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Project #4 Continued

Change Your Search Provider...

To add Google or another search engine to Internet Explorer 7's Search bar, click the down arrow to the right of the Search bar, choose Find More Providers, select a provider, and click Add Provider (see FIGURE 6

FIGURE 6: Add a new search service to the list of available engines in Internet Explorer 7.
). Then check Make this my default search provider, or keep your current engine and choose your new provider by selecting it on the down-arrow menu prior to entering your search term.

...Or Roll Your Own Provider

If you're not satisfied with the meager selection of search engines in IE 7's Find More Providers list (see above), building an engine to your own specifications takes just a few seconds: Click the down arrow to the right of the Search bar and choose Find More Providers. Open a new tab and browse to the provider you want. Do a search for TEST (in all capital letters), and copy the URL in the results page's address bar. Paste the URL into the first text box under Create Your Own in the 'Add Search Providers to Internet Explorer 7' window. Enter a name in the box beneath it, and click Install.

Supercharge Your Browser

Whenever you click a Web link or type a URL into theaddress bar, your browser sends the request to a DNS server on the Internet, which then looks up the IP address and sends it back to your browser--a process that can take some time. To eliminate the delay, add the IP addresses and host names of the sites you visit most often to your Hosts file. Your browser looks for addresses in that file first, skipping the slower DNS server if the address is there. In Vista and XP Home, the file is at C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\HOSTS. In XP Pro, it's at C:\Winnt\System32\Drivers\HOSTS. Double-click the file to open it in Notepad or your default text editor. Enter the IP addresses and host names of your commonly visited sites (each entry should be on its own line). List the IP addresses in the first column, and the corresponding host names in the next column; separate the two columns by at least one space, and list each pair on a single line. (To find the IP address, click Start, Run, type cmd, and press <Enter>; then type ping, a space, and the host name, and press <Enter>.) When you're done, save the file with the same name to its existing location.

Browse in Secret

Your browsing activity is an open book. To surf without leaving a trail, use an anonymous proxy server, which sits between you and the sites you visit. (File downloads can be a problem when you use a proxy, however.)

First, go to Atom Intersoft's proxy list; the site lists information about each server, including its uptime percentage. Write down the IP address and the port used by the server of your choice. For example, in the listing, the IP address is, and the port number is 80. (To find a site's IP address, open a command prompt as described in "Switch From FAT to NTFS" above, type ping, and press <Enter>. The reply will include the site's IP address.)

In Internet Explorer, select Tools, Internet Options, Connections, LAN Settings. Check Use a proxy server for your LAN, and in the Address field enter the IP address of the proxy server. In the Port field, type its port number. Check Bypass proxy server for local addresses, and click OK twice. Now when you surf, the proxy server will protect your privacy. Browse to for information about the TOR anonymous-networking initiative supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Use Offline Files

Vista's Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions let you bring network files with you. Open Windows Explorer and right-click the network files or folders that you want available offline. Choose Properties, Sharing, Share, Share, right-click the folders you're sharing, and select Always Available Offline (on some PCs it's just Offline Files, Always available offline). The files will sync automatically.

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