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Independent Software Reviews

Pop-up advertisers have become the telemarketers of the internet age, sneaking up on their victims when it’s most inappropriate. We’ve all seen them and, at one time or another, we’ve all been bothered by them. Sometimes they appear quietly, once in a while, like a slight itch that can be relieved by a quick click of the mouse. At other times, pop-ups will rain down upon your desktop in droves, crippling your browser and wasting your time. Sometimes pop-ups are harmless, offering free mortgage quotes or new investment opportunities, while others riddle your screen with offense or lewd content that is often inappropriate in most any setting.

The World Wide Web has become a haven for purveyors of the pop-up plague and they seem to be getting worse every day. If you’re like the millions of other Internet users out there, your time on the Internet is precious and those pesky pop-ups just don’t seem to care. Whether you surf for business or pleasure, pop-ups usually don’t have a place in your schedule and using a pop-up blocker is the best way to maximize your time and get the most out of your browsing experience, while protecting your computer.

Many leading software companies have heard your cries and, in response, they have come up with excellent software solutions to block this unwanted behavior. Like any software product, some are better than others. Some are easy to use, while others can be daunting; some block unwanted content better than others; and some are affordable, while others do nothing more than whack you where it hurts – in the wallet! So how do you pick the product that’s right for you?

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing a pop-up blocker. Through extensive testing and research, we have provided a comprehensive review of nine of the most popular popup blocking software solutions on the market today. Our reviews are based software performance, versatility, cost and support, as well as consumer and expert evaluations. Each product is given a rating from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst choice and ten being the best.

Please scroll down to read our reviews, please note that all website addresses are linked.



Rating: 10/10


As a consumer, if you were to put together a wish list of all the features you would look for in pop-up and spam blocking software, chances are, Panicware’s Pop-Up Stopper and SpamWasher would fit the bill. The functionality, the versatility, and ease of use, have helped these award-winning products gain worldwide recognition and have made them


Panicware offers three software choices to suit your needs. Pop-Up Stopper gives users full control over pop-ups through advanced pop-up and pop-under controls, while allowing pop-ups based solely upon on your approval. Pop-Up Stopper also logs pop-up statistics, closes error dialogues automatically and integrates into your browser’s toolbar. It even comes with a variety of different sounds to make you pop-up stomping experience even

Pop-Up Stopper also integrates a complete browser, windows history and file cleaner, along with cookie management and a “hot links” bookmark system. Best of all, it works with all browsers, including AOL, MSN, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, CompuServe, SBC Yahoo, NetZero and Juno. It blocks Windows Messenger ads, GAIN spyware ads and desktop popups. It even blocks those annoying pop-up ads that try to sell you pop-up


Panicware’s SpamWasher is an e-mail filter, which allows users to block spam and inappropriate e-mail content in any POP-3 account using Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape Mail or Mozilla and works with both Hotmail and MSN. Each of the programs comes with a $29.95 price tag, but Panicware’s best deal offers both programs for $49.95, giving consumers the best bang for their buck. Panicware also offers a money back guarantee on all three packages, as well as free 24-hour tech support and free


Panicware’s pop-up and spam blocking software has garnered praise from an array of trusted publications including The Wall Street Journal, WinPlanet, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Forbes and Time Magazine. PC World Magazine named Pop-Up Stopper and SpamWasher, the Internet’s number one download in September 2003 and the software won the Microsoft & WUGNET “Best Choice Shareware Pick of the Week for Windows XP.” In fact, it is the only software that has been accepted for sale at retail outlets like CompUSA, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Fry’s, Office Depot and

00006.jpgBoth programs require Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 or Windows XP. If you are a Mac user, Panicware suggests that you contact them prior to

With its affordable price, reliability, money back guarantee, and free 24-hour technical support system, Pop-Up Stopper and Spam Washer are, hands down, the best pop-up and


For those internet users who want to maximize their surfing experience on a minimal budget, AirSpell’s affordable Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 can certainly get the job done. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of that other pop-up blocking software programs offer, Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 has an unbelievably easy to use interface and will hide itself behind your browser, surprising pop-up advertisements before they surprise you! Once you order Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 from AirSpell’s website, the program will be available for immediate download. Within seconds, you’ll be on your way to pop-up free surfing without having to figure out any of those subtle nuances often associated with new and unfamiliar programs. The program opens automatically on startup and hides in the background, closing pop-up and pop-under windows before they can get in your way. Since there are no complicated menus or features, you’ll only know the program is there when you realize that those annoying pop-ups aren’t. If there are pop-ups you wish to see, simply press “control” on your computer’s keyboard, click the link, and the window


Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 works with all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, AOL, MSN, Netscape, and Opera. It also works with all internet providers and blocks pop-ups seamlessly with any type of internet connection. Best of all, Pop-up Blocker 3.0 counts all of the pop-ups it kills, so that you can keep track of how the program is working for you. Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 costs just $19.95 and comes with free lifetime upgrades, an unconditional, no-questions asked, 90-day money back guarantee and free customer support. AirSpell promises to answer all technical support e-mails the same day.

Although this program may not have the award winning recognition or press coverage that other pop-up blocker’s have enjoyed. AirSpell touts an ever-growing list of satisfied customers who found relief from pop-up advertisement quickly and easily with Pop-Up Blocker 3.0. The company’s website offers potential clients the opportunity to read testimonials from these other customers, including one user who was spared from 117

00010.jpgPop-Up Blocker is compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows

While Pop-Up Blocker 3.0 may not have those extra options and features that advanced users look for in their software, it is an affordable and simple solution, particularly for those who surf the net for pleasure. It does just what claims to do – block pop-up ads


Rating: 8.2/10


If you consider yourself a savvy web user, but pop-up advertisements are making you feel like you have less and less control over your Internet experience, Exit Killer 4.0 may be the software for you. More appropriate for those who take pride in their familiarity with the programs they use, Exit Killer offers a full range of controls that put the consumer in charge of exactly what pop-up advertisements actually reach their browser.

Exit Killer offers its users a wide range of precise control over pop-ups and pop-unders through four sensitivity levels, allowing all, some or no pop-ups, and dictating exactly what kinds appear in your browser, if at all. Exit Killer leaves it all up to you. Even if you’re a novice, Exit Killer has a simple user interface offering all of the basics you would


Exit Killer allows users to control known, unknown and unwanted pop-ups and allows a 100% block of all unsolicited pop-ups. The program keeps users informed of each block, allows for easy overrides and integrates into your browser’s tool bar. Unfortunately, Exit Killer is useless to consumers who prefer to surf using less popular browsers, as it is


Although there are better and more affordable pop-up blocking programs out there, Exit Killer’s control accessibility makes it worthy of its $29.95 price-tag and for $49.95, you can get even more control over your web experience using Exit Killer Pro Version 2.0. Exit Killer Pro offers the same great features as the cheaper version, but adds unprecedented privacy protection that is important to so many internet users.

With Exit Killer Pro, users can clean their browser’s cache, cookie and history files and delete document files, directories, “auto complete” site addresses, secret index.dat files and recent file lists, allowing for complete privacy while freeing up space on your computer for faster PC operation. It is no surprise that more than 650,000 people have downloaded Exit Killer since 2000 and the testimonials found on the site appear to be

00016.jpgBoth versions come with a money back guarantee as well as web-based tech support via e-mail and require Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows



While Exit Killer 4.0 is worth the investment and can certainly do the trick while keeping you in full control, there are similarly priced programs out there that can do the same job. However, Exit Killer Pro 2.0 makes perfect sense for users who want to surf the Internet


When shopping the internet for an affordable pop-up blocker that is easy to download and easy to use, Popup Nuker should definitely be high on your list. While it may not be the best pop-up blocker out there, Popup Nuker allows consumers to view a full demonstration of its capabilities, through comprehensive tutorials, screenshots of its easy

