Blocking encrypted YouTube ads is possible | @devs & users

Discussion in 'Discussion (AdGuard for Android)' started by Sebi85, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Sebi85

    Sebi85 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    This thread is mainly for those of you, how have a non-rooted android device and want to get rid of the YouTube Ads and of course for the developers of AdGuard.

    To the users:
    According to this (sticky) post, it is no longer possible to block ads in the YouTube app. That's true, but how can we still achieve a 'clean' YouTube experience?
    Sadly, right now Adguard isn't able to help us. The only solution for non-rooted devices, is to use a modded version of the YouTube App - and you guessed right - there is a very nice one. It's called 'YouTube Vanced' and is free to download and use, developed by well known people from XDA.
    Installation is easy, just go ahead and install the latest non-root version. That's it! In the latest release, it doesn't require you to uninstall the original YouTube app, you can safely run it beside it (but I recommend to deactivate it).
    That's the most easy and comfortable way to block YouTube apps while using AdGuard for all other apps. And of course this modded version offers besides the ad blocking a lot of useful other customizations.

    To the developers of AdGuard and interested users:
    Now I have done some research about blocking ads, especially about 'encrypted' ads because it was a pain in the neck that YouTube can't be filtered natively anymore by AdGuard. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to make advertising for other apps, but I stumbled upon the app 'AdClear' on XDA which works in the same way (local VPN) than AdGuard on non-rooted devices. The devs and also the users reported that they can easily filter all (encrypted) ads out of YouTube without any special configuration.
    First I thought it can't be true. How can a hand full of XDA nerds do something where ad blocking specialists fail?
    So I gave it a try, downloaded and installed the app, temporarily deactivated Adguard and used the normal YouTube app which used to be full of ads. Et voila, no ads. I tested it for 3 days, with automatic reboots every night. It works!
    So there actually is a working solution about blocking ads on YouTube, using the method of a local VPN, without root and the need to use modded YouTube apps!
    I really hope that the Adguard Devs read this thread and maybe get in touch with the Devs of 'AdClear' to develop a working ad blocking for YouTube. It's proven to be possible at least.
    But note: To use ad blocking on YouTube on Android 7+ (I was on 6), you need to use an app called 'Parallel Space'. Would this be a solution also for AdGuard?!

    Final thoughts:
    Personally, I trust AdGuard and that's why I'm using AdGuard in combination with YouTube Vanced. It provides for me the perfect experience from both sides: A trustworthy Adblocker (which I'm using for years) and no ads on YouTube without any compromises and very easy set-up and use. I can highly recommend this combination until AdGuard serves us a natively fully working ad blocking on YouTube like e.g. AdClear does.

    Important:

    I'm in no way affiliated with any of the named Apps (AdGuard, AdClear, YouTube Vanced orParallel Space). I'm just an ordinary and loyal user of AdGuard who wants to get rid of YouTube ads. I wrote this thread in the hope of a feature enhancement of AdGuard :)

    My testing environment:
    - Sony Z3 Compact; Android 6
    - Samsung SM-T810; Android 7 (needed 'Parallel Space')
    - YouTube Version: 13.12.60
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  2. Boo Berry

    Boo Berry Moderator + Beta Tester Moderator

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    The Parallel Space trick (which has been known about for some time now) will only work as long as Parallel Space targets an API Level below 24. Once they target API Level 24 (or higher) it won't be possible to filter apps through Parallel Space anymore due to how Nougat and above doesn't trust user certificates. Using Parallel Space for other apps on Nougat+ where HTTPS filtering with AdGuard for Android doesn't work anymore might work pretty well in the meantime. Sadly, I doubt Parallel Space will allow blocking of ads in certain apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Ultimately blocking ads, especially those using HTTPS, on Nougat and above will become more difficult as time passes. Especially if apps are double encrypting their ads.

    IMO, the only viable workarounds right now are YouTube Vanced or an alternative YouTube app like NewPipe.

    I've been meaning to amend the YouTube sticky post with a tutorial for YouTube Vanced, but I haven't had enough time to sit down and test YouTube Vanced. I think I'll do it right now. EDIT: Done.
     
  3. Sebi85

    Sebi85 New Member

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    Thanks for the information regarding Parallel Space! :)
    I agree with you... that's why I'm currently using AdGuard alongside with YT Vanced (Black-mode & adblocking saves a lot of battery on devices with Super AMOLED screens).
    And of course thank you for the follow-up post on your sticky thread, however, I would have been pleased to see a mention at me. But that's not dramatic, all that matters is that it helps other people :)
    Cheers!
     
  4. vasily_bagirov

    vasily_bagirov Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    From the quick glance, it's possible there's something to AdClear's approach. We are too busy with v3.0 right now, so we can't look deeper at the YT issue atm, but we definitely will a while later. This is not ignoring the issue, just a matter of current priorities and managing developers' time.

    @Sebi85 Thank you for the extensive write-up, we are happy to have users like you. Be assured that we appreciate it a lot.
     
    Zyxel likes this.
  5. Boo Berry

    Boo Berry Moderator + Beta Tester Moderator

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    As far as I know, AdClear's approach is to use Parallel Space alongside it, something you can already do with AdGuard for Android right now to accomplish more-or-less the same thing; HTTPS filtering of apps that normally can't be filtered anymore (mostly due to them not trusting user certificates anymore on Nougat+) on a non-root device as long as Parallel Space targets an API Level below 24.

    I do plan on further amending the YouTube post with additional information and workarounds when I have some more time to investigate.
     
  6. loanxinhgai

    loanxinhgai New Member

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    Thank you very much. I really feel bothered by the ads.
     
  7. disbanding

    disbanding New Member

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    Well, to be honest this was one of the reasons I bought adguard... however. Sadly adguard only worked for about a week until the encryped ads.
    it is a valid technical reason, I admit.

    That said...
    Adclear clearly (forgive the pun) state they sell your data. Adguard does not... (although there seems to be a russian affiliation perhaps, and selling and sharing may not be the same thing)

    fdroid wise... newpipe is really quite good. Made me reinstall fdroid app store. Let me elaborate -you get YouTube ala premium features(bg playing downloads) and local only no login history and no ads.

    I tried adclear on a android 7 phone and it their app launcher based fitering seems quite unstable at least on my phone (newer huawei). Most apps freeze on launch.it also keeps asking me for really uncomfortable permissions like full locationa etc app launcher perms and device admin for Adclear

    Tbh I don't know how many apps do cert pinning vs just relying on not trusting user certs ( system) but I'm certainly staying away from adclear.


    Pps adblocking and data sharing is one of the features that made me initially root my phone and then move back to no root vpns. Depending on the cert pinning vs system certs answer perhaps I'll reconsider rooting my phone
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  8. Boo Berry

    Boo Berry Moderator + Beta Tester Moderator

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  9. vasily_bagirov

    vasily_bagirov Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Stupid question, but have you activated AG with the license key? Maybe you didn't and your trial period has expired?

    We do not share data either, and we are not even a russian company legally, we operate under the EU law. Our privacy policy: https://adguard.com/privacy.html