Web Ad Blocking Under Linux/Unix, BeOS, MacOS and Windows

by ads@slack.net

Last Updated Oct 15, 2002

Current server count: 671!!

Mac configuration now tested and available for general use.

Why Block Ads?

Increased Speed

The following quote came across the Edupage clipping service recently:

...Web surfers weary of enduring the "pulsating, candy-colored wave of advertising that has spread across the Internet," increasingly are turning to ad-blocking to speed up their download times. "They are a symbol of people saying, 'I'm not going to take it anymore,'" says Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of the Nielsen-Norman Group. ... Many online advertisers dismiss the trend toward ad-blocking, noting that when faster connections are available, consumers will not be so annoyed about being forced to download cumbersome advertisement files.
(Los Angeles Times 2 Mar 99)

Unfortunately, higher internet access speeds make the problem worse, not better. As access speeds grow, the size and complexity of ads grows with it. Current ads contain animation or executable material and may even be complete programs that contain crude games. The bloat in these ads keeps the download times for pages at the ragged edge of tolerability even as access speeds increase dramatically. At the same time, the textual content that the ads supposedly support stays roughly the same, so the percentage of bandwidth used for ads climbs sharply and will approach 99% in the not-too-distant future. Indeed, as the speed of your internet access goes up, ad blocking becomes increasingly more beneficial, not less.

Enhanced Privacy

Here's another clipping from Edupage:

Internet advertising server DoubleClick is tracking the online activity of users, recording their names, purchases, and addresses, reports USA Today. DoubleClick is combining the data it accumulates on Web user activity with a direct marketing database of 90 million households maintained by Abacus Direct, which DoubleClick acquired last year. Privacy International's David Banisar says the move threatens online anonymity, while consumer advocates say they will complain to the FCC. Junkbusters' Jason Catlett says, "For four years [DoubleClick] has said [the services] don't identify you personally, and now they're admitting they are going to identify you." DoubleClick says the practice allows ads to target users better, improving the online experience, and the company also points out that users can opt to not have their use tracked. Banisar claims that opt out language is usually buried in a site's privacy statement.
(USA Today, 26 Jan 2000)

If you are uncomfortable with DoubleClick knowing who you are, where you live, your credit card number, what you watch on the web and what you buy, you need to opt out immediately. To further punish them (since they have been doing this surreptitiously for some time) you should block their ads to reduce their revenue.

If you run Linux, another Unix, BeOS, or Windows or MacOS, and use Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer to surf the web, you can easily block many, many banner ads in just two easy steps. As a side benefit, you will foil DoubleClick's monitoring of your surfing patterns. In less than two minutes you can eliminate 90% of the ads on the web from your surfing day. The following configuration will block ads from sites in the USA, the UK, Germany, India, Thailand, China, Australia, France, Japan, Norway, Austria, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Russia and other places around the world.

Surfing Speed Increase: Making this configuration change will approximately double your surfing speed on many commercial sites. If you use Yahoo heavily, you will approximately triple your surfing speed. Surprisingly, this turns out to be quite noticable even if you are on a T1 or faster connection.

Slashdot readers: I update this list with servers found while reading Slashdot, among other things, so you might want to update your configuration with the newest information from this page before getting your daily dose of news for nerds.

Opting Out of DoubleClick's Monitoring

To opt out of DoubleClick's monitoring scheme, go to http://www.doubleclick.net/optout/default.asp and follow the directions. It will place a cookie on your computer that will disable doubleclick's tracking. Unless you follow the directions below you will still see their ads.

How To Block Ads

1. Update your hosts file

First, add the following entries to your hosts file. The host file always has the same format, but the location varies from OS to OS as described in the following table:

Operating System Name of Hosts file Comments
Linux/BSD/Solaris/Unixes /etc/hosts Must be root
BeOS /boot/beos/etc/hosts  
Windows NT c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts May need admin privileges
Windows 95/98 c:\windows\hosts If you have difficulty, try Gianpaolo Baglione's variation.
Macintosh Hosts in Preference folder. (Case matters). Place the Mac hosts file in the Preference folder. Name it "Hosts". Restart.


Copy the Mac hosts file to your computer. In the TCP/IP Control Panel, choose 'Select Hosts file' Select this file. Close and restart.

