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This Is How You Stop Adblockers

I confess, I block ads, even on my phone – actually, I used to block ads on my phone but recently stopped because I ran into a set of server apps I really liked by Berserker, including SambaDroid, FTPDroid, WebDroid, SSHDroid and a kernel tweaking thing. These apps, great apps, detected that my hosts file had been modified (meaning they figured out that I obviously ran Adfree or something akin to it, not many other reasons off-hand to modify your hosts file). They gave me three options, either quit, buy the full version of the app or let it revert my phone to a non-adblocking state. Brilliant! Brilliant, and reasonable.

So now I’ve got ads on my phone because of this clever move and because I want to use these apps regularly, except for one of them which I decided to buy to support the developer. I bet more than half of others in my shoes faced with those three options would not go with quit, rather they would either buy the full version or would let it unblock ads, and if they did let it unblock ads, I doubt most of them would then start up Adfree again when they’re done using the app, going back and forth each time. Sound about right?

The method in which ads on Android are most commonly blocked is simple to detect, if this /etc/hosts file was modified or not from its commonly-known state, so there’s no simple way that I can imagine that doesn’t involve sideloading pirated software or whatever to subvert this method. And not only does the developer benefit, so do developers of the rest of the apps as well as people buying ads benefit. So, developers, start doing this if you want to curtail the freeloading. And to you regular users who block ads, consider not blocking ads regardless, at least on your phone, for a little while. They’re surprisingly not that irrelevant to your interests every once in a while.

Doug Simmons