questionsdoes ad-blocking or cookie-blocking technology…

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I use AdBlock Plus (ABP) on Firefox. It is truely amazing. I haven't seen an ad, including one on youtube, for as long as I've been using it. When I come to work and use IE with no adblock, it's a vastly different (more painful) experience.

Firefox also has good cookie settings, you can set for "no 3rd party" for example, and some options to ask you everytime.

If you're looking to stick with a different browser, I can't help you, sorry.

edit: And the best part is it's all free.

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I agree with brad, AdBlock Plus is the first thing I put on my PC after installing Firefox. Add in NoScript and you are set up. NoScript is a little annoying at first, but you will find that you will quickly allow the content on the sites you visit most while being protected from those you don't. Also you can allow scripts based on domain or sub domain, so you can allow scripts from woot.com but block scripts from adnetwork.com even if they are included on woot (examples only!)

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BitsDuJour.com is a software deal-a-day site that is selling Ad Muncher today half off for $10. It blocks lots more than pop-ups, it even blocks ads at the beginnings of videos. It works well and can even speed up your browsing experience by blocking all the ads from loading. I personally do not find ads that annoying, but if you do Ad Muncher works very well.

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@nortonsark: This is exactly what adblock does, but is free. Like previously said, Adblock and Noscript are the ultimate protection.

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Another happy AdBlock user here - I use it on Chrome on OS X and Windows 7.

On my PC I have Trend Micro Titanium clean up cookies on a regular basis. I can add exceptions if I like. I usually don't.

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Another happy AdBlock plus user here. Nice free add-in for Firefox.
Cookies get handled by my anti-virus program.

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Question - if I download Firefox, do I have to keep IE also as part of the comcast pkg. Sign me clueless

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If you want to get really technical, and don't mind tweaking things a bit when something goes wrong, modify your hosts file. HostsMan is a program that will do that on Windows. You can redirect any "bad" domains to 127.0.0.1, meaning your own computer, so the ad request never actually gets through.

http://www.abelhadigital.com/hostsman

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@klozitshoper: Download Firefox. When it asks if you want it to be the primary browser, choose yes. When it comes time to patch, you will still need IE, and I don't really think it's possible to delete it in any case. When it comes up (after you've chosen Firefox as your primary browser), and asks if it should take back the primary browsing choice, just say no (and don't forget to click on the "don't ask me again" option).

Play with Firefox for a few days until you get used to it. You'll be fine.

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Firefox will also migrate your IE bookmarks or favorites. If you've used IE, you'll be fine with Firefox. You can still do your browsing, banking, etc same old same.
Another vote for AdBlockPlus and NoScript.

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firefox, adblock, flashblock, and noscript. Easy to use, and the moment I'm on a web page that presents me with a moving/flashy/noisy ad, all ads get blocked.

Enough is enough with the "Use a sledgehammer to get the eyes to watch our craptacular crap" nonsense. Static, small unobtrusive ads only please.

But yeah, been using noscript and adblock and flashblock for years - makes it nigh impossible for me to surf with IE.

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If you want your favorite websites (like Youtube and what have you) to remain free, I suggest you tolerate the ads. If we all disable ads, the website will start charging you to see the content or just go out of business.

Think of it in terms of FM Radio vs XM Radio. Which do you prefer? Free with advertisements or no ads and you have to pay to play? Even Internet Radio is this way. You want free, you'll listen to ads. You want no ads, you have to pay.

The only ads I can't stand are pop-ups and video ads that play (with sound) automatically. I have pop-ups blocked, but I have yet to figure out a way to prevent the Flash video/audio ads from playing. Simple pictures in the margins of the website don't bother me a bit.

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@klozitshoper: Comcast cannot dictate which browser you use, just download Firefox and set it as your primary browser, search for AdBlock Plus for Firefox, install it, then you are done!

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Note that Chrome also has Adblock Plus but it isn't nearly as good as the Firefox version

Ex: Firefox version blocks in-video ads whereas the Chrome version does not

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Tell your browser to delete cookies on exit.
Install CCleaner, and have it delete cookies on startup.
This will help you start clean.
And yes a large hosts file is also helpful.
There are places to download them.

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Adblock Plus will block ads and anything else you want it to block.

Vanilla (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gieohaicffldbmiilohhggbidhephnjj) is less well-known but also valuable to me: it blocks all sites from putting cookies on my computer, except for sites I explicitly tell it to allow. Very easy to use, very helpful.

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@bsmith1: I do agree with you. I'm really just looking to block those blasted video ads that I can't disable. The little ones on the side of YouTube or Facebook don't bother me at all, they're harmless. The fact that they are targeted at me kinda freaks me out though.

Thanks guys! I currently am using Chrome. Will ABP still work properly, but just not block the in-video ads?

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@promyst: Thanks. And outlook express will work as well? The only time I use it is if I have a document and it automatically uses outlook express. I really sometimes with that did not pop up, but I can only assume that at one point when I was in the mood, I only set it up for my primary account and now do not know how to change it. Therefore, everything I send that way that goes outlook exprss does not allow me to choose which account I want to use. You folks who are so great technically must laugh your buns off at ole granny here.

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@shrdlu: Haven't had the time yet - scares me a bit because of all of the trouble two years or so ago with this computer. If you hear screaming from coast to coast - just ignore it.

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Thanks for all of the input - I will start EARLY some morning.

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@nate800: I use Chrome and ABP, it's excellent but yes, it does not remove ads that play before videos. Chrome is better than Firefox imo so I deal with the slight inconvenience.