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Open AccessArticle

Energy Conservation with Open Source Ad Blockers

1
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, FI-00076 Espoo, Finland
Technologies 2020, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8020018
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 27 March 2020 / Accepted: 28 March 2020 / Published: 30 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
Internet-related electricity consumption is rising rapidly as global Internet users spend more than 6.5 h per day online. Open source ad blockers have the potential to 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, and 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 has the potential to 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy conservation; energy; open source; free and open source software; FOSS; free software; ad blocker; Internet; Internet advertising; advertising; tracker; browser tracking; internet tracking; web tracking; tracker blocker; tracker protection; malware blocking; malware protection; privacy; internet privacy energy conservation; energy; open source; free and open source software; FOSS; free software; ad blocker; Internet; Internet advertising; advertising; tracker; browser tracking; internet tracking; web tracking; tracker blocker; tracker protection; malware blocking; malware protection; privacy; internet privacy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pearce, J.M. Energy Conservation with Open Source Ad Blockers. Technologies 2020, 8, 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8020018

AMA Style

Pearce JM. Energy Conservation with Open Source Ad Blockers. Technologies. 2020; 8(2):18. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8020018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pearce, Joshua M. 2020. "Energy Conservation with Open Source Ad Blockers" Technologies 8, no. 2: 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8020018

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