Internet advertising is intrusive, annoying and untrustworthy. It slows down our browsing, gets in the way of the content and can contain a lot more than just annoying adverts. Avoid all that with one simple trick.
As a content creator, I am conflicted about ad blocking. On one hand, websites deserve to make an income to help keep the lights on. They also need income to pay people like me to create great content for you to read.
The current advertising model doesn’t work. Most websites will sign up to an advertising platform to deliver ads rather than do it themselves. That way, all the site administrator has to do is create ad space on a page and add a dynamic link to the ad server. The vendor does the rest.
Trouble is, those ad servers are easy to hack and can be infected with malware or have the ads changed to something entirely different. Plus, aside from a basic outline of what ads the website owner will allow and not allow, the owner has little control over what advertising appears on the site.
I could go on for hours about how internet advertising is broken but I’ll save you that. Instead, I’ll just get on with showing you how to avoid it.
Block all online ads with ease
You can use browser ad blockers and they work well. They catch the vast majority of ads and clean up your browsing experience. Or you could block them using a modified Windows hosts file.
The Windows hosts file is a little like your DNS cache. It resolves IP addresses to server or website names. By using a modified hosts file, we tell every ad server out there to send all connection requests to 0.0.0.0 which causes the computer to drop all traffic. This means the ad is not shown, the browser doesn’t load it and you see a lovely clean, fast loading web page.
Here’s how to use host file blocking:
- Navigate to this page.
- Download the hosts.zip file halfway down the page.
- Decompress the file.
- Right click the MCPS batch file within the download and select Run as Administrator.
- Reboot your computer.
You shouldn’t notice any difference until you load a browser. Visit a website you know is full of ads and take a good look. You shouldn’t see a single ad!
The page will load faster, more space will be given to the page content and you shouldn’t see flashing banners and all the usual nonsense lower quality web pages try to foist upon us.
Support the sites you like
If you do use host file blocking, try to support the websites you frequent. Many will have ways you can contribute or use sponsored articles or content. Support the site by clicking on sponsored posts and reading them. Or contribute to the website to help them pay the bills.
It’s only fair. It’s the advertising model that’s broken, not the web or the website itself.