Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet AdTrap, where the internet is yours again

I was surfing KickStarter today and then ran across this. Meet the AdTrap, a new way to shun advertisements off of the internet.

Have you ever visited a webpage, and advertisements were too annoying? Too intrusive? Well, project creator Chad Russell thought the same thing and created something called the AdTrap, it is a form of Ad Blocking that extends from normal browser extensions.

AdTrap works by simply routing your internet connection through it. It is a little hardware device that blocks advertisements from even being downloaded from your internet connection. In addition, tracking scripts and cookies are also blocked.
From the image above you can see how AdTrap works. What is also nice about this device is that it automatically updates to keep itself in check with new schemes that advertisers may create.

The actual hardware behind AdTrap is great too. It runs Linux and uses an ARM processor. It has two Ethernet ports (which was required), and much more that is explained in the product video. AdTrap is even labeled as "hackable", meaning that it can be heavily modified if you want to. In fact, Chad encourages to look into your own AdTrap and wants to see what the community can create.

As a matter of fact, here is the hardware specs below:

  • CPU: Atmel AT91SAM9X25 ARM926EJ-S
  • RAM: 128MByte DDR2
  • Storage: 256MByte Flash + optional SD + usb flash/HDD
  • Open-Source Linux Firmware
  • 2x Ethernet
  • 2x CAN Bus
  • Serial Port
  • Software Modem, USB Host/Device, SD, TWI, SPI
  • Zigbee Interface
What makes it better?
What makes the AdTrap device better is the simple fact that it is hardware based. It blocks all advertisements whether they are based on the web or inside applications. This means that if you have a mobile device connection through WiFi, ads inside popular applications such as Angry Birds, for example, wouldn't be able to load.

It is a lot different from software based solutions such as browser extensions, as they block ads software wise and in most cases are only restricted to the browser and not the rest of your PC's internet connection.

Product Video

Warning for websites 
While this device is nice and really can be a good use to people, keep in mind that by default this device does not have unblocking of non intrusive advertising enabled. This is one of the main selling points anyways because they will not compromise and this is a setting you'll have to change yourself. I am currently not sure if there will be a way to create a white list. I'll ask Chad about this and see if we can get his input.

Many websites and products available on the internet rely on advertising to pay the bills and/or fund future progress.

You can look at the kickstarter page by clicking the button below.