Popup Nuker will automatically block unwanted pop-ups without any user configuration and is


careful not to interfere when you open the windows that you want to open. In fact, Popup Nuker even includes a powerful “white list” which offers users the ability to specify pop-ups that Popup Nuker should never block, such as online banking sites that often use pop-up to send important alerts about your account. Popup Nuker even blocks Windows Messenger popups, as well as many common ad and spyware pop-ups. Popup Nuker also notifies users when pop-ups have been blocked or allowed, through system


However, some of Popup Nuker’s best features include automatic browser history and temporary file cleaning as well as free automatic program updates, so that you will always be running the most current version of this software. With its detailed performance log,

Unfortunately, Popup Nuker is only compatible with Internet Explorer, version 2.0 or higher. The software is currently compatible with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows

It may be limited in compatibility, but Popup Nuker’s basic, easy to use interface, makes it a reasonable choice for reliable pop-up blocking. Although there is no guarantee associated with this software, its informational website makes it easy to make an educated

00021.jpgThe websites new FAQ forum is also a useful tool, but be aware that technical support questions will only be entertained if you can furnish your order number and original

Also, read the fine print if you considering on of Popup Nuker’s limited time offers. For example, they sometimes run a promotion where, if users pay an additional $20, a CD version of Popup Nuker will be sent via mail so that you always have a backup and you will be entitled to a number of other software programs and games. If all you really need is a spam blocker, the extras don’t seem to be worth the additional investment.


Rating: 6.9/10


PAL Solutions has built its PAL Popup Eliminator using award-winning technology and, although the company’s website makes no mention of praise or reviews for its pop-up blocking software, other PAL Solutions products, such as their spyware removal, evidence eliminator and key logging surveillance programs, have been featured in PC Format Magazine and Personal Computer World. However, at $19.95, the PAL Popup Eliminator is an average pop-up


blocking program with very few extras.

PAL Solutions touts its Popup Eliminator as the latest in “intelligent popup blocking” software that promises to kill and stop ad pop-ups from annoying you and wasting your browsing time. Popup Eliminator features sophisticated popup blocking technology

Popup Eliminator works only with Internet Explorer, Netscape and Mozilla, and is compatible with all service providers, blocking all pop-up and pop-under windows that may come your way. Its smart engine blocks only unwanted pop-up window ads and cookies, while allowing useful ones to appear and it runs safely and quietly in the background, so you never have to worry. Once you set Popup Eliminator, you can sit back and enjoy your browsing experience, never having to tell it what to do. These features make it the perfect program for the novice PC user, but it may not have enough of the power and control that most advanced users look for in pop-up blocking software.


Some added bonuses of PAL Solutions Popup Eliminator include a customizable “black list” advertisement database, which protects you from the advertisements you don’t want to see and you can even set Popup Eliminator to disable distracting and annoying GIF


PAL Solutions Popup Eliminator requires Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee, immediate download upon purchase and limited tech support via e-mail.

The problem with Popup Eliminator is that it is simply a basic run-of-the-mill popup blocker and, although the company has received high marks from critics, the jury may still be out on this program. In fact, the Pal Solutions website gives very little information about the use of the product and few details about its money back guarantee or technical support system; two things that are essential when deciding which blocking software is right for you. Perhaps if Pal Solutions piggybacked its Popup Eliminator with its popular spyware program, for an additional fee, it would be worth it. However, for novice users who want a hands-off approach to blocking


unwanted window generation, Popup
StopPops, from StopPops, LLC, is yet another simple, easy-to-use pop-up program that just doesn’t seem to match up to other, similarly price pop-up blocking software. Of course, like other blocking software, StopPops eliminates annoying pop-up ads and windows while you surf the web, optimizing your internet connection and allowing you to determine just what content should be blocked and which should be let through.

While some pop-up blockers open on start-up and have the capability of stopping off-line popups, StopPops runs when Internet Explorer is opened and will show itself through an icon in the system tray every time the program loads. Whenever StopPops kills a pop-up window, the system tray will show a brief animation so that you know the program is working and StopPops will maintain a count of all the pop-ups that have been stopped, showing you exactly how effective the program is. You can also configure StopPops to play a sound when a popup is killed and you can reset the counter at any time.


Unfortunately, StopPops has very limited capability and can only run using Internet Explorer. It requires Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP. In Fact, StopPops may be more trouble than it is actually worth. The website notes that users have had issues with the program while using Internet Explorer Version 5.0, as well as a couple of other minor bugs. The company suggests that


There isn’t a whole lot of meat within this particular pop-up blocking program. Although simple and easy to use, it’s still a bit too limited for the $25 price. However, StopPops does come with a 60-day money back guarantee. As for technical support, if you can’t find an answer to your question on the site’s FAQ or help sections, you can e-mail the

There’s good new on the horizon for StopPops, as program developers are currently building upgrades that will be compatible with other types of browsers and they will be offered to existing users at no cost. But then again, why would you be an existing user if


Easy-to use and effective software programs are a great find, but not when you have to break the bank to pay for them. At a hefty $49.95, Pop-Up Commander should not only stop pop-up ads from hindering your internet experience, but it should rip those suckers right out of your monitor and beat the daylights out of them on the desk in front of you. Unfortunately, this software doesn’t give nearly that much gusto. In fact, Pop-Up


Like most other pop-up blockers, Pop-Up Commander will block pop-up and pop-under ads, freeing up your desktop and allowing for faster internet browsing. Users can choose to allow pop-ups from particular site, through a simple control window opened easily from your windows menu or taskbar. Pop-Up Commander can be set to begin at startup, and it offers easy installation and helpful user instructions. However, these are the most basic requirements a consumer should look for when shopping for pop-up blocking software and, with such a high price tag, Pop-Up Commander is just too basic.

Although Pop-Up Commander is compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, it is limited in browser capability, working only with Internet Explorer 4.0 or better, and it doesn’t offer any of those other extra helpful perks that come along with similarly priced pop-up blocking products. File cleaning options and spam


e-mail blocking are not included in this software package and the company offers no guarantees or any real technical support. Their website praises the program’s easy to use instructions and easy download, but without any technical support,

There are no upgrades offered with the software, which brings up concerns of bugs that can often hinder the performance of such software. Unfortunately, Pop-Up Commander doesn’t offer much of anything and it’s hard to trust software that doesn’t come with any


The site features testimonials from some of the “tens of thousands of internet users who use Pop-Up Commander to stop pop-up ads.” However, even their pictures seem a bit suspect. The faces of those users look strangely familiar as if they could be on any one of thousands of websites touting similar programs. In fact, a closer look at the Pop-Up Commander website reveals that the program may be more of an MLM scheme than a


Affiliates of the site are promised $31.64 commission on each sale made as a result of their recommendation. That means the program is worth $18.31 and that sounds about right. It would make more since to market the product than to actually buy it.


Rating: 2.4/10


Trek Blue’s NoPops website is flashy and the company makes some very serious claims about their software. Trek Blue says that they have spent years developing this product, which has been exhaustively tested to ensure that it beats all other pop-up blocking software on the market. First of all, if it took years to develop, NoPops would be a much better program and, as for the claim that it is the best… our reviews should speak for themselves. In fact, NoPops may not be the worst, but it’s pretty darn close.

Consumers who purchase the $19.95 NoPops program for immediate download are buying blind because the company’s website is packed with nothing but advertising hype. A peek at the online demo also reveals very little about the product and looks more like a


Although Trek Blue is developing software that will be compatible with many other browsers and operating systems, NoPops has limited capability, working only with Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. It requires Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT4, Windows 2000 or Windows XP. In fact, it seems that there may be many bugs associated with the program and consumers should beware that there are a number of conflicts that can occur between this and other programs that may be running on your computer.


NoPops does come with a money back guarantee and the company says that their “current plan” is to offer all upgrades to users for free. The fact that this is called their, “current plan,” and not their policy, however, is quite suspect. NoPops may be basic and


Rating: 1/10