Does anyone know any history behind the domain name It’s owned by AOL Time Warner, and every time that you go to a bunch of sites (CNN and Barnes & Noble among them), banner ads and whatnot are loaded from a host named Every time my browser hangs while trying to load the data from that machine, I try to figure out where the domain name comes from. What does “atwola” mean? Why aren’t they just using some hostname? I don’t get it.

Maybe I just have too much time on my hands. smiley:


AOL-Time Warner Online Advertising?

• Posted by: Dan Budiac on Mar 19, 2002, 5:34 PM

I like that idea; that being said, I’d hope that the people there who register domain names know that “online” is one word (and then noticed that is available).

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Mar 20, 2002, 2:52 PM

I’ve been obsessed for a while about the unknown significance of “obidos” in Amazon URLs.

• Posted by: Rogers Cadenhead on Mar 20, 2002, 4:31 PM

Rogers and I are as one on “obidos.” Perhaps we should set the MeFi sleuths onto it?

• Posted by: lia on Mar 21, 2002, 9:58 AM

obidos is the name of Amazon’s inventory tracking application. It’s also a town in Portugal, although that’s now what the CGI was named after. There was a weblog by a guy who used to work on obidos, but I can’t find it right now….

• Posted by: Anil Dash on Mar 21, 2002, 11:31 AM

now=not up there. i am typo stooopid.

• Posted by: Anil Dash on Mar 21, 2002, 11:31 AM

I figured it was an application, but why “obidos”? Obidos is a name of a location on the Amazon River (a bluff, village, or something like that), so I’m guessing it has something to do with that.

• Posted by: Rogers Cadenhead on Mar 21, 2002, 12:32 PM

Obidos is actually a custom layer on top of the web server that parses requests and builds web pages. Not all pages are served by obidos, but many are.

The city of Obidos is at the bottleneck of the Amazon River, hence its significance.

(I contribute bits of code to obidos. I think I’m contractually obligated to kill you now that I’ve told you.)

• Posted by: Dan S. on Mar 21, 2002, 2:40 PM

So, Dan, I’m assuming that you’re the “weblog guy who used to work on obidos” that Anil was talking about? (And I knew that you had infiltrated yourself into the very fabric of the Internet somehow!)

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Mar 21, 2002, 7:28 PM

Wow. I had no idea when I tossed this out for discussion that the answer would find me here. Thank you! And thank Q!

• Posted by: Rogers Cadenhead on Mar 22, 2002, 9:04 AM

I read Dan’s site, and yet was not able to connect his name to the knowledge that he’s worked on Obidos.

This proves I am an actual imbecile.

• Posted by: Anil Dash on Mar 22, 2002, 4:40 PM

I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to contributing to obidos before, so I don’t think I’m the guy you’re thinking of. And by “contribute to obidos” I don’t mean I’ve worked on the actual engine, just added functions to the template engine.

There has yet to be any proof that Anil is in any way an “imbecile,” no matter what he imbecilically says.

• Posted by: Dan S. on Mar 22, 2002, 4:49 PM

I see a new tagline for Anil’s site: “no proof, as yet, that I am an imbecile!”

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Mar 23, 2002, 12:39 AM

My default browser is Netscape. I keep receiving error message windows regarding as IE is expected. I do not like to use IE unless it’s absolutely necessary for certain tasks. Is there a way I can suppress this atwola thing? Your help shall be highly appreciated!

• Posted by: Netizen Yau on May 7, 2002, 12:13 AM

If you remove America Online, do you find that requests to those sites (CNN, etc) are no longer routed through It seemed to work for me.

• Posted by: Peg L.F. on May 25, 2002, 5:05 AM

I’d love to uninstall atwola by disabling AOL without disturbing Netscape, but since AOL doesn’t appear on my desktop or program files what’s the routine? Grateful in advance.

• Posted by: Charles Modersohn on May 31, 2002, 4:32 PM

OK, now that the above discussion is fully exhausted,
what about What is that?

• Posted by: Regular Ben on Sep 15, 2002, 8:51 AM

I was just wondering what atwola was, my computer kept trying to send my bank account numbers to about 20 to 25 times today. Is that usual???


• Posted by: bob on Jan 27, 2003, 12:13 AM

Is it really trying to send your bank account numbers? How can you tell?

• Posted by: Jason on Jan 27, 2003, 12:22 AM

Here’s a nice site that explains how to do Ad Blocking locally for Windows, Linux/Unix, BeOS and MacOS. Would probably prevent your machine hanging while it looked for ATWOLA (and anything else you chose for that matter).

This method seems to work for me, and would have saved me $$$ on Norton Internet Security (which for many years has incorporated the WRQ firewall program, including their excellent ad-blocking software)…
Good luck

• Posted by: Jojo on Jan 28, 2003, 9:10 AM

I am just learning about all of this and settings etc., but Atwola also leaves cookies on the hard driver and one had an exp. date of 2033! Why would they need that cookie there that long? If any of you a GOOD firewall where one will track the pings attempts at ports etc. This feature gives you a map and then list’s the Company, Host, Handler and level 1, 2, or 3. I get a lot of Borgis, Roadrunner CO. Limelight, AOL they all link back to - some of these pings or port scannings happen from Turkey,Israel, New York, Mexico…Any info on this? CHECK COOKIE LIST - I GUARANTEE ATWOLA WILL BE ON HARD DRIVE

• Posted by: Donna on Nov 5, 2003, 3:05 AM

Thanx Donna, I removed four cookies from AOL and Atwola. They were not automatically deleted when I removed the cookies in Internet Explorer! Now I am hoping I dont´t get the message ´you (or a programme) is trying to ask information from Conect?´ time and time again…

• Posted by: Peter on Nov 17, 2003, 5:16 AM

Interesting discussion on this My Norton Security every once in a while blocks that site from accessing my credit card info. Any thoughts on how this happens?

• Posted by: Tom on Nov 24, 2003, 4:53 PM

who is behind this atwola— please let me know soI can have them prosecuted—

• Posted by: bill on Nov 25, 2003, 6:23 PM

when i try to go on it has on the page “nothing to see here”

• Posted by: bob on Nov 29, 2003, 5:03 PM

Fixing this atwola funny business really should be the concern of aol/compuserve. I only have the problem of the browser hanging and the “” site appearing in the address line when I use “mail on the web” from some countries. It took me a while to discover that the hangup can be cleared immediately by clicking “stop” on the browser toolbar, but please AOL - what is the purpose of this and please send it back to oblivion!!!!

• Posted by: Steve on Dec 9, 2003, 10:07 PM

I don’t get enough spam in my e-mail. Please click on the link and send me a bunch of crappy advertisements

• Posted by: Joe Smith on Dec 12, 2003, 10:04 PM

this thing is a complete nightmare - everytime I start a new discussion on AIM - I get