Ways to Block Pop Ups...
Advertisers are constantly looking for any way to draw attention to their products. Although typical banner ads are still used heavily, they now seem to be almost invisible to the average web surfer. Pop ups and other intrusive types of advertising are now used to thrust an ad in your face that you have no choice but to at least acknowledge. Regardless of the nature of the ad, pop ups are a nuisance, and there are now many options available for keeping them off of your computer screen all together.
- Internet Explorer on Windows XP with Service Pack 2
Service Pack 2 for Windows XP brought about a several significant changes to the operating system. One of the most noticeable was the addition of a pop up blocker to Internet Explorer.
The pop up blocker is integrated into the browser and can be customized by browsing to the “Tools” tab at the top of the program. Like many pop up blocker applications, personal preferences can be set to allow or block pop ups from certain sites, as well as providing customization for how the user is alerted to the fact that a pop up has been blocked.
For those using Windows XP, upgrading to Service Pack 2 is a must for your system’s security as a whole, but specifically for the additional convenience of an integrated pop up blocker. For those with a Microsoft operating system other than XP this is not available to you however, regardless of which Windows operating system you have, it is vitally important to keep it updated. To update just click here and your system will do the rest.
- Alternative Web Browsers
There are choices for web browsers other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer and many of the alternatives included a pop up blocker.
The one that has become most widely accepted is the Mozilla Firefox browser. This browser has already received a great deal of acclaim as an alternative to Internet Explorer. It is a highly customizable web browsing application that includes an effective pop up blocker along with tabbed browsing and many other features not found in Internet Explorer.
Best of all, it's free
- Browser Tool Bars
A growing trend is for websites to offer a downloadable toolbar for use with Internet Explorer. Many of these toolbars offer unique features intended to enhance the user’s web browsing experience in different ways, but they generally also include a pop up blocker. Although there are toolbars available from dozens of websites, Google, MSN, and Yahoo are some of the more reputable names with one available.
The installation of these toolbars is quick and easy, and the most difficult part may be reading the fine print in the license agreements. Although these toolbars may do an excellent job blocking pop ups, they may also be retrieving data on your web surfing / search habits. If you feel a toolbar may be the right solution for you, stick with one from a trusted name such as Google or Yahoo and just be sure to read the fine print.
- Pop Up Blocker Software
Stand alone pop up blocking software is available from dozens, if not hundreds, of different sources. With various appearances and prices ranging from free to $30 (and higher) choosing one can be a difficult task. Many of the programs that are not available for free do come with a free trial download, so you can at least get a sense of whether the program is right for you before committing. Some of the options in this category include STOPzilla, Secure IE, Zero Popup and Pop Swatter, to name a few.
The main drawback to this type of pop up blocking solution is that you now have another independent application running on your computer. Although they are generally not resource intensive, why run a program to do something that can be handled by one that is already running anyway? Additionally, with so many reliable solutions available to eliminate pop ups for free, spending money on one is hard to justify.
- Internet Access Software from Select ISPs
- Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) now incorporate a pop up blocker with the software they provide to subscribers for accessing the internet. Sympatico, Eastlink, Cogeco, and Rogers are a few of the larger providers that offer add-on value to their packages. Bundling this functionality with the ISPs base software definitely makes things easy for the subscriber, as there may be no need to find one elsewhere.
In general these blockers are effective but are not the most feature rich and may have limited options for customization by the end user. One draw back with an ISP provided pop up blocker is that some only work with their service so, if you ever switch to a new ISP you will need to be prepared to switch to a new pop up blocker as well.
- Final Words
Pop ups are a fact of life on the internet, but that does not mean you need to put up with them. Among the five general solutions presented above, there are literally hundreds of options available for eliminating the clutter of pop up ads, allowing you to enjoy only the content you intended to see.
Should you have any other questions about your computer do not hesitate in picking up the phone... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers