Jason Vertucio

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Blocking Ads at the Router Level

So, I came across this idea one day because I was tired of seeing stupid ads all around on websites and stuff, trying to blinky-blinky distract me from the articles I’d be reading about presidential candidates or whatever. The idea was simply to block the domains that the ads came from. Luckily, someone else had the same great idea. An Instructables user posted his instructions for how to block ads on your Netgear router, and even more luckily, I have one!

After following the instructions, I’m done. Ads are blocked whenever anything calls for them on the router. In their place there’s a sort of HTML page with red bars that says the site has been blocked by the Netgear firewall. It’s less intrusive than some ads’ designs and I barely notice them anymore. Ads even get blocked on my iPhone, when I’m at home! The most important part of this article for me is the section that gives you the domains of the sites you want to block. This covers most of the ads I see, but not all.

There’s another resource at Lifehacker that allows auniversal ad-blocking through the router. This procedure, though, requires you to completely redo your router’s firmware using the open source Tomato.

The idea of changing your router’s firmware may be a scary one, but on older Netgear routers, you don’t get much. Just simple setup tools to get you connected. Tomato includes bandwidth tracking and QoS and best of all, it’s easy to use!

I may try this out with an older router I have in my studio. If it works, I’ll report back.

In the meantime, do you block ads on your router? If so, what steps did you take? What domains should I be blocking?

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