Ad Blocking Proxy Servers
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I recently reviewed a couple of Windows-based "ad-blocker" proxies for use with "those annoying pop-up ads." The ads actually don't annoy me that much -- I just close them without reading them. But with the new "pop-under," "exitstitial" and the like ads, I think the advertisers have gotten too clever for their own good. The delivery medium seems so manipulative and mercenary that I can't believe it's sustainable for long, and for that reason, not annoyingness, I've chosen not to even load them.
The Internet Junkbuster Proxy will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the first widely distributed, cross-platform, available-source personal proxy for ad-busting and cookie-crunching, and it was great for that.
This sounds pretty technical, and unfortunately, it is. Fortunately, however, Proxomitron comes pre-configured with a bunch of rules that work well, with pretty reasonable defaults for what to change and what to leave alone. (I did disable the default User-Agent, which is cool but stands out. If you know what "User-Agent" is you might care, otherwise, don't worry about it too much.) And the upside of this approach is that it is really general and flexible about what you can change, and Proxomitron makes it easy if you know HTTP and HTML.
Since it works by replacing bits of code, there's a small downside potential, too. Proxomitron may not block things it should because its rules don't recognize the code; conversely, its rules may improperly block functionality that it should allow if the code snippet for it happens to match a rule. In practice, I haven't found this to be a problem, and Proxomitron is so configurable (including an easily accessible "bypass" button) that I don't worry about it. If a web page seems broken, remember to bypass Proxomitron and try it again, and watch for updates and updated filters on the author's web site, though.
For the sake of completeness, here are the other proxies I looked at. There are some other nice ones, but Proxomitron was far and away the best for me.
- Proxomitron, $0*, http://proxomitron.org/ [*=ShonenWare ]
- Naviscope, currently $0, http://www.naviscope.com/
- NoAds, $0, http://www.southbaypc.com/NoAds/
- AdSubtract SE, $0, http://www.adsubtract.com/
- WebWasher Home Edition, $0, http://www.webwasher.com/en/products/wwash/
-- Peter Kaminski, 20010628
See also: http://www.schooner.com/~loverso/no-ads/