Bluhell Firewall: a simple but effective ad-blocker for Firefox

Bluhell

Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.

Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.

Bluhell Firewall for Firefox takes a different route, mostly by ignoring the problem entirely. There are no lists, no filters, no subscriptions -- no settings at all (other than an on/ off button, anyway).

Bluhell’s core code is just as straightforward, as it uses only five blocking rules. Apart from simplifying the add-on, it also greatly improves performance, as there are very few checks to make before any web resource can be displayed.

Don’t assume this means Bluhell Firewall is underpowered. The add-on’s rules are auto-generated from EasyList, so you can be sure they’re reliable; the developer says Bluhell blocks around 7,000 .com and .net domains, and the 5-star rating from other users suggests it’s doing a very good job.

Okay, it’s true, we would appreciate a little configurability in some areas. The ability to create a whitelist of trusted sites, say, would be welcome.

Bluhell Firewall does well at its core task, though, blocking ads without affecting performance, and that’s what counts for us.

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