Surfshark is the first VPN provider to launch a Cookie popup blocker

Cookie Popup Blocker
(Image credit: Surfshark)

Cookie popups in your browser can distract you while you work which is why the VPN provider Surfshark has added a new feature to its browser extensions designed to block them all together.

For those unfamiliar, cookie popups which are also known as cookie consent popups or banners, are notifications users see when entering websites that need to comply with the transparency requirements of GDPR. They usually request that users provide consent for websites to collect browsing information and can be quite annoying.

This is why Surfshark has added a Cookie popup blocker to its browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox which is available for free to all users of its VPN service.

Surfshark CEO Vytautas Kaziukonis explained in a press release why the company decided to add a cookie popup blocker to its VPN browser extension, saying:

"When browsing websites, people are frequently forced to accept cookies before they can access the content. Unfortunately, too often, designs manipulate users into clicking 'yes,' while certain websites have been found ignoring people's choices entirely. Inspired by the overarching frustrations, we've decided to develop a new feature to our browser extensions that will help bypass cookie consent popups."

Surfhsark's Cookie popup blocker works by employing CSS rules and network request blocking to hide popup elements as well as block specific network requests. However, if these two methods fail, the feature automatically chooses “accept”.

Whether or not these methods work depends on how a website has implemented its consent cookies. For instance, some websites apply cookies to their users' by default until they click “reject” while other websites like Google run this element until a user clicks “accept”.

While Surfshark's Cookie popup blocker is designed to enhance the web experience of its users by helping them bypass cookie consent popups, it's not meant to enhance privacy protection. Still though, it could certainly help boost your productivity as you won't have to waste time clicking “accept” or “reject” when visiting new websites.

Interested users running Google Chrome can test out Surfshark's new Cookie popup blocker by installing the company's Chrome extension while this feature will be added to its Firefox add-on later this year.

Looking to protect your privacy online? Check out our list of the best VPN services

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.