Surfing the web can also do things to slow or clog up your PC. Here are tools to help undo those effects.
Your PC isn't the only thing that's full of junk; so is the internet - that is, if you think ads are junk. If you're not a fan of ads, particularly the animated ones, there's an easy way to kill them - by downloading this Internet Explorer add-on. This $20 (£10) shareware goes well beyond IE 7's popup blocker, preventing the display of ads of all kinds, including the familiar banner ads, as well as those embedded within web pages. It will also kill Flash animations - many people's number-one surfing annoyance.
There are plenty of ways to configure this program. You can, for example, tell it to display ads from specific domains or even from specific pages, and you can turn the Flash blocker on or off as well. Be aware, though, that if you turn on the Flash blocker, you won't be able to view, say, YouTube videos. So you may want to tell the program to display Flash from specific domains, and block it from others. Note that Adblock Pro works only with Internet Explorer.
R-Wipe and Clean
Without your knowledge, your PC keeps a history of just about everything you do, including your web browsing. It has a history of the websites you visit, the RSS feeds you have, your downloads, the programs you run, the files you open, and much more. This $29 (£15) program cleans out all that, and plenty more as well. It will also wipe out cookies (or let you keep the ones you want), clean up temporary files left behind by the programs you use, and even delete traces of the 'prefetch' files Windows grabs to speed up your PC.
Expired Cookies Cleaner
Your computer is filled with cookies placed there by websites you visit. In many instances, those cookies serve a purpose - for example, automatically logging you in to websites, or letting you customise the way the site works. So deleting all your cookies can make things more inconvenient for you when surfing the web.
Often, cookies have a timeout date. After that date, they simply won't work. However, they'll still be on your PC, clogging things up. This simple little freebie finds those expired cookies, and then deletes them. That's all it does - and it's nice, for a change, to see a program that does something so simply and so well.
This great little freebie does an excellent job cleaning out many different kinds of junk from your PC, including cookies, many kinds of temporary files, internet toolbars (called Browser Helper Objects, or BHOs), and unnecessary DLLs. It even includes a tool that will free up system RAM by moving data from RAM to a page file on your hard disk, to increase performance.
The program includes a nice security tool too. It will automatically block any BHOs from being installed on your PC - a good thing, because some are spyware or malicious software.