Home Products SurfFast FAQ Problems and Issues

Problems and Issues:

  • I installed SurfFast, but popup windows and advertising banner images are still there.

    First, check to see that the SurfFast application is running:

    • Mac OSX: If you are on Mac OSX, you should see the SurfFast logo in the the dock, with a little black triangle on the left -- could be on the right, top or bottom, depending on the orientation of your dock. If the logo is not shown in the dock, go ahead and launch the SurfFast application.
    • Mac OS9: If you are on Mac OS9, you should see SurfFast in the process list at the top right portion of your screen. If SurfFast is not listed, go ahead and launch the SurfFast application.

    Next, check to see that the server has started. In the File menu, if the Start Server option is disabled, then the server is running. Otherwise, select Start Server to start the proxy server.

    Then, go into Preferences | Filtering and check that the Enable Filtering and Use built-in list of known offenders checkboxes are both enabled. If either one or both of them are disabled, go ahead and enabled them. You will have to restart the server for these changes to take effect; select Stop Server from the File menu and then immediately click on Start Server.

    And finally, you have to verify that your Web browser is using SurfFast as the proxy server. If it is not, then you will have to configure either your browser or the operating system to use SurfFast as the local Web proxy server; see the installation instructions for more information. Once you finish this, you can check to see if your browser is configured properly by going to the following URL:


    If you see a page with an error message from Herbert, then SurfFast is running, the proxy server has started, and your browser is properly configured.

    Once you have followed all of these steps, try to browse the Web again, and this time, popup windows and advertising banners should all be eliminated; some of the banner images you might see could be from the browser and/or SurfFast cache and will be removed when you clear all of the caches.

  • I cannot browse the Web at all; I'm getting "Connection Refused" error messages. What should I do?

    This is most likely an indication that either the SurfFast application is not running, or the proxy server has not been started. See the answer to the previous question for more details.

  • If I enter "yahoo" in my browser location bar to go to http://www.yahoo.com, I am getting an error. Why is my browser not automatically expanding the URL?

    When a browser is configured to use a Web proxy server, the browser will not typically modify the URL that you enter in any manner, but will simply pass it as-is to the proxy server. And the proxy server is then responsible for finding the appropriate remote server and communicating with it. On the other hand, when there is no proxy server configured, the browser will attempt to expand the partial host string to try to resolve the full host name.

    We decided (foolishly) early on that SurfFast should behave like other proxy servers and not expand the host name; try it with another proxy server and you will most likely see the same result. However, we have had a change in heart, after hearing from all of you, and will implement the necessary fixes in the next release. Thank you for letting us know!

  • Why are certain Web pages taking longer to load than usual?

    We have noticed that SurfFast sometimes will take a long time to retrieve content from the remote Web server. As a result, the Web browser progress/throbber icon will continue to spin, waiting for SurfFast to finish. Unfortunately, we don't have a solution to this problem at the current time, since it has become very difficult to duplicate on a consistent basis; this issue manifests itself more on OS9 than on OSX, for example. However we are working on the issue and hope to issue a fix in the coming weeks.

    Other than the above mentioned "lingering" problem, there are certain settings which may slow down your Web browsing:

    • Enabling Content Keywords search will hamper performance, since SurfFast has to first download a majority of the page before it can search it for the specified keywords
    • Persistent connections - you may want to experiment by enabling or disabling this option, which is found in Preferences | HTTP; this controls whether SurfFast will keep the connection to the remote server open for a longer period of time, so it can issue multiple requests
    • Socket timeout - you can try to reduce the timeout value from 300 secs (5 minutes) to about 60 seconds and see what happens. This feature is located to the right of the Enable persistent connections option, discussed in the previous list item.

  • After enabling SurfFast, why are there large empty placeholders on all Web pages?

    When SurfFast finds an object that it needs to filter within an HTML resource, such as an advertising image or a Flash movie, it will replace that object with a transparent image of the same dimensions. This allows the structure and layout of the document to stay intact.

    You can change the default transparent image to another image of your choice by doing the following:

    • Go to Preferences | Filtering | Replace Settings
    • Select the Other option in the Replace filtered/blocked objects with section
    • Click on the Choose... button and select an image file of type JPEG, GIF or PNG

    SurfFast will now use your image to replace filtered objects.

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