A hosts file tells your computer what numerical address, e.g. 192.168.1.1, is associated with an url, e.g. click here
This file is a very simple hack which takes ad server URLs like ads.doubleclick.com and redirects them to a place we know they don't exist and won't cause any problems - 127.0.0.1. That is the loop-back address. It checks your own computer for the ad and it just won't find it there.
Have a look at the link above and give it a go if you are on dial up. It will necessitate the emptying of your cache and the overwriting of the current hosts file with another. But after a reboot you should notice a definite speed boost as no ads are being loaded onto the pages.
Sure, some people do not like this very much (ads help to pay the running costs of the site) but the method works for me. Maybe I have missed out on an advertisement for something that would be life-changing, but that is the price I have to pay and the risk I take.
Stuartli - yes, but this way there is nothing extra to install or to take up system resources - and it is easily editable and reversible.
I have discovered however, that to listen to some radio stations which use RealPlayer and display ads at the same time, I have to tick out the ad.doubleclick.net blocker. But I am on the lookout for a workaround.
Stuartli - sure it is "tiny" and "superbly efficient" but as I imply, I prefer to do things manually wherever possible, and hence have nothing to blame if things go wrong. Each to their own, I suppose.
This is one for the manual ones lets you add and take away what you like ,as and when they appear,also can get updates for known popups added to it via web,used it for yonks and i think it brill click here
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