Netscape takes aim at pop-ups, spam

New add-ons from the ISP are designed to speed up a user's connection and block unwanted content.

Netscape Communications on Monday announced products designed to help customers of its Internet service block pop-ups and spam, as well as scan e-mail for viruses.

Additionally, the technology allows customers to surf the Internet at speeds of up to five times faster than they could over a standard dial-up connection, according to Netscape, which is a division of Time Warner's America Online unit.

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The product, called Web Accelerator with Pop-Up Blocker, is an add-on that can be used with the basic Netscape dial-up service.

The service's pop-up-blocking technology is designed to stop most of the "annoying and time-consuming pop-ups and pop-unders that interrupt normal Web surfing," the company said.

Similarly, with the company's spam-blocking tool, customers can block e-mails based on specific words, Netscape said. Subscribers can also block e-mails that contain clickable URLs.

Additionally, a new e-mail virus scanner is designed to detect known viruses and fix or help block infected attachments, the company said. This scanner will be updated hourly, according to Netscape.

Pop-up ads have become a major headache for Net surfers, as well as service providers. Google, Yahoo and some software makers have developed products to block pop-ups. The updated version of the Windows XP operating system, due for release later this year, is expected to include a pop-up blocker.

Netscape customers can get the new services by downloading the products. They can add Web Accelerator with Pop-Up Blocker for $5 a month, while the e-mail virus-scanning service will cost $1 a month.

"Consumers want the choice to build their own Internet service with the flexibility to add just the features they need, including the ability to enjoy the Web faster with our Web Accelerator technology," Joel Davidson, executive vice president of Netscape ISP, said in a statement.

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