OT: Have you tried Privoxy Yet?

07-10-2005, 02:05 AM
This reply was posted in another thread re: Windows Firewall, but it
contains info of general interest to most users, about a free tool that
filters out ads and bad cookies from your browsing. Most people seem
unaware of its existance, so I hereby start a new thread!

[and no, I did not participate in its development, tho I would be proud if
I had.]

> original poster asked:
> how do I use Window's Firewall to filter out
> spyware cookies?

"spyware cookies"??? you're mixing your metaphores!

I think what you are looking for is a Proxy.

One of the best is Privoxy, and it's free. Privoxy is the successor to
the Internet JunkBuster project, and is much improved. It is very stable,
and has been unchanged since its last release over one year ago (hence its
pretty much bug free).


[download either one of the version 3.0.3 WIN32 releases at the bottom of
the download page, they are identical, even tho they have 2 different
names and sizes; they're just packaged differently, contents are the

It _CAN_ be very technical, but Privoxy's easy setup w/ its default
settings works very well without any tweaking, and you need not dive into
its technical details if you don't want to. IF you do want to, the
documentation is extensive.

Privoxy will block most ads, banners, popups, and any "bad" javascript or
html behavior. It can block cookies, and by default does block a few
outright (doubleclick); most others it turns into "session cookies", so
that they dissapear as soon as you end your session.

If you ever have a problem where you think Privoxy has blocked something
it should not have, just click its icon in the Tray and uncheck ENABLE,
then refresh the page. It's that easy to "take it out of the loop" if you
are ever in doubt.

To Install it:

Just read the ..\doc\user-manual.txt file, jump directly to the
Quick-Start section, then make the (easy) change to IE's options to make
it use the proxy (IE Options, connections tab, highlight the connection,
click the Settings button, fill in the proxy section as described in the
manual for localhost, port 8118) and off you go. Be sure to clear the IE
cache too, so already cached ads don't keep showing up.

It is just as easy to make Firefox, Mozilla, or Opera use Privoxy, just
follow their directions to make them use a proxy.

It sounds harder than it is! Don't let the mumbo jumbo
in the user-manual.txt's early sections scare you off.
Jump right to the Quick-Start section.


If you are on a dial-up connection, Privoxy is a MUST,
since it eliminates the fetching of ads, leaving the
bandwidth for use by "real" content. Speeds up browsing
a lot on a dial-up.

Test it yourself: enable Privoxy, flush your cache, go to
a regular site (try a newspaper site, not google!). Time it
and notice the appearence of the finished page (w/o the ads).

Then repeat, but first UNCHECK Privoxy's enabled menu. See how much
longer it takes, and the look of the page, now filled w/ ads? You'll
never go back!

07-10-2005, 02:05 AM
I forgot to add something IMPORTANT:

If you use Windows Firewall, you MUST add Privoxy to the list of
exceptions, since it is essentially a Server (to localhost only tho).

OT: Have you tried Privoxy Yet?