Ghostery, which makes the ad- and tracker-blocking extension of the same name, has launched Ghostery Midnight, a desktop app with extended privacy features that costs $14 a month.
Ghostery Midnight not only includes an ad-blocker and a tracker-blocker, but it also has a VPN, which is a new feature for the company. It works across a variety of apps and browsers. While the tracker and ad-blocking features are on by default, you can toggle the ad-blocker, tracker-blocker, and VPN on and off. Ghostery Midnight is also able to block ads and trackers on multiple browsers at once, so if you use more than one browser, it’s more convenient than downloading a separate extension for each browser.
Ghostery Midnight blocks first- and third-party trackers based on its own database, which is updated regularly but currently includes at least 4,500 trackers from more than 2,600 companies. The app shows you how many trackers are being detected in each browser and tells you where each of those trackers originated. You can also choose from among three preferences for each browser or program: “Protected,” which blocks trackers; “Monitoring,” which will tell you which trackers are on your device but will not block them; and “Disabled,” which does not record or block trackers.
The program also blocks ads based on Ghostery’s list, but it doesn’t block all ads. When we tested out a beta version, Ghostery Midnight blocked ads in Spotify, but it also prevented some songs from playing. (This turned out to be an issue with the computer we used rather than the program itself.) Ghostery Midnight currently offers a choice of six servers for its VPN, but it plans to add more. The servers are located in Montreal, Frankfurt, Singapore, London, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
While Ghostery Midnight costs $14 a month, the company plans to roll out a cheaper version with limited features next year. The company says the details aren’t yet finalized. It also plans to introduce a mobile version some point. Other future plans include using machine learning to detect trackers, a feature that will let you decide whether to block first-party trackers, and one that will allow you to disable individual trackers.
Update December 19th, 9:28AM ET: This article has been updated to include the fact that a problem with Spotify was probably due to an issue with the computer being used rather than the Ghostery Midnight app.