Popup Ad Killer Popup Blocker
Google Toolbar Popup Blocker

A Popup blocker, as the name suggests, is needed to block popups which are those irritating advertisements that appear on your monitor as you surf the Internet. Their main intention of these popups is to draw attention to advertisers web sites or to gather email addresses. It is the nuisance factor of popups that has encouraged almost every web browser designer to include some kind of Pop Up Blocker in their program. All of the new versions of major browsers have a built in option to block popups.

The popups that appear on your monitor screen as a web page loads are normally caused by something called JavaScript. This is a simple programming language that can be integrated into the HTML used to set up web sites.

Not all popups are a nusiance as they are sometimes needed to ask a user to fill in some information or to give a user further information. Music download sites frequently use popups to play tunes in a specialised player window.

This can be an entirely legitimate use of popups and is quite different from the pop up advertisements that appear on screen by themselves. JavaScript can control the size of the pop up window and the elements that are displayed. The status bar or the menus can be concealed, making it next to impossible to navigate away from the pop up. Your only options are to close the window using the 'x' box in the top right corner or to click on the ad and be taken to the advertiser's web site which can be very annoying to say the least.

Some pop up windows are either badly programmed or intentionally malicious. These are where the JavaScript will create multiple windows - when one of those windows is closed another window will open and so on. The only way out of this endless loop is to close the browser completely and start again.

A comparatively new type of pop up is created using Flash and can be programmed to follow your mouse or to float on the screen as you scroll the window.

In addition to popups created with JavaScript and Flash, Adware can create pop up ads according to the content on a web page. Adware is usually just advertising supported software which shows ads when you use that program. Sometimes, however, adware refers to small concealed programs that deliver targeted advertising to your web browser. These adware programs will look for certain keywords on a web page and use those words to generate advertisements.

There is also another type of pop up which is called a pop under. Rather than appearing on top of web pages pop under windows are concealed until you close the browser window. These are a little bit less intrusive than popups but still an unwanted annoyance. There's no end to the cleverness of advertisers!

If your browser does not have it's own integrated pop up blocker, it is possible to download specialised utilities that block popups and run in the background requiring no user intervention. The majority of these are available free of charge.

One good utility that will block popups as well as offering many other useful facilities is the Google Toolbar which you can download for free directly from Google.