Blocking Pop-Ups and Other Advertisements - Oct. 19, 2002

We all know how annoying pop-up ads have become when you go to certain web sites. I've gathered some information on ways to block ads together and summarized it below.

Stopping Pop-Up Windows at the Browser

1. Use Mozilla 1.1 - The Mozilla 1.1 web browser has an option to prevent unrequested windows from opening. Download Mozilla 1.1 (or later) from For those of you who use Netscape, you will love Mozilla as Netscape is based on Mozilla, and the look and feel is very similar. With Mozilla running, go to Edit, Preferences, Advanced, Scripts and Plugins, and uncheck the box labeled "Open unrequested windows"/

2. Use a Pop-Up blocker. There are many on the market, but here is a list of freeware programs recently posted in the Novell public forums by a user:

Free Surfer:
Window Shades:
Web Washer:
Proxomitron (advanced users only):

Blocking Advertisements at BorderManager

There are some products on the market, such as SurfControl ( and AdWall ( which are designed to produce access rules that block URL's categorized as advertising sites. However, you can use a clever redirection method for free to redirect certain advertising URL's to a web page of your choice. The idea is to put the URL of an advertising site in the BorderManager SYS:ETC\HOSTS file, along with the IP address of your own internal web page (with some simple graphic on it). The web page should come up with your graphic, or message, in place of the advertisement, or at worst, have a broken link.

For instance, to redirect all those AOL-based ads when you access, put some entry in the HOSTS file for AR.ATWOLA.COM, pointing to whatever you like. In my first test, I just pointed to an address on my network that did not exist. When I accessed, several ads simply disappeared. However, in later tests, I started getting some timeout errors and partial BorderManager error pages inserted into my web page. This technique would be best served to point to a small web page that didn't display anything, or displayed a small graphic.

Host file entry: AR.ATWOLA.COM

You can extend this technique to any site that is dedicated to serving up advertisements. You could also put in an access rule for those sites, but it would result in a small 403 error message in place of the advertisement.

Return to the Main Page