AdTrap Whole Network Ad Blocking Appliance Review

Installing and Configuring AdTrap
Now we get into the meat of the review and we really see what the AdTrap can do for us! The AdTrap can be installed in two ways, the easiest way is to simply plug your Ad Trap Ethernet cable into the LAN port of your AdTrap and then into one of the available LAN ports on your router. Wait a couple mins and it will be online and blocking ads for your entire network! Once your plug the power into your AdTrap the indicator lights will begin to light up. The first light is the Heartbeat, the second one is Disk Activity, the third is Proxy light and the fourth is the Internet Connectivity light.

The other method of installation is Inline mode, where you would plug your WAN Ethernet from your Internet Modem into the WAN port of your AdTrap and your AdTrap LAN port into your WAN port of your router.

Once you have your AdTrap connected and online you can surf to the webpage at http://adtrap.local:10001/ to access the web-based configuration of AdTrap. The default username is Admin and the default password is Password.

AdTrap Ad Blocking GUI Web Page
AdTrap Ad Blocking GUI Web Page

 

Upon logging in, the Adtrap will ask you for your configuration, I selected the Autodetected setup and clicked next.

AdTrap Overview Configuration Page
AdTrap Overview Configuration Page

Next you will be asked to change the default password to something more secure along with your timezone.

AdTrap Change Default Password
AdTrap Change Default Password

Finally, your new password will be set and you are ready to start blocking ads!

AdTrap Ad Blocking

The main AdTrap dashboard gives you a quick overview of the status of your AdTrap ad blocking appliance. It shows free space, uptime, number of ads blocked, privacy risk ads, and ads blocked today along with averages. It also shows the top 10 ad networks that were blocked, realtime ads being blocked, and ads blocked over a 7 day span.

AdTrap Main Dashboard
AdTrap Main Dashboard

The first area I wanted to take a look at was the Updates section to find out if I had the latest firmware and ad blocking updates available. I ran the update button and found that it was already updated to the latest versions for both the Core update and Rules update. You can also enable or disable the updates for Core and Rules here. I’ve left them alone, so I don’t have to worry about keeping it up-to-date.

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The next feature I wanted to test was the realtime ad blocking to see what sort of ads were being blocked and how quickly the realtime viewer responded. I got on my iPhone and opened a few different free games that I had loaded which I knew had ads within them so this was going to be a real test to see if the AdTrap really does work so quickly right out of the box without any configurations. Low and behold the AdTrap captured every ad within the games which can be represented in the screenshot below of the real-time ad block viewer. All of the games that I had tested on my iPhone were completely Ad free, nice!

AdTrap Realtime Ad Blocking Logs
AdTrap Realtime Ad Blocking Logs

On the top menu bar under Settings you will find AdTrap Anywhere, Firewall, General and Welcome. We’ll take a look at AdTrap AnyWhere for starters.

AdTrap Settings
AdTrap Settings

AdTrap AnyWhere allows for you to enable iOS and Android devices to utilize your AdTrap appliance even when you are away from home on another network or cellular network.  The phones data get transferred from your data plan to your home network through the AdTrap then back to your phone again. Even though this seems like a long process, with the ads removed, you lose no Internet speed according to their company. If this turns out to be factual, this will be a GREAT feature that extends your ad blocking any where you might go!

AdTrap AnyWhere
AdTrap AnyWhere

The Firewall settings allow for you to modify the firewall rules of your AdTrap. You generally shouldn’t need to make any changes in here unless you know what you are doing. I still rely on my routers firewall capabilities for blocking the bad things from coming into my network.

AdTrap Firewall Settings
AdTrap Firewall Settings

The general settings is where the majority of the core settings of AdTrap are located. You can change the CPU clock, timezone, turn the LED’s on or off, and adjust your IP settings from here if you need advance settings for your network. I didn’t touch any of the settings in here so that I can see how the AdTrap performs with the default configuration and settings.

AdTrap Firewall Settings
AdTrap General Settings

Under the AdTrap Rules menu at the top of the page you will find two options; Allowed Websites and Blocked Websites. This gives you the ability to block or allow sites on your network. We’ll look more at the functionality of this in the testing portion of the review.

AdTrap Rules
AdTrap Rules

The last menu drop-down is Report which gives you access to Realtime blocked ads, history of blocked ads, privacy blocked ads, and the Ad visualizer. The AD Visualizer is to show you graphically all of the ads being blocked in  real-time but for us it never worked. It always showed a blank screen after sitting on the “loading” screen for a while. I spoke with one of the support folks at AdTrap and they said that their engineers are aware and working on this issue.

AdTrap Reports
AdTrap Reports

That sums up the AdTrap user interface and available options that you have. Continue on to the next page and we’ll dive into the testing of the AdTrap!

 

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About The Author

James Anderson

James is the owner and editor-in-chief of Geek Inspector. He enjoys technology, motorcycles, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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