Google Adsense displays ads on a wide variety of websites across the Internet. If you find these ads annoying, Firefox provides tools that block ads on websites and services using browser add-ons called extensions. These extensions available from the Mozilla add-on directory. Each extension provides reviews and installation instructions. Ad blockers block pop-up, banner and flash-based ads when using the Firefox Web browser, speeding up your browsing and minimizing bandwidth requirements.
Website Ad Blocking Extensions
Adblock Plus is the top-rated extension in the Mozilla Add-on Directory, noted by CNET as being an invaluable tool for Web browsing. It can be installed without restarting your browser. The extension blocks images, Flash and Java objects, and scripts and stylesheets. The Adblock Plus extension allows for both automatic configuration and customized filters, giving you the ability to pick and choose which ads and websites are blocked. If you want to block pop-ups in addition to browser ads, the add-on Adblock Plus Pop-up will help accomplish this. This add-on extension allows you to customize which pop-ups are blocked, or block pop-up windows altogether. Flashblock blocks all Flash, Shockwave and Authorware content, but gives you the option to download Flash-based content on a case-by-case basis.
Email Ad Blocking Extensions
Firefox extensions also block ads in web-based email services such as Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook and Hotmail. These extensions remove banner ads within the email service, leaving more room to read and compose messages. Webmail Ad Blocker is available in the Mozilla Add-on Directory and focused specifically on blocking ads from within web-based email services. To block ads within Gmail, Ad-blocker for Gmail accomplishes this task. Ad-block for Gmail removes ads that appear on the right of the screen as well as below the message. It also hides link advertisements that appear at the top of the screen.
Several security options help you keep your computer safe when browsing using Firefox, including the top-rated NoScript Security Suite. NoScript Security lets you pick and choose which active content to run on trusted websites, and blocks content from untrusted sources. The extension also blocks XSS and Clickjacking attacks within the Firefox browser. You can pick and choose trusted sources, blocking all other executable content. Another security extension, Webutation - Reputation & Security, shows you which websites are considered trusted or untrusted by showing a simple green, yellow and red icon. The extension also scans websites for viruses and vulnerabilities, prompting you if any are found. Webutation works well with NoScript Security and similar add-ons, giving you well-rounded protection against website vulnerabilities and viruses.
Ad blockers work well to remove unwanted ads from a wide variety of websites. Although most people allow the extension to configure itself automatically, some website ads that are not blocked by default. You must add this content manually, which may be tricky for beginners. Check the instructions after installing an extension to see if a browser restart is recommended. Also remember that as website code changes, extensions may stop working. Most developers release updates to keep up with these changes, but may require manual installation. Firefox extensions will not work with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or any other browser.
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