I guess many of you must have heard or probably already using Adblock Plus. Adblock Plus is a very popular advertisement blocker plugin which works only on Firefox and Chrome. The reason why it is only available to Firefox and Chrome is because they are a plugin, and not a universal ads blocker like Ad Muncher where it can support all web browsers. I guess everyone could have gone with Ad Muncher if is it a freeware but unfortunately it is a shareware that can get pretty expensive if you go for the Premium Unlimited Updates, costing a total of $109.95. Come on, an ad blocker that cost more than a hundred bucks? Definitely not everyone can afford that…
Don’t be despair because I have a good news. Recently I got to know about AdFender, a free ads blocker from leofelix. AdFender shares a similarity with Ad Muncher which is it doesn’t require any installation of plugins to web browser, hence it works on most major web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Avant, K-Meleon, Maxthon, Lunascape, Epic and more.
AdFender works right out of the box after installation without any requiring any configuration. It sits silently in the notification area (systray) and uses its state-of-the-art ad blocking technology to scan for advertisements. You can double click on the AdFender icon to bring up the user interface which shows the statistics of ads being blocked and also simple configuration such as whitelisting, removing unwanted Internet Explorer cookies, history viewer, filtered applications, logs and update checker.
Other than blocking advertisements in web browsers, it can also block ads in instant messengers such as AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. P2P applications such as Bearshare, BitComet, iMesh and Pando are supported as well. You can try logging in to your Windows Live Messenger and you will notice that the advertisement at the bottom of the program shows an empty blank box instead of advertisement.
If you wonder how AdFender work, the below quote below taken from the AdFender official website explains it quite well.
AdFender is a local content-filtering HTTP proxy server. Typically, your web browser contacts web servers directly to retrieve specific web pages that you request. Sometimes, however, web browsers are configured to use an intermediary called a proxy server. A proxy server is a program that accepts requests from a web browser to retrieve a specific web page and then contacts the web server containing that web page. The proxy then passes all the data from the web server to the web browser. AdFender uses the name of the web page (URL) that a browser would request as the base of it’s operational decisions. If AdFender determines that the request is for an advertisement, the request is blocked, otherwise it passes all data from the web server back to the web browser.
The show_ads.js file which belongs to Google Adsense is served by AdFender. The file is normally 5.2KB in size but has become only 123B.
Since AdFender runs as an independent program, it is important to make sure that it doesn’t hog on the CPU and memory usage. On Windows startup, AdFender takes up only 4MB of memory usage and it goes up over 10MB with a few web browsers simultaneously loading a website with advertisements. The memory usage then starts to drops back to less than 10MB. As for the CPU usage, AdFender takes very up merely 1-5% when a website is being loaded in web browsers.
AdFender is light, free, easy to use and works in most major web browsers on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP(SP2 or SP3). Definitely a great alternative to Ad Muncher if you are looking for something that is free. I would even prefer AdFender over plugin based adblockers because I do not like my web browser to be too crowded with plugins.