Block most web ads by saving a simple file to your hard drive? If you run Windows, you probably have a ‘Hosts’ file — basically a pre-ISP DNS directory. And if you put in the addresses of websites that serve ads, setting their destination to null, your web browser will ignore them. Why didn’t I think of that?

For a good primer on what a ‘Hosts’ file is and how it works, check out this introduction. And if you’re too lazy to build your own, you can find dozens of samples on the web. Someone on Metafilter recommended Mike’s ad-blocking hosts file, last updated in December. So far, so good.

Now in an anti-ad frenzy, I’m also test driving the free Pop-Up Stopper from Panicware. I wonder if I’ll end up missing those cheesy, “Capture those special moments!” spycam advertisements?

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