There aren’t many ad-blockers that let us block ads in all Android apps and a lot of them require root or tend to have a significant impact on battery life.
It doesn’t mean there are no decent alternatives out there. Today’s recommendation is an app called DNS66. This app blocks ads at the DNS level, this means traffic is filtered only when the connections are established and this translates into a minimal battery footprint.
How to block ads in all Android apps without root
Nevertheless, sideloading an app is a simple process. Just make sure you have “Unknown sources” enabled in your device’s Settings since otherwise, you won’t be able to install any apps outside the Play Store, DNS66 being part of that category.
You should also know the app requires Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher in order to work.
DNS66 is available on the F-Droid Repository as a free download. We’ve featured F-Droid as one of our favorite Google Play alternatives since it’s a great place to get free, open-source apps. Tap on the link below to download DNS66.
On the app’s download page scroll down to the Packages section and tap on the “download apk” link. Once the app finishes downloading on your device, tap on the “Download complete” notification then hit the “Install” button.
A set-up guide will welcome you when you run DNS66 for the first time. You can read it, or simply follow the instructions below.
Tap on “Domain Filters” at the bottom of the screen and on the dedicated tab, you will need to select one or more ad-blocking hosts files. These hosts files are lists of known ad servers the app will block if selected.
You can select multiple hosts files but if you want to keep things simple we recommend you select just the “Adaway hosts file”. Just tap on the red dot next to it and it will turn green.
Once you’ve enabled one or more hosts files, return to the Start / Stop tab and tap on the Refresh option in the upper part of the screen. The app will notify you that the hosts file is downloading so you just need to wait for the download to complete.
Then, long-press on the large power icon to enable the VPN ad-blocking service and tap “OK” when prompted.
That’s it! From now on you won’t be seeing any ads in your browser or in other installed apps for as long as DNS66’s VPN service is active. It’s also worth noting this is just an ad-blocking VPN service and not the kind that lets you surf the web anonymously. While the service is active, a small key icon will be displayed in the status bar.
Since this app only blocks ads at DNS level it will only redirect and filter DNS traffic, unlike other VPN-based ad-blockers that filter all data traffic for ads. What this means is DNS66 uses significantly less battery compared to most similar apps.