These are the entries to add to your computer's host file: (Macintosh users use the Mac version, not this one!) 123banners.com 207-87-18-203.wsmg.digex.net AdSubstract Garden.ngadcenter.net Ogilvy.ngadcenter.net ResponseMedia-ad.flycast.com Suissa-ad.flycast.com UGO.eu-adcenter.net VNU.eu-adcenter.net a32.g.a.yimg.com ad-adex3.flycast.com ad.adsmart.net ad.ca.doubleclick.net ad.de.doubleclick.net ad.doubleclick.net ad.es.doubleclick.net ad.fr.doubleclick.net ad.free6.com ad.it.doubleclick.net ad.iwin.com ad.jp.doubleclick.net ad.kr.doubleclick.net ad.linkexchange.com ad.linksynergy.com ad.nl.doubleclick.net ad.no.doubleclick.net ad.preferences.com ad.se.doubleclick.net ad.sma.punto.net ad.trafficmp.com ad.uk.doubleclick.net ad.webprovider.com ad08.focalink.com ad1.adcept.net ad1.icorp.net ad1.looksmart.com ad1.peel.com ad2.adcept.net ad2.looksmart.com ad2.peel.com ad3.adcept.net ad3.peel.com ad4.peel.com adcontroller.unicast.com adcreatives.imaginemedia.com addb.looksmart.com adevents.msn.com adex3.flycast.com adfarm.mediaplex.com adforce.ads.imgis.com adforce.imgis.com adfu.blockstackers.com adimage.blm.net adimages.earthweb.com adimages.go.com adimages.imaginemedia.com adimg.egroups.com admedia.xoom.com admonitor.net adpick.switchboard.com adproject.net adremote.pathfinder.com adres.internet.com ads-ussj1.focalink.com ads.ad-flow.com ads.adflight.com ads.admaximize.com ads.admonitor.net ads.adroar.com ads.bfast.com ads.box.sk ads.burstnet.com ads.cdfreaks.com ads.chrbanner.com ads.clickagents.com ads.clickhouse.com ads.dai.net ads.datais.com ads.enliven.com ads.eu.msn.com ads.fairfax.com.au ads.fool.com ads.fortunecity.com ads.fortunecity.fr ads.freeze.com ads.freshmeat.net ads.god.co.uk ads.guardianunlimited.co.uk ads.hitcents.com ads.hollywood.com ads.i12.de ads.i33.com ads.ign.com ads.imaginemedia.com ads.indya.com ads.infi.net ads.irover.com ads.ixo.com ads.jpost.com ads.jwtt3.com ads.killerapp.com ads.link4ads.com ads.linksponsor.com ads.looksmart.com ads.lycos.com ads.lycos.de ads.madison.com ads.mediaodyssey.com ads.mediaturf.net ads.msn.com ads.musiccity.com ads.netomia.com ads.newcity.com ads.newcitynet.com ads.ninemsn.com.au ads.rediff.com ads.satyamonline.com ads.seattletimes.com ads.smartclicks.com ads.smartclicks.net ads.sptimes.com ads.startpath.com ads.station.sony.com ads.tiscali.fr ads.tripod.com ads.tucows.com ads.vcommunities.com ads.web.aol.com ads.x10.com ads.xtra.co.nz ads.zdnet.com ads01.focalink.com ads02.focalink.com ads03.focalink.com ads04.focalink.com ads05.focalink.com ads06.focalink.com ads07.focalink.com ads08.focalink.com ads09.focalink.com ads1.activeagent.at ads1.ad-flow.com ads1.speedbit.com ads10.focalink.com ads11.focalink.com ads12.focalink.com ads13.focalink.com ads14.focalink.com ads15.focalink.com ads16.focalink.com ads17.focalink.com ads18.focalink.com ads19.focalink.com ads2.speedbit.com ads2.zdnet.com ads20.focalink.com ads21.focalink.com ads22.focalink.com ads23.focalink.com ads24.focalink.com ads25.focalink.com ads3.speedbit.com ads3.zdnet.com ads4.speedbit.com ads5.gamecity.net ads5.speedbit.com ads6.speedbit.com ads7.speedbit.com ads8.speedbit.com adserv.bravenet.com adserv.iafrica.com adserv.internetfuel.com adserv.quality-channel.de adserver.adtech.de adserver.affiliation.com adserver.akqa.net adserver.dbusiness.com adserver.garden.com adserver.gorillanation.com adserver.humanux.com adserver.imaginemedia.com adserver.isonews.com adserver.janes.com adserver.lunarpages.com adserver.merc.com adserver.monster.com adserver.track-star.com adserver.tweakers.net adserver.ugo.com adserver.webads.nl adserver1.ogilvy-interactive.de adserver2.imaginemedia.com adsubstract adtegrity.spinbox.net adulttds.com affiliates.kliks.nl aglink.mircx.com antfarm-ad.flycast.com au.ads.link4ads.com bach.aureate.com badservant.guj.de banner-net.com banner.50megs.com banner.adverity.com banner.commissionpartner.com banner.de banner.easyspace.com banner.free6.com banner.i-3.de banner.media-system.de banner.orb.net banner.relcom.ru bannerad.ipgnet.com bannerads.de bannerfarm.ace.advertising.com bannerimages.0catch.com bannermaster.geektech.com bannerpower.com banners.adultfriendfinder.com banners.easydns.com banners.free6.com banners.hotlinks.net banners.looksmart.com banners.nextcard.com banners.pennyweb.com banners.webmasterplan.com banners.wunderground.com