone would have had to allocate resources to run 100% unwanted processes, connect with wifi or 4G and up/download some unwanted, dangerous or even sensitive data.
Blokada is the main reason why my 4.5 years old Galaxy S7 Edge still runs perfectly fine and can easily last 2 days on a single charge.PowrUsr
How does it work?
In stead of actually changing the DNS and hostfile of your device, Blokada sets up a localized, ‘virtual’ VPN with the proper configurations. That’s why it doesn’t require Root access or even a reboot to enable/disable.
How I configure Blokada?
The configuration which works great for me:
In the ‘advanced’ menu item/tab I activated:
- Blocklists: Energized / Steven Black / Goodbye Ads / AdAway / Phishing Army
- DNS: Cloudflare
So where’s the catch?
It’s not 100% perfect. I’m sure many tracking scripts in the Youtube, Spotify, Instagram, and Facebook apps are blocked, but the ads still come through.
Also, in very rare occasions an app or webservice will not (properly) work because they are dependent on loading a specific script… (eg. you MUST load and watch an ad before you can play). But no worries:
- In the Blokada App, you can easily whitelist apps so they get ‘unfiltered access’, This approach has always worked flawless for me.
- You can also -at any time- quickly disconnect to the ‘Blokada VPN’ (or ‘deactivate’ it in the app) and get your full, unfiltered access again.
Just don’t forget to re-enable it when you’re done.
It is important that you do not forget that Blokada is running. I’ve had my share of moments when I’m thinking ‘damn, why doesn’t this website work!’, while all I had to do is disable Blokada for a few minutes.
On a final note: it can feel a bit unethical to block many ads. But I try to make up for it by actually buying apps I like, occasionally donating, or getting subscriptions. You can also choose to whitelist apps. On the other hand, you can ask yourself: is it ethical from publishers to insert so. many. ads. in games, often targeted at small children… or take your personal information without you knowing?