Where I rant and rave about all things tech
Blocking Ads with Microsoft Edge (Project Spartan)
So to start this off with a bit of a preface, this post is one that before 10 minutes ago I didn’t really know I would be able to write as I want a solution that is effective but doesn’t compromise performance.
I have been keeping track of Microsoft Edge since its very early days and I’ve been noticing as of late how it is completely kicking the crap out of Chrome and Firefox in web benchmarks. This led me to actually want to give it an honest chance and see how it performs in real world use for a week, but in order to do that I needed an effective ad blocking solution. The reason being that while the modern web is great, modern web advertisers suck, they are more in your face than ever before and are getting worse by the day. So with that said, it is obvious that blocking intrusive ads is a MUST for a pleasant web experience.
Since there is no extension support in Microsoft Edge yet, we have to use an alternate method to block ads for now, until Microsoft actually decide to give us this functionality, which is said to be after RTM this summer. The easiest method is to use a HOSTS file that blocks known ad providers so the ads never actually load in your browser. However there is another tweak you need to do so the experience of using a large HOSTS file doesn’t diminish performance of your web browsing and DNS resolution, so let’s get to it shall we?
So the first thing you need to do is find a reputable source for a HOSTS file mod that actually blocks ads. The best source I have personally found is here:
Once you download that file, extract it anywhere and go into the folder and run mvps.bat as administrator. This will install the hosts file mod and now all known ads and malicious sites will be blocked from your PC. However, there is another step to ensure smooth performance with DNS resolution, as large HOSTS files tend to cause issues with the default settings.
To apply this tweak you need to do the following:
- Open Regedit
- Navigate to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DnsCache\Parameters
- Create a new DWORD “MaxCacheTtl” and set the value to 1
- Create a new DWORD “MaxNegativeCacheTtl” and set the value to 0
- Reboot your PC
Once you have done the above, you will have an effective ad blocking solution that will work across your entire system (including Microsoft’s new browser), and with the added tweak there will not be any performance hit in your browsing experience. Without the added tweak you would notice site loading delays, especially with sites like Hulu etc…
So anyway I hope you enjoy this and as always feel free to ask questions or post comments!