bannervip.webjump.com banzai.moodlogic.com barnesandnoble.bfast.com beseen.com beseen.looksmart.com beseen5.looksmart.com beseenad.looksmart.com beseenad1.looksmart.com beseenad2.looksmart.com beseenad3.looksmart.com beseenadx.looksmart.com bfast.com bizad.nikkeibp.co.jp bn.bfast.com botw.topbucks.com bsads.looksmart.com by.advertising.com c1.thecounter.com c2.thecounter.com c3.xxxcounter.com califia.imaginemedia.com cash4banner.com cash4banner.de cds.mediaplex.com cgi.sexlist.com click.avenuea.com click.go2net.com click.linksynergy.com clickagents.com clicks.about.com clicks.nastydollars.com clicks.oxcash.com clit5.sextracker.com code02.pbtech.net commonwealth.riddler.com cookies.cmpnet.com cornflakes.pathfinder.com counter.hitbox.com counter1.sextracker.com counter10.sextracker.com counter11.sextracker.com counter12.sextracker.com counter13.sextracker.com counter14.sextracker.com counter15.sextracker.com counter16.sextracker.com counter2.sextracker.com counter3.sextracker.com counter4.sextracker.com counter5.sextracker.com counter6.sextracker.com counter7.sextracker.com counter8.sextracker.com counter9.sextracker.com crs.akamai.com crux.songline.com ct.iac-online.de ctc.amateurpages.com de.netstatpro.net desktop.grokster.com dialer.offshoreclicks.com doubleclick.net download1.0190-dialer.com download1.libereco.net download2.0190-dialer.com ehg-commjun.hitbox.com ehg.hitbox.com erie.smartage.com etad.telegraph.co.uk everyone.net exchange-it.com exitfuel.com exitmoney.com fast.mediacharger.com focalink.com fp.valueclick.com fragmentserv.iac-online.de free.fuck-portal.com freebieclub.com freeezinebucks.com freepass.elitecities.com fs.dai.net gadgeteer.pdamart.com global.msads.net gm.preferences.com go.ezgreen.com got2goshop.com gp.dejanews.com hacker-spider.de hc2.humanclick.com hg1.hitbox.com hit.hotlog.ru hitbox.com hitmatic.com hitsfrom.popuprush.com hypercount.com ifcol.exitfuel.com image.click2net.com image.eimg.com images.sexlist.com images2.nytimes.com imageserv.adtech.de img.mediaplex.com impnl.tradedoubler.com internetfuel.com itn.adbureau.net jcms.cydoor.com jeeves.flycast.com jobkeys.ngadcenter.net kansas.valueclick.com leader.linkexchange.com linkbuddies.com liquidad.narrowcastmedia.com liveadvert.com ln.doubleclick.net looksmartclicks.com lsads.looksmart.com.au m.doubleclick.net macaddictads.snv.futurenet.com marketing-internet.com maximumcash.com maximumpcads.imaginemedia.com media.carpediem.fr media.expedia.com media.fastclick.net media.popuptraffic.com media.preferences.com media20.fastclick.net mediacharger.com mediamgr.ugo.com mediaplex.com megacash.de mercury.rmuk.co.uk millenium-hitz.com mjxads.internet.com mojofarm.sjc.mediaplex.com monitor.looksmart.com monsterhitz.to musiccity.streamcastnetwork.com n24.de nbc.adbureau.net network.realmedia.com newads.cmpnet.com newsticker.shortnews.de ng3.ads.warnerbros.com ngads.smartage.com nitrous.exitfuel.com nsads.hotwired.com ntbanner.digitalriver.com oad.realmedia.com oas.benchmark.fr onresponse.com oz.valueclick.com p.wtlive.com paycounter.com ph-ad04.focalink.com ph-ad05.focalink.com ph-ad07.focalink.com ph-ad16.focalink.com ph-ad17.focalink.com ph-ad18.focalink.com php.offshoreclicks.com pluto.beseen.com pop.mircx.com popup.found404.com porn-attack.com portal.hostultra.com proxy.ladot.com pub.epiknet.org pub.infiniland.com pub.ketix.com pub.telmedia.fr pub.weborama.fr rd.yahoo.com realads.realmedia.com redherring.ngadcenter.net redirect.click2net.com redirect.iac-online.de regio.adlink.de retaildirect.realmedia.com rmads.eu.msn.com rs.webmasterplan.com s0.bluestreak.com s1.bluestreak.com s10.sitemeter.com s11.sitemeter.com s12.sitemeter.com s2.bluestreak.com s2.focalink.com s3.bluestreak.com s4.bluestreak.com s5.bluestreak.com s6.bluestreak.com s7.bluestreak.com s8.bluestreak.com script.weborama.fr secserv.imgis.com servedby.advertising.com servedby.advertwizard.com server-uk.imrworldwide.com server.hamster.com servlets.kliks.nl sextracker.com sh4banner.de sh4sure-images.adbureau.net shop.freepush.com shortwin.de specialoffers.aol.com spezialreporte.de spin.spinbox.net sprinks-clicks.about.com spylog.com srv1.bannercommunity.de srv2.bannercommunity.de srv3.bannercommunity.de static.admaximize.com stats.superstats.com stats3.porntrack.com statse.webtrendslive.com survey.proactive.nl sview.avenuea.com