Alternate browser may reduce unwanted pests

Warning: your computer may be infected!

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If these sales pitches are all too common for you, chances are you’re like most Internet surfers who are bombarded with pop-ups when they surf the Web.

These annoying ads, some of which appear three or more at a time, slow your browsing experience and cause headaches to those who have to exit out of them every time they check their e-mail or read the news.

Some people may be asking, “When will all of it end?”

The answer is now.

If you’re one of the many people who battle with pop-ups on a daily basis, then most likely you’re using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

IE, as it’s commonly referred to, has a nasty habit of allowing pop-ups as well as adware and spyware to infect users’ computers.

IE has the majority of users in the Internet browser war, and it’s no surprise considering it is packaged with Windows and literally impossible to completely remove from a computer using Windows.

Luckily, there are alternative browsers such as Opera, Safari and Konqueror, although some require a certain operating system.

Quite possibly the best alternative browser, and the one that’s gained the most popularity recently, is Mozilla’s Firefox.

Firefox has many useful features, one of which is a built in pop-up blocker.

No longer is the quest through the jungle of pop-up ads necessary once you download Firefox. There’s also no need to download a separate pop-up blocker such as the Goolge Toolbar for IE.

But, a pop-up blocker is just the start.

Another popular and useful feature of alternate browsers, one which IE lacks, is tabbed browsing.

Tabbed browsing allows you to have multiple Web sites open in one window. It eliminates all the open windows cluttering your toolbar and makes it easy to jump back and forth between sites. You can also save your place on one site by opening up a link in a new tab.

The one thing that makes Firefox so useful is that it’s open source, meaning that its computer coding is open to the public. It’s like a car that anyone in the world can work on.

This allows programmers to develop all sorts of enhancements to Firefox, which are known as extensions.

One of the most popular extensions is Adblock, which allows users to add Web advertisements to a black list that blocks them from every appearing. This means people can now check their e-mail without having any advertisement on the screen.

There are a variety of extensions for Firefox including ones that enhance security, navigation, downloading and appearance. These extensions let users customize Firefox to fit their needs.

Firefox is also more secure than IE because it doesn’t allow adware or spyware to automatically download when visiting a Web site.

Adware and spyware invade people’s computer and cause many of the pop-up ads and also pose security risks to computers.

These programs, as well as pop-up ads, can also result in slower Internet connections.

Mozilla is releasing the much-anticipated Firefox version 1.0 Nov. 7. From donations by more than 10,000 supporters, Mozilla raised $250,000 to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing the release of version 1.0.

The preview release of version 1.0 had more than 7 million downloads in a month, version 0.9 had 6.5 million downloads in three months and version 0.8 had 3.3 million downloads in four months.