Update 12 Feb 2016: As an alternative, if you have access to your hosts file, you can use a generated list of domains to immediately block any access to those IPs, courtesy of Steven Black: StevenBlack/hosts, and you don't have to install anything and works on most operating systems.
Now for the rest of the article:
I discovered today a new tool called Privoxy. It is a proxy software that has extra features, like ad blocking and extra privacy. What that means is that you can install the proxy, point your browser to that proxy and have an almost ad free untracked by marketing firms or FaceBook experience. The only problem, though, is that the default filters are not so comprehensive. Would it be great if one could take the most used list for ad blocking (Adblock Plus' Easylist) and convert it to Privoxy? Well it would, only that no one seems to want to do it for Windows. You get a few folks that have created Linux scripts to do the conversion, but they won't work for Windows. Nor do they deem it necessary to make an online tool or a web service or at least publish the resulting files so that we, Windows people, can also use the list!
Well, I intend to do a small script that will allow for this, preferably embedded in this blog post, but until then, I had no script, no files, only Privoxy installed. Luckily, I also have Cygwin installed, which allows me to run a ridiculous flavour of Linux inside Windows. I had to hack the script in order for it to work on Cygwin, but in the end, at last, I managed to make it work. For now, I will publish the resulting files here and give you instructions to install them. When they become obsolete, send me a comment and I will refresh them.
So, the instructions:
- Install Privoxy
- Go to the installation folder of Privoxy and look for files named 'user.action' and 'user.filter'
- Download the user.action file from here and replace the default one.
- Download the user.filter file from here and replace the default one.
- Restart Privoxy
- Of course, then you have to go to your browser settings and set the proxy to Privoxy (usually localhost, port 8118)
Warning! The filter file is quite big and it will cause some performance issues. You might want to use only the action file with the filter actions removed.
Update: If you can't download the files, let me know. I am using Github pages and it seems sometimes it doesn't work as I expected.
Also, I have lost faith that AdBlockPlus rules can be completely and correctly translated to Privoxy and I lack the time, so I am publishing my crappy program as it is and if you want to use it or fix it, be my guest. You can find the program here: AdblockPlus to Privoxy. I would ask that you share with me those modifications, though, so that everybody can benefit from them.
Update October 2023: Other people have contributed by making their own translation software. Here are the links for the binary and source code of adblock2privoxy made by Zubr, in Haskell mind you, which is pretty cool:
Source code: https://projects.zubr.me/wiki/adblock2privoxy
The original software is not available anymore, but here is a GitHub fork for the same: https://github.com/essandess/adblock2privoxy