t0.extreme-dm.com thinknyc.eu-adcenter.net tpl1.realtracker.com tracker.clicktrade.com tsms-ad.tsms.com tuerck.de.counted.com twistedhumor.com ugo.eu-adcenter.net uk1.linksynergy.com uk2.linksynergy.com uk3.linksynergy.com uk4.linksynergy.com uk5.linksynergy.com us.adserver.yahoo.com v0.extreme-dm.com v1.extreme-dm.com valueclick.com van.ads.link4ads.com vant.guj.de view.accendo.com view.avenuea.com vis1.sexlist.com vis2.sexlist.com vis3.sexlist.com vis4.sexlist.com vis5.sexlist.com visite.weborama.fr w0.extreme-dm.com w113.hitbox.com w117.hitbox.com w25.hitbox.com web2.deja.com webads.bizservers.com weblist.de webxprod.qualcomm.com www.0190-dialer.com www.12traffic.de www.1for1.com www.3turtles.com www.404errorpage.com www.7adpower.com www.7host.com www.PostMasterBannerNet.com www.activeannonce.com www.ad-up.com www.adbucks.com www.adexit.com www.adexit.de www.adforce.com www.admex.com www.adnetz.net www.adserver.com www.adserver.net www.adsmart.com www.adsmart.net www.adultbizvoice.com www.adultclicks.com www.adverity.com www.adverlead.com www.adverline.com www.adverline.fr www.advertising.com www.advertwizard.com www.adviews-sponsor.de www.alladvantage.com www.allclicks.com www.amateur-galleries.com www.amazingpops.com www.bannerads.de www.beseen.com www.bfast.com www.boonsolutions.com www.brutalextreme.com www.burstnet.com www.cash1x1.de www.cash2002.de www.cash4banner.com www.cash4banner.de www.cashcount.com www.cashfiesta.com www.cashradio.com www.cashsurfers.com www.casinoglamour.com www.cellularphones.com www.cibleclick.com www.cj.com www.click-fr.com www.click2sexy.com www.clickxchange.com www.clictrafic.com www.coinpromo.com www.cometcursor.com www.cometsystems.net www.commission-junction.com www.cr4.com www.crxwarez.net www.cydoor.com www.daz.com www.dgm2.com www.directvalue.nl www.drawnsex.com www.eads.com www.eclic.net www.fastclick.net www.fastmetasearch.com www.flycast.co.uk www.flycast.com www.found404.com www.fpctraffic.com www.free-banners.com www.freeezinebucks.com www.freestats.com www.frontpagecash.com www.fuck-portal.com www.gamingclub.com www.gator.co.uk www.gator.com www.gator.net www.genhit.com www.getsearches.com www.gopopup.com www.greetingwishes.com www.grokster.com www.hardcorepornos.org www.hightrafficads.com www.hit-parade.com www.hitsme.com www.imaginemedia.com www.kliks.nl www.lastconsole.com www.linkshare.com www.liveadvert.com www.lo-litas.com www.looksmartclicks.com www.lop.com www.lottoforever.com www.mediaplex.com www.megacash.de www.mod-chip.com www.modchip.com www.money4exit.de www.my-stats.com www.netbroadcaster.com www.netdirect.nl www.netflip.com www.netgravity.com www.newtopsites.com www.nic.co.il www.nudelinkz.com www.oneandonlynetwork.com www.onresponse.com www.paidpopup.de www.paypopup.com www.piratos.de www.popdown.de www.popupad.net www.popuptraffic.com www.prepaidliving.com www.qksrv.net www.qualityhitz.com www.qualypromos.com www.radiate.com www.radiofreecash.com www.rankyou.com www.reference-sexe.com www.searchtraffic.com www.service-url.de www.sexfranco.com www.sexfreelist.com www.sexlist.com www.sexspy.com www.sexstudio24.de www.sextracker.com www.sextraffic.org www.sexyfreehost.com www.sexyplugin.com www.simplecounter.net www.slutzoo.com www.sonixwarez.com www.sponsor2002.de www.targetshop.com www.teknosurf.com www.teknosurf2.com www.teknosurf3.com www.theadultwire.com www.topwarez-fr.com www.toys-galleries.com www.trafficmonetizer.com www.unionwarez.com www.valueclick.com www.valuesponsor.com www.warez33.com www.warezfield.com www.web3000.co.uk www.web3000.com www.webads.nl www.webferret.com www.webhancer.com www.webhancer.net www.weblist.de www.websitefinancing.com www.wedoo.com www.win24.de www.wingowin.com www.wtlive.com www.xiti.com www.xpostx.com www.xxxdisplay.com www.xxxteenclub.de www.youmakemoney.com www.zeloop.net www2.burstnet.com www2.consumercreditusa.com www3.netgravity.com www4.netgravity.com www4.trix.net www80.valueclick.com xads.infospace.com xads.zedo.com z.extreme-dm.com z0.extreme-dm.com z1.extreme-dm.com zac.netgravity.com
This step tells your machine that all these web ad companies' servers are actually located on your local machine. ( is a special address that means "this machine.") They aren't, so your browser's attempts to retrieve the ads will fail, and since they are local, will fail rapidly.

