Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Mozilla Firefox Plug-In

As simple pop-up blockers get more and more common, other forms of advertising are getting more common. From classic banners to obnoxious sliders and Google textads, advertising is once again proliferating on the web. If you want to stay away from it, you need an all-round ad-blocking solution.

One of the most popular options is the Ad block plug-in for the Mozilla Firefox alternative web browser. These plug-in allows you to right-click on any ad on your page and choose ‘Adblock’, which will then add it to a list of known ads and instantly remove it from view. The technique also works on Flash ads, using a special tab that appears at the top of them. Adblock is flexible enough to allow you to quickly block whole ad networks – block ‘**’ with it, for example, and you’ll never see an ad from Google’s ad network anywhere on the web ever again.

If you don’t want to change web browsers to Firefox, then there are more alternatives. One of the most potent is known as a ‘filtering proxy’ – basically a program sits between your web browser and the Internet, and removes all the ads before your browser ever even knows they’re there.

Probably the best filtering proxy around at the moment is Privoxy, which is free and available from To install it, you simply set it up as a proxy in your web browser, which allows it to work with almost any web browser out there (the program itself runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and more besides). Privoxy comes with a basic set of rules that will filter out most of the different kinds of ads out there, and also helps with privacy concerns such as cookies. If you have more specialised needs, and you’re not afraid to spend an hour or two figuring out how it works, Privoxy makes it relatively easy to write your own rules and make the web appear however you want it to.

John Gibb is the owner of ad blocker guides


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