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Friday, July 31, 2009

4 Free Proxies To Block Ads in Google Chrome (or any browser)

So you've tested Google Chrome and decided that you like it. You say you'd switch, but there's no adblocker? Fortunately for you, there are several free, tiny filtering proxy applications available that can do the job.
The best part is, they'll help block ads in any browser - including Chrome.
Before I get into a list, it's important to know that several of these apps haven't been updated in ages. However, content filtering is a pretty straightforward operation, so even the old ones work just fine - and you can always tweak the blocking rules yourself.

CyberGuard WebWasher Classic
is another great option. It's small, fast, and very customizable. It's got additional capabilities to block popups, scripts, referrers, cookies, and prefixes. New filters are incredibly easy to set up, and there's no noticeable lag in load times. Of the apps I tested, WebWasher was my favorite.

Proxomitron has a god awful GUI, but it works well enough that its appearance can be overlooked (you can create your own bitmaps if you really hate it). It offers extremely flexible bloxing rules, and the default set is extrmely effective. Blocked ads are replaced with [red text in brackets], and pages load times weren't adversely affected.

iReject Trash is a tiny download (200k) and works extremely well. Its log view also gives you an interesting insight into the pages you're visiting. CNET.com, for example, had 33 items blocked. Out-of-the-box the blocking was very good, and the rules are fully customizable. You can block by host, pattern, or image dimensions. Page load times were a bit slower on certain sites.

Lifehacker suggests Privoxy
as an option. Privoxy is more low-fi: all your configuration tweaks are done by editing text files. It is, however, very easy on processor usage and it also does a very good job with no tweaking. I didn't notice any difference in page load times with Privoxy.


There are tons of other options for blocking ads (just check the Google Directory), so don't give up on Chrome just because there's no AdBlock. Grab one of these apps, and give it another try - then tell us how it went!

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