Check back periodically; I will update this list. (Feel free to send me additions along with a URL for testing).

If you are a Mac user, you are done. Do not follow step two below as it may lock up your machine.

2. Update your proxy configuration, even if you aren't behind a proxy

Second, start one of the browsers in the following table and follow the directions to paste in the long line below.

Browser Steps Comments
Netscape Navigator
  1. Go to Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Proxies.
  2. Select "Manual Proxy Configuration" (even if you aren't using a proxy)
  3. Click "View"
  4. Paste the long single line below into "No Proxy For" box
Internet Explorer
  1. Go to View->Internet Options...->Connetion tab
  2. Select Proxy (in middle of window)
  3. Check "Access the Internet using a proxy server"
  4. Click "Advanced..."
  5. Paste the long single line below into the "Exceptions" box.
  • It says to put ";"s inbetween the servers, but apparently it isn't necessary.
  • You may have to restart your computer

This is the line to paste into the No Proxy For/Exception box:

[You would need to add each hostname from the above list into one long line.]

This will tell Navigator/Explorer to access these sites directly. Since your hosts file says they are the local machine, ad lookups will fail and you can surf in peace without distraction, with the added bonus that many web pages will load quite a bit faster.

To see the difference, clear your memory and disk caches, then go to the Dilbert web site. Instead of a page filled with ads, you should see open rectangles where the ads should be.

That's it! You have just toasted over 90% of the banner ads on the web. If you have comments or questions, or can get this approach working under another browser or another platform, please send me email at atman@ecst.csuchico.edu.

Advanced Topic: For Proxy Admins

If you administer a proxy server for multiple users, perhaps at an ISP or a corporation--you can put the list of servers above in your proxy machine's /etc/hosts file and conveniently block ads for all your users. This will also save you lots of bandwidth and help protect your users' privacy. ISPs might find this a nice value-added differentiator in their competitive business. You can have two proxy servers: the default one that blocks ads for users, and a second optional one for users that just love ads. The latter can probably go on a machine already used for something else since the additional load from ad-loving surfers is going to be light. :-)

To Do List

Here is my to do list. If you want to help or have ideas, send me mail.

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

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