[Contest] Ad Muncher [Forum exclusive]

I like this program!  It begins working right after installation with its own extensive ad-blocking list.  The company has been in business 12 years, and in that time they have developed extensive default filters and it’s actively growing.  They not only include tracking cookies, but they block third-party tracking systems, block rich media advertising like video ads, floating ads, etc., and even blocks many spyware, adware, and dialer installers before they get a chance to load up onto your system. It works in all the major browsers, such as IE, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, Safari, Flock, Netscape, Maxthon, and Avant Browser.  They used to offer IP Scrambler, an IP address hider, but no longer.  Instead, they recommend Tor, an excellent (in their opinion) IP scrambler available through open source, which they believe is better than their IP Scrambler. (I did not review Tor.)

The program blocks all unwanted popups.  It actually speeds up loading pages thanks to a whole lot less ads and popups, which it calculates and presents as statistics on the About tab in Configuration.  It removes advertising in programs, such as ICQ, Morpheus, iMesh, LimeWire and Yahoo Music Jukebox, allowing one to use a free version minus the advertising!  It’s an amazingly small program for how well it works (523 KB) and I feel no drag on my system.  One can add their own filters to block URL’s, keywords or text.  No program or add-on I had (which are many) would stop that Wikipedia popup with its unhelpful meanings every time the cursor rested on a word. I don’t even know where it came from, but AdMuncher did it quickly and easily by simply adding the Wikipedia URL to the filter list.

The Configuration table is extensive.  Tabs include Logs, My Filters (which are easily added if necessary), Default Filters list (so you can remove any you don’t want to block).  The Tools tab has 3 sub-tabs where you can replace Text, IP Scramble (their old IP hiding software- but now they have a link to Tor right in that tab) , and Load/Save/ Reset Configuration– which is pretty much self-explanatory.

In Configuration, under Options, there are extensive choices as to how you want your browser to respond to unwanted input.  Under “Filtering”, it’s as easy as a tic to prevent sites from bookmarking themselves, or resizing windows, or putting out pages with no toolbar on them.  With one tic, you can prevent “web bugs” from tracking your visits and a number of other nuisance changes they make.  Under “Popups” one can prevent a number of kinds of popups from occurring, but if there is one you want to see for some reason, one can just hold the Ctrl key (if that option is ticked) and allow that popup to come through.  One can tell which popups they may want to see because they have a descriptive text in their boxes to give an idea what’s in that ad.

Still in Options, you will find the Updates tab with its own options, and Interface, where the look and feel of the program can be changed.  Caching tab allows the user to prevent pages from caching so that updates to the filters will work quickly rather than on saved pages. On the tab Filter Targets, AdMuncher has listed all my running programs so that I can have them filtered or not and designate ports to use.  There is extensive help available directly from any tab.  And lastly, under the Options tab is the Advanced tab, where one can prevent a site from seeing where you just came from (the referrer field) or prevent seeing the User Agent (browser) you are using.  There is also an option to prevent interference with one’s mouse by some rogue sites.

The rest of the Configuration tabs are the Contact and About tabs.  Under Contact, there is a link to “chat” with Tech Support, or to email AdMuncher developers.  You can talk with one person or many.  And the last tab is the About tab, where you can see ongoing statistics, registration info and a link to the home page.

I imagine that my browsers will run much faster without all the ad-related add-ons I have on them now!  I’m sold on AdMuncher; it will be the only ad-blocking software I will ever need.

Reviewer:  Grateful

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