Monday, April 08, 2002

Blocking Pop-Unders

If you're at all like me, you're experiencing a torrent of "pop-under" advertisements on your computer screen. I was tooling around the web this morning, gathering material for a column I'm writing for Fast Company, and by the time I was done, I had a pop-up window for Fortune magazine subscriptions, a "travel prize" pop-under window for a Caribbean vacation, an "Orbitz" pop-under window for air travel, and yet another pop-under window for "super-sexy" sunglasses. I don't need these ads. I don't like these ads. I want them to go away.

What to do? My best bet (and yours) is the ad-blocking software program known as AdSubstract. The link to the company's website is here. The link to a Hiawatha Bray review of the product is here.

AdSubstract software costs $29.95. I have it installed on the laptop and it works like a charm. Most important, it speeds up your Internet connection, since the downloading of all that advertising is blocked. A 56K modem actually works like a 56K modem should.


Dear Mr. Ellis,

I read your post about blocking ads, and I have found WebWasher to be better than Ad/Subtract. You can download it free for personal use, I think at I have no personal interest in either product, so this isn't a commercial endorsement.

David A. Caplan

Update, Part Two

Another reader follows up on ad-blocking software:

The one I use now is Popup Ad Filter at It is $24.95. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn't work with Netscape. This is not a problem for me, though, because since versions 4.0 of Netscape and IE, I only use Netscape for testing my development work.