That basic action means that people are able to surf the web – including viewing videos – without the onslaught of online advertisements that seem to become more and more pervasive with every passing month.
The fundamental promise that the developers of AdTrap are making is a return to the “good ol’ days” of web surfing.
You know, back when most web pages you downloaded contained text and pictures – and virtually no advertising.
AdTrap’s motto is a simple and powerful one: “The Internet is yours again.”
Not surprisingly, there’s a good deal of excitement surrounding this new product. In fact, interest has been so great that the invention attracted more than $200,000 in funding — raised in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign in early 2013.
Those funds are now being used to manufacture the first AdTrap units for shipment to “early adopter” consumers across the country.
How New an Idea Is This?
But most of them have significant limitations because they’ve been designed to work only with specific browsers or on specific devices.
Free is good, of course. But the developers of AdTrap are banking on the willingness of consumers to shell out $139 for their product – a rectangular box that looks a lot like a wireless router and that intercepts advertisements before they reach a laptop, tablet or mobile device.
The beauty of AdTrap is that it will work on every device connected to a person’s network. Situated between the modem and router, it takes just a few minutes to set up.
CNN technology correspondent Dan Simon reports that AdTrap does an effective job blocking advertising content. But not perfectly; ads still appear on Hulu content, for example.
But the developers of AdTrap report that they’re working on ways to block even more content going forward, including ads on Hulu.
Is this Bigger than Merely Blocking Ads?
Beyond the collective sigh of relief you’re likely hearing from those reading this blog post … what are the larger implications if AdTrap and similar devices are adopted by consumers on a large scale?
One not-so-positive implication may be that websites will no longer offer be able to offer content without charge, since so many publishers’ business models rely on advertising content to help pay most of the bills.
If advertising isn’t appearing thanks to AdTrap, people aren’t getting paid.
So let’s think about this for a minute: It’s true that the Internet was blissfully free of wall-to-wall advertising 15 years ago compared to today.
But cyberspace was also far less robust in terms of the quantity and quality of the informational and entertainment content available to us.
So yes … having a device to block 80% or more of the ads served to us is a very attractive proposition. But if it means that some of our favorite sites move to pay-walls as a result, it might be that making a $139 investment in an AdTrap device isn’t such a “no-brainer” choice in the final analysis.
What do you think of this development — pro or con? Please share your thoughts with other readers here.