Stop the Web Ad Avalanche!
by Sigi Rindler
After being inactive in the AJ for awhile, I thought that it's finally time to speak up and tell you that I have found something on the net which every serious web surfer will love. It's a plug-in that strips out banner ads, cookies, animated GIFs, background music, etc. This means that your web pages will load considerably faster. I haven't had the chance to play with every detail of this goodie since it's already "five to twelve" to get the newsletter to the printer in time. However, I am already more than convinced that this software has been the most useful package which I have downloaded during this year. I can't help daydreaming of a fast-downloading, blink-free experience...
I am a regular reader of some major newspapers from various parts of the world. Of course, they have a number of sponsors who paste several banners with animated GIFs and such in the opening page. Now they have all gone, at least the ones at CNN, Russia Today, in a couple of German and Austrian publications and so on. I can't really tell how much faster it downloads, but it's considerably quicker than before. I could even go further and eliminate all graphics in my browser, but that's not what I want.
The applications are similar in look and feel. After a brief install, you click check boxes to decide what you want blocked, then restart. When you next launch your browser, you'll notice much of the visual noise found on some sites is silenced and your surfing is speedier. And you can get custom statistics on how many graphics, cookies, and bytes have been blocked. Since there may be some ads you actually want to see, the program lets you customize what images are blocked on a site-by-site basis.
What does the $29.95 @Guard offer you additionally to the aforementioned features? For one thing, you can drag an ad or image that's passing through the filter to a trash can icon, which keeps it from loading when you return to the page. @Guard also can serve as a personal firewall, letting you decide who can access your PC when you're online. If your primary concern is security, you'll want @Guard. After all, approx. 4,000 yen for a this and a mini-firewall is dirt cheap! I haven't had the chance to try the firewall yet, but if it is as good as the rest of the program, it's a real steal...
If you want to judge for yourself, the company offers a 30-day downloadable trial version (http://www.atguard.com/).
I am sure that one or the other web page will contain ads that can't be easily filtered, but the @Guard people will have upgrades to solve these problems also. For the time being I wish you a happy ad-free surfing!
© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.
The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group
Submissions : Editor
Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN