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(first instructable - let me know what you think... but be nice!)

If you are like me, while browsing the net, you've come across thousands of banner ads. Generally, I am the type of person, that if I want to buy something, I'll google it, find it, and purchase it. I rarely if ever actually pay attention to those annoying bandwidth wasting banners that appear on almost every site.

I don't care that I'm the 1,000,000th visitor to a particular domain, especially since I was the 1,000,000th visitor to the same domain, just yesterday! I don't want to buy generic Viughra, and I don't need to enlarge my hoohah.

Come on, there has got to be an easy way to prevent this garbage from hitting my computer.

There is! And it is surprisingly simple to do - and it's free!

Step 1: The HOSTS file.

This is accomplished by using the HOSTS file. The HOSTS file contains the mappings of IP Addresses to host names. The file is loaded at Windows Startup, and Windows checks the HOSTS file BEFORE it looks to your ISP to find the site. Editing the HOSTS file prevents access to the outside sites by redirecting traffic back to your own computer.

* It can block applications (viruses, trojans, downloaders) from accessing specific sites, by redirecting any (would be) outgoing communication back to your own computer, preventing it from accessing whatever material it was trying to get.

* It also blocks the ad servers from tracking your movements - in many cases the banner ad would open a separate connection to your computer, which is active even after you leave the banner's page. This connection reports all the cookies you send, even to other unrelated sites. Yikes!

* It can speed the loading of pages, by skipping the animated GIF files, hit counters, annoying ads, and can block data miners from ever seeing your IP address, and tracking you on the net.

Quick disclaimer:
Please note: While this is a simple treatment, this is NOT the final cure. Think of this as another level of protection, but not an independent cure.
Also note: If you have a virus, this will NOT fix your problem. Get an antivirus program, and keep it updated. I use Kaspersky Antivirus, they have a 30 day trial before you buy. I'm not here to sell anything for anyone, but find a reputable antivirus company, and keep your virus definitions UPDATED. New malware comes out hourly... literally.

However, if you HAVE a virus, like a trojan, it will keep connecting to the trojan's site and downloading copies of itself (or other malware programs) to your computer, like the www.WINANTIVIRUSPRO.com trojan downloader (or www.DRIVECLEANER.com) that pops up and falsely states that your computer is infected (it is, but it is the actual virus that is causing the pop-ups), and tries to get you to buy their software to remove it (it won't), you can use the HOSTS file to block the website that the trojan downloads from. Adding this address to the HOSTS file can help keep the trojan from reinstalling after your REAL antivirus removes it. The HOSTS file will cut it's communications, and the antivirus will kill it off. So even though this won't FIX the virus, it can stop its spread, and help avoid the next one!

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<p>I was very disturb from last few days. Whenever i open my Mozilla it automatically opens a alwaysisobar.com. It also happens when i open any website. After sometime i start getting ads related to this very domain. It was really annoying for me and i try several things to get rid of this issue but all goes waste. Considering it a suspicious thing, i take help of my friend who is a security expert. Then he told me that my computer was attacked with a dangerous browser hijacker. It is really harmful and can cause several damage to the infected PC.</p><p>He says that this dubious domain can easily hijack any popular web browser which is used on different computer. The developer of this threat are associated with some other third party site and their main motive is to redirect the infected user toward those site to increase their traffic and get money. So the fact is that, it first hijack your browser and make sever alteration in its default setting. After that your browser homepage also get replaced with alwaysisobar.com and whenever you open your browser you will get redirected towards its partner site where you can face some harmful infection in your computer. </p><p>This is not enough, it also display various annoying ads on your webpage and make you unable to scroll the page. You can only do that after closing the ads manually. You should also known to be the fact that it can also track your surfing and steal those confidential data which you don't want to disclose at any cost. I also ask how this browser hijacker get inside many system. Then he tell me that you can get this threat while visiting adult site or clicking on ransom pop-up which you get on your webpage. I was desperately searching about the removal guide of this threat and fortunately i get <a href="http://www.alwaysiso-bar.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.alwaysiso-bar.com</a> which is really helpful for me. Hope it also helps you. </p>
<p>Keep windows firewall turned on always and ongoing protection of your installed security program. and also use the feature of browser and block all upcoming pop-ups. if still getting problem then you might visit this for more help: <a href="http://www.remove-virus-spyware.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.remove-virus-spyware.com</a></p>
<p>Keep windows firewall turned on always and ongoing protection of your installed security program. and also use the feature of browser and block all upcoming pop-ups. if still getting problem then you might visit this for more help: <a href="http://www.remove-virus-spyware.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.remove-virus-spyware.com</a></p>
Easy way = open command prompt and type<br/><br/>ping www.site.com<br/>
What does that do???
Ad Block is the best thing ever!!!!!! With only a few websites added, I have managed to reduce the ads coming down by HALF!!!!! (Now I'm looking for websites with ads to block!) :D
This is the reason I switched to Ubuntu.
I made a discovery! My computer has gone through 3 viruses 2 i made and accidently ran, but any way, when I go to hosts it is completly empty! Noda NOthing there! Should I re type this stuff?
dude its pretty corny> the way you talk...
Use Spybot S&D. It's immunize feature does the very same thing, with a comprehensive list of bad sites, without all the work. Spybot is free (supported by contributions).

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More by Drew Manchu:How to block those ANNOYING banner ads, tracking cookies, and a lot of adware/malware/trojan downloaders from bogging down your computer. 
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