Tip: Blocking Ads in Edge Browser

Microsoft Edge

The Edge browser has been out for nearly a year now, and due to lack of browser support, I haven’t actually given it an actual shot until now. I have essential plugins/extensions that I need to use, which one is LastPass.

Microsoft has stated that an update will come out… someday… that will make Extensions available in Edge. Hopefully that day is soon.

However recently I’ve started to have problems with my browser of choice which is Firefox. For some odd reason, certain sites now refuse to work properly in Firefox. On some sites features wont load, and on others the features just don’t work such as buttons to login and such. I have no idea why all of a sudden this is happening. I thought perhaps it was an issue with my Firefox profile, so I wiped it and started clean, but the problems still remained. I thought maybe it was a problem with Firefox and windows 10, but I have no idea, and i can’t figure it out, i really wish i could because otherwise firefox is the perfect browser for me. It’s weird that no one else seems to be having these issues.

So, I have to jump ship on Firefox, which is way too bad.

Sadly, there aren’t very many choices out there for Browsers. There used to be a lot of choices, but not anymore. Now we pretty much have Firefox, IE, Edge, and Chrome. There are some other reskins and such like Opera, but they’re all pretty much Chrome.

Example of Font Rendering Issues in Chrome, Seriously Google?
Example of Font Rendering Issues in Chrome, Seriously Google?

I’ve tried using Chrome for the past couple of months, but Chrome is just so ugly, and the font rendering is on many sites is just horrible. This new theme on Grunch has parts that render so ugly in Chrome I also don’t like the weird way the LastPass extension works on it.

Due to this, I’m going to try to use Edge. So far, its really nice, very light weight, seek, and very clean, and the font rendering is beautiful.

I’ve only came under two issues while using Edge which are: Passwords, and Ads.

The password issue I’m just going to have to deal with manually. Since there is no addon/extension support right now, I have no other choice. I’m finding the password issue not so troublesome. Since Edge has its own password manager as with most modern browsers, I only have to enter the logins once, and it remembers them. For easy access to my logins/passwords I have downloaded the LastPass desktop app, which conveniently sits in the tasktray, so when I need a password, I just go down there, find it, copy, and paste it into Edge. Takes a few seconds only, so its okay. It’ll have to due for now.

So now the ad problem…

Oh how I’ve forgotten how annoying ads are. It’s been years since I’ve not used an Adblocker, and it hasn’t improved, and in fact, it has gotten worse. There used to be annoying flashy flash animation ads that would auto play and drive everyone nuts, now they have full videos and sound that play. What the hell?  I seriously don’t understand the point of that. No one is going to watch a random ad video when they’re reading articles on the internet. It’s stupid.

My admuncher doesn’t seem to block ads in Edge, and to behonest, I need to start looking for an alternative to AdMuncher. The main guy over at admuncher made the program free, and has seemingly abandoned it. He hasn’t visted his own site and forums in like a year. He has a buddy there that says he can’t even get in contact with the guy much, and the buddy is the one who seems to keep the ad list updated. So, the days of Admuncher are limited anyways..

I’ve seen some shady looking programs that advertise blocking ads in Edge, but they’re third party tools by people I have no idea who are, and like I said, they just look shady and are probably adware if not malware.

I have gone with the old school method of dealing with ads, which is editing the host file. I thought it was going to be a headache to manually ad tons of code to the host file daily if not weekly to stay upto date, but I discovered a tiny program that will do it for me called HostMan.

Hostman
Hostman

Hostman is a tiny program that you can install, or open without installing in the portable format, and what it does is it’ll allow you to subscribe to lists just like in any other adblocking software, and it’ll auto download and apply that list based on a schedule, which is really neat.

Hostman comes with a few default choices which you can easily enabled, but you can easily and quickly add your own source if you wish.

I initially had a issue with the program disabling my internet and freezing windows, I think this is because I subscribed to the hpHosts lists, which contains like 300k blocks, and for which ever reason it blocked my internet from working, and kept freezing my windows. I eventually had to go into safemode and restore my old host file, which was made easy due to Hostman automatically creating backups. I think this issue was because windows has to read through that entire list when it makes a connection.

Hostman Comes with Default Sources to chose from,
Hostman Comes with Default Sources to chose from,

I subscribed to another list called Cameleon, which seems to work great. No ads so far.

Hostman and these adlists not only block ads, but they can also block malicious sites, and tracking as well.

Overall this method seems to be working out well, and I’m happily using the Edge browser.

I think its very sad that in this day and age we still have to deal with annoyingly offensive and intrusive ads that ruin it for everyone. I know ad revenue is the only way some sites are able to stay online so its very important, but the risks of allowing whatever ads and malicious sites to connect simply aren’t worth it.

I’m not sure if there is a way to whitelist trusted sites using the host file method, but if I find a way I’ll be sure to post it.

Hopefully Edge will get addon/extension support soon, and we’ll have a intuitive adblocker for it that’ll allow us to easily block bad sites, while whitelisting sites that deserve the extra ad revenue.