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Thread: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

  1. #1
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    Question Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    I want to solve my problem of pesky Internet advertisers clogging my web browser to the extent that I cannot perform the task that I originally want to do.

    Is there a domain blocking solution available to Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS or at least an easy-to-use firewall that can block communications with offending host names or domains?

    I would not mind using IP blocking, but I am not smart on how to quickly and easily convert hundreds of host names and domain names to IP addresses for blocking.

    I am keeping a sorted list of host names and domains for future input into a solution.

    What should I be learning about or thinking of trying?

  2. #2
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    What browser are you using? You can get the Ad Block Pro extension for Chrome and Firefox.

  3. #3
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Thanks for the ideas. I am using Mozilla Firefox 19.0.2. I am hoping to find a solution that permits me to input my list of hosts and domains to block. I can check out the two plugins that you suggested to see if I can do that.

  4. #4
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    I like Ad Block Edge. Apparently Ad Block Pro has changed to allow "acceptable ads". I'm not sure what defines "acceptable ads", but I'm pretty sure I don't want them. Don't forget to add NoScript, the premier Javascript blocker/controller.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Thanks! I have not yet tried these ideas yet, but I will maybe tomorrow after some sleep. I imagine any acceptable advertiser will be paying money to the Ad Blocker service to let its ads remain displayed. Kind of an extortion racket that does not benefit the audience, such as we web surfers.

    I have not heard of Ad Block Edge until now.

  6. #6
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    How about something Free, and fairly effective?

    http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm This web site maintains a hosts file blocking a large number of the sites that cause these problems. It does this by directing URLs to 127.0.0.1

    http://www.putorius.net/2012/01/bloc...ements-on.html and this site shows you how to automatically update on Linux.

    Don't let the winhelp2002 fool you. I have been using this for years and it catches about 95+% of unwanted sites.

    The following is the script that I use. It must run as root since you will be touching /etc/hosts. Note the last line of the script. Before I use this script for the first time, I do

    sudo cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts.local

    From then on, I apply any local changes I make to the /etc/hosts.local file then run the script.

    #!/bin/bash

    # script to download http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.txt
    #
    # this file contains blocks for numerous spam, ad-tracking, etc sites
    # it blocks them by directing various urls to 127.0.0.1
    #

    cd /tmp
    rm hosts.txt
    wget http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.txt
    rm /etc/hosts
    mv hosts.txt /etc/hosts
    cd /etc
    cat hosts.local >> hosts

  7. #7
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Quote Originally Posted by tgalati4 View Post
    I like Ad Block Edge. Apparently Ad Block Pro has changed to allow "acceptable ads". I'm not sure what defines "acceptable ads", but I'm pretty sure I don't want them.
    I use Ad Block Plus (not Pro) on both Chrome and Firefox; while it's true that it now has an option to "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" it's easily configured to block all ads if you prefer.

  8. #8
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Install Ghostery along with AdBlock Plus to block tracking cookies. I find it much more user-friendly than NoScript even with the new more glossy interface.
    If you ask for help, please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Thanks for the extra information, everyone! I will examine all of it before committing to one solution because I want to meet my original goal. I also am fairly new with Linux networking, so I want to tread carefully on this subject else I must reinstall to recover

    The ideas you gave appear simple enough to explore and discover. Please continue to post your suggestions if any more come to mind.

    Best,

    Raleigh - ac5jw

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: Blocking Domains and Host names to End Agressive Advertising

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your help and advice! I was able to implement the HOSTS file solution and perform all my host and domain name blocking from there. I did not use the script, but I did follow the commands in the terminal and managed to create a good HOSTS file with all my desired blocking. I am noticing that some websites like video.ftc.gov are coming in without choppiness or delays. Prior to implementing the new HOSTS file, I was experiencing serious delays.

    Because I retain complete control over my hosts file without giving up any control to another entity, I have decided to keep the HOSTS file solution. I already wrote myself some notes about how to recreate the HOSTS file should I need to make changes in the future.

    One thing I noticed was that my Ubuntu desktop name had a local address 127.0.1.1 and I went ahead and copied it from the original HOSTS file into the new one. Then the computer told me after saving the file, that it could not resolve the local host for my desktop. Of course, my desktop resolution was WHY I copied it into the file in the first place. So, I simply logged out and back in to my desktop and tried out some blocked domains to see. Everything was blocked as it should be, so I am convinced that I did it correctly. That error message about resolving the desktop host name has not returned.

    Last edited by ac5jw; March 18th, 2013 at 05:36 AM.

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