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PC World

Top 10 hot Internet tools

October 19, 1999
Web posted at: 10:27 a.m. EDT (1427 GMT)

by Max Green

(IDG) -- A few years ago, connecting to the Internet meant wrestling with utilities like Trumpet Winsock -- which, in turn, meant endless headaches for Windows users. Then Microsoft began integrating Internet functionality into Windows itself. But that doesn't mean Internet utilities have disappeared. In fact, they've actually improved, becoming much easier to use as more and more users go online. The popular FileWorld downloads listed below increase your throughput, eliminate ads, reject cookies, and more. Although most require registration, the fees are nominal -- so there's little risk in trying them out. If you'd like to browse other files in this category, click "More Internet tools," link below.

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Top 10 hot Internet tools

  1. MTU-Speed Pro: Tweak your Windows Registry to optimize your throughput speed. There's no optimum Maximum Transmission Unit value for all PCs, so this utility tests your connection and selects the MTU that's right for you. The program also accounts for the speed of your ISP's routers, verifying that the value it sets isn't higher than what they're capable of handling.

  2. Cookie Crusher: Protect your privacy by rejecting Web site cookies before they hit your hard disk. The program also tells you whether a particular cookie is used for ad tracking, online shopping, or site tracking. Furthermore, if want to see ads on certain sites but not others, it lets you selectively view them.

  3. PopOff: For-profit Web sites will hate you, but if you use this free utility it will shut down pop-up advertisement windows before they get in your way. PopOff runs in the background and launches when you start your browser. This updated version includes support for the Opera browser.

  4. TweakDUN: Improve the speed of your dial-up connection by adjusting the Windows 95 MTU. TweakDUN also lets you create and edit a host file, which can dramatically speed up Web browsing: Instead of contacting a domain name server to look up every IP address, your browser will cache them on your hard drive.

  5. BoostWeb: Speed up browsing in Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. This tool reduces the amount of data sent to your browser--and therefore speeds up your surfing--by caching and compressing images. It works with any type of Internet connection.

  6. Bookmark Converter: Surfers who swing both ways can convert their favorite bookmarks to work with both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. It also works remotely over a network so you can share bookmarks with other users.

  7. Bounce Spam Mail: Fool spam mailers by sending a fake bounce message back to them. This will make their mailing list manager think your address was invalid, and you'll be excluded from future mailings. The trick works especially well when you don't know who sent you the message.

  8. Stay Connected: Prevent ISPs from disconnecting your dial-up sessions due to inactivity. Stay Connected sits in your system tray and automatically dials your ISP and logs on for you. When you're idle, it simulates random activity to keep you connected. This version can work with AOL's 45-minute online timer.

  9. @Guard: Are you tired of banner ads? Now you can surf the Web without all those flashing, winking, bandwidth-sucking banners (that happen to pay for the sites you're visiting). The program also blocks cookies and prevents Java scripts and ActiveX controls from running on your hard drive.

  10. GoZilla: Download files during off-peak hours by dragging URLs from your browser to GoZilla. The utility will also resume aborted and failed downloads. New features include smart updates for your favorite programs and better integration with Internet Explorer and Navigator.

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