Continue Testing The AdTrap
During our testing we also found that AdTrap utilizes a Linux software called Privproxy and this is what captures and analyzes the web traffic. You can launch http://config.privoxy.org/ from your web browser and it will hit your AdTrap and Privproxy will respond from AdTrap to give you some basic config and troubleshooting information.
Some of the available options include the ability to view and see the current configuration of the AdTrap. From here you can see the blocking rules in place which might be handy to know.
You can also enable or disable the AdTrap from this web page as well which is good for testing purposes.
During a speed test that we ran on DSLReports to see what the AdTrap could do in terms of raw bandwidth performance, we found AdTrap did not affect the available bandwidth. We received roughly the same speed with and without AdTrap installed. We did notice that the CPU on the AdTrap ran up to 44% utilization during the download test which was only around 22Mb/sec. I would be interested to know how this would scale on fatter pipes like a 100Mb/sec connection or even more. The CPU clock speed is set to the lowest setting at 720Mhz and can be increased, and perhaps it would need to be if you have a much faster internet connection. For my 25/2 connection that I have, I see no reason to bump up the clock speed which would use more power, generate more heat, and potential would make the AdTrap die sooner.
In another web page loading test that we conducted, we found some interesting performance marks. We tested with the latest version of Chrome browser and utilizes the HAR to understand components loading for the FoxNews.com web site (as our test site). The load speed of the site with AdTrap off of our network and with Adblock Plus enabled on our web browser, we achieved the fastest load speed of 5.37 seconds. With AdTrap On and AdBlock Plus off, it had a load speed of 10.85 seconds, nearly double that of Adblock Plus being on and AdTrap being off. Apparently, AdBlock does a REALLY good job at decreasing the load time while also blocking the ads and the AdTrap definitely ads some network overhead to the process since its happening at the router level. Interesting enough, with both AdTrap and AdBlock off, it takes 13.83 seconds to load the page. So for someone that has never utilized Adblock before, simply adding Adtrap to your network, you should see an overall improvement with web sites loading. For those wondering, the load time for AdTrap On and Adblock Plus on was 8.3 seconds which isn’t too significantly slower than the fastest time we saw.
Overall, I felt the AdTrap did marginally okay with the performance. While it did not appear that the raw speed of the connections were slowed, at least on my somewhat slow Internet of 25Mbps/2Mbps connection, AdTrap did slow down web pages versus using AdBlock Plus. To AdTrap’s defense, AdBlock Plus cannot block ads within video streams, on the Xbox, on your mobile devices, or Smart TV’s.