- SURFING WITHOUT DISTRACTION

Nothing takes the fun (and productivity) out of surfing the Web faster than when your progress is slowed by too many onscreen advertisements and an endless stream of automatic "pop-up" marketing pitches.

Fortunately, there are two simple solutions that you can implement in order to regain a great deal of control over your browsing experience.

First, you can download WebWasher (www.webwasher.com) in order to reduce the number of onscreen advertisements that you must view, and to block un-requested "pop-up" windows, as well.

WebWasher is a very sophisticated program that allows for a great deal of user configuration in order to achieve the level of advertisement removal that's right for you. However, as such, it might also require a little more effort than you're willing to invest.

A second option that will appeal to a great many users is to use the Mozilla browser (www.mozilla.org/releases/stable.html) for most of your surfing needs. This "open-source" software is based on the same code that is used for Netscape's Navigator browser.

However, unlike Netscape, the Mozilla version includes the option to block un-requested "pop-up" windows without installing or configuring any additional software.

Once you have the Mozilla browser, simply access the "Edit" menu and choose "Preferences" from the resulting drop-down list. This will present you with a wide-range of settings that you can modify to customize your browsing experience.

In order to automatically block un-requested "pop-up" windows, simply enter the "Advanced" section and select the first category, titled: "Scripts & Plugins."

The top "checkbox" contained in the list is labeled "Open un-requested windows" and simply clearing this selection is all that you need to do in order to free you from the number-one hated inconvenience on the Web.

Additionally, while Mozilla does not have the sophisticated ad-blocking capabilities that WebWasher offers, you can simply "right-click" on any advertisements that are particularly intrusive, obnoxious or large and then select "block images from this server" from the drop-down list.

While this won't remove all advertisements that you might encounter on the Web, it's surprising just how many of the most irritating advertisements originate from just a few Internet servers; particularly those that you must constantly view on your favorite (and thus, most visited) sites.

Regardless of which software option you decide to implement, regaining control over your browsing experience can be a very satisfying accomplishment.

Not only will unnecessary distractions be reduced, but the elimination of this unwanted material will also enable your system to download and display the information that you really want to see that much more quickly as well.

That's what I call a win-win surfing situation!

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale