Pop-up ads are annoying at best and can considerably disrupt your Web surfing at worst. So why would we ever not want to block them? Some Web pages use the same window.open code to open a new browser window that actually contains helpful information. Some online shopping sites use pop-ups to give users a close-up view of items.
Other sites might use pop-ups so that the user can fill out a form without leaving the main site. This is often the case when you try to download a file. Some pop-up blockers can't differentiate between these helpful pop-ups and the intrusive advertising we've all come to know and loathe.
If you use a trainable or intelligent pop-up blocker, you might be all right. Most of these blockers only prevent nuisance pop-ups, though no blocker is 100-percent effective. You're likely to see at least a few annoying ads no matter which blocker you use, and you're just as likely to miss out on some helpful pop-ups at some point.
Fortunately, just about every blocker program has a suite of options the user can tweak to ensure that his Web surfing isn't adversely affected. Some programs allow you to tell the blocker which Web sites are safe for pop-ups. Once you designate a Web site as safe, the blocker will no longer seek out and disable pop-up code on that site. Other blockers might require you disable the blocking procedure completely before you can view any pop-ups. It's important to remember to reactivate the blocker once you leave the site you're looking at -- otherwise you're back to being flooded with pop-ups.
To learn more about pop-up blockers and online advertising, check out the links on the next page.