If you've looked into how to block ads on Android you'll probably have seen some advice on messing with hosts files and so on. Scary, right? The good news is there are much easier ways to block pop-up ads on Android - all you really need do is download a free and simple app.

Both standard adverts and pop-up adverts are not only intrusive on a mobile device, but they can do serious damage to your phone bill if you're on a limited data plan. Downloading heavy web-pages takes enough data; you don't need the additional cost of paying to load up unnecessary marketing

Blocking these adverts is easy enough, but you may need to change your choice of web browser to do so. With Opera or the Ad-block browser, for example, you can block all ads from displaying on your phone, but even if you wish to stick with Chrome there are ways to reduce the number of intrusions. 

Here are four tricks to try to get yourself a much happier, ad-free browsing experience. You can also check out our round-up of the best Android browsers.

Use the Opera browser

This is by far the simplest way to avoid adverts while browsing on Android, since the free Opera Browser now contains a built-in ad blocker. However, it might not be an ideal solution for you if you use Google Chrome or Firefox on your other devices (if that's the case see our third tip).

You don't need to do anything special - just install Opera and use it like any other browser, with none of the hassle of ads. A recent update also added a VPN, although we'd recommend choosing one of the best Android VPN apps if you plan on using this extensively. 

You can download Opera Browser free from Google Play.

Install the free Ad-block Browser

From the company behind the popular Adblock desktop extension, this dedicated browser will ensure those pesky ads won't find their way onto your mobile devices either.

The ad detection is so advanced that it should even block adverts on YouTube (the site, not the app of course), but you may have to endure a slight drop in video quality. 

You can download the Ad-block Browser free from Google Play.

Block pop-up ads in Chrome

If it's really only the pop-up adverts that bother you and you'd rather not have to install a second browser then these can be blocked in Google's own Chrome browser.

Launch the browser, tap on the three dots at the top right of the screen, then choose Settings, Site Settings.

Scroll down to Pop-ups and redirects, and ensure it's set to Blocked.

Use Lite mode

If you are sticking with Chrome, there is another step you can take to avoid data-hogging content online.

Lite mode compresses aspects of web pages that aren't required on mobile devices. Previously known as Data Saver, it offers a smoother web browsing experience as the browser will only pull in the essential content. This will reduce the number of ads and animations you see, which should result in reduced data usage. 

It can lead to a somewhat flatter browsing experience, and it is possible that some web pages will look wonky. But you can always disable Lite mode- it's a two-second job.

Open up Chrome, and then hit the three dots menu icon in the top right-hand corner. Choose Settings, then find Lite mode. Ensure this is set to On.