Things you should be doing to improve your online experience

Things you should be doing to improve your online experience

You browse online, I browse online, I don’t think there’s anyone in a developed country who doesn’t. Like really, if there is one I’d actually like to know.

So if you’ve done anything online you know there are quite a few things that are quite annoying every time you try and do anything on the web nowadays. It ranges from mild inconvenience to downright nuisance every time you look up anything.

You have ads on any video you try to watch now, someone’s entire life story before any recipe you look up, how somehow something won’t load but the ad for progressive jackpot coin pusher will. The list just goes on and on.

And should I even bother mentioning the countless trackers and other many things that follow you around everywhere you go online? You might not even have known about those though. Anything you do online is being tracked and sold just so that companies can make ads that are specifically tailored just for you so you’ll be more likely to buy whatever they’re selling.

Honestly, it’s pretty greasy of them. Luckily like almost all the other things I’ve mentioned so far, there are some ways around it to make your experience better online.

Avoiding ads

You hate ads, I hate ads, god probably hates ads too. Everywhere you go through they plague you. You can never seem to escape them. Luckily there are a few things you can get or do to make it a little less bad (but sadly nothing’s perfect)

  • Get an Ad Blocker. This seems the simplest but it’s usually one of the best methods for avoiding ads. Simply go into the extensions on whatever browser you use for browsing the internet and look up ad blockers.

    Generally, you want to get one with some good reviews so you know you’re downloading one that works. Personally, I use AdBlocker Ultimate but there are a lot of good ones out there.

  • Youtube Vanced. It’s advanced Youtube without the ads. Get it? It’s a pun. Puns aside though Youtube Vanced is an alternate app you can download for watching Youtube. It has a few features over Youtube with it’s biggest easily being the lack of any ads. Which makes sense since it’s a completely different app from Youtube. This is what you can use since sadly most ad blockers don’t work on mobile and there aren’t any stand-alone adblockers you can download for it.

    Youtube Vanced while having some cool unique features like true AMOLED dark mode and the ability to play music with the screen off it has some problems like some iffiness with subscriptions carrying over along with some other stuff. It’s definitely not a perfect app but you should definitely remember it for later when it inevitably improves.

  • If you’re playing any sort of game on mobile you know that they are plagued with ads. Every time you beat a level you get an ad. Every Time you do anything you get an ad. You can’t go five minutes without getting an ad in most games on Android or IOS. Sadly unlike when using the internet on a computer or mac, you can’t just install an ad blocker for games on a phone or tablet.

    There’s not a perfect solution to this problem but for a lot of mobile games that don’t need to connect to the internet, usually, either single-player ones or ones where the online or multiplayer features are not mandatory but optional. This is to either just turn off the wifi on the device or turn on airplane mode. This works because the app has to get the ads from someplace.

    For most things, this means when the internet is turned off the app simply can’t play any ads. Therefore you don’t get any ads, nifty right?

Getting straight to the recipe

You’ve probably been doing a lot more cooking this past year, I mean haven’t we all? What with, you know, what’s going on out there. So if you’ve been cooking then you probably searched up at least a few recipes online at some point.

Then you know what it’s like when you search up anything to do with recipes or cooking online and get someone’s entire life story before it even gets to the ingredients. You know, comments about their husband eating it all, how their kids loved helping prepare it, fifteen pictures of the same bowl of soup at slightly different angles.

And somehow no matter what when you try to get ahead of the article and immediately scroll down when the page is loading you always somehow end up way past the recipe and down in the comments. It’s not even a possibility, it’s just a fact.

Some impressive smart person one day decided to actually do something about this and created a very nice Chrome extension for solving this very problem. The extension is called Recipe Filter and it does its very best to try and find the recipe, wherever it is on the page, and bring you directly there.

It’s as amazing as it sounds. It’s not perfect though. There’s a lot of websites where the extension simply doesn’t work. It really depends on a lot of things. How the websites set up, how the recipe set up. Probably even what font the author decided to use on it.

But regardless it’s certainly something that you should look into if you plan on looking up recipes online. It could save you countless minutes of scrolling down pages trying to find the actual recipe in someone’s autobiography.

Avoiding trackers online

You wouldn’t want to be tracked in a dark alleyway at midnight, why should you want to be tracked online? You might not really have any privacy complaints or you’ve never thought about it but why do companies have any right to track you across the entire web?

Personally, I don’t like normal ads, much fewer ads directly tailored based on everything I’ve ever done online to make the perfect ad for getting me to buy whatever they’re selling.

Luckily there’s a lot of people out there with the same views as me. And they’ve made a lot of ways to stop those companies from tracking you. It ranges from entire browsers designed to block them to simple web extensions you can get.

If you’re interested in the web browsers there’s Firefox, which while it wasn’t originally made to stop trackers it’s certainly been putting in a lot of work recently to try and do that. Then there are ones like DuckDuckGo which doesn’t keep any data at all from you. Search history and other stuff like that are only kept on the device you’re browsing on and aren’t even ever sent online. On top of that, there’s a nice big fire button at the top of the screen while using it to delete all the data saved so you know there’s nothing someone can get from you.

If you’re really scared of people tracking you there are also even more advanced ones for stopping people from tracking you like Tor. If that name is familiar to you that’s because that’s the one people always mention for getting onto the dark web. While that is in fact the big reason I imagine most people use it it’s also pretty good at being quite secure.

Now if you don’t want to switch to an entirely new browser there are loads of extensions you can get to stop trackers. Personally, I recommend Ghostery. But just like AdBlockers, you can really just search up tracker blocker or something similar and you can get lots of recommendations. Just make sure to check the reviews to see if people are complaining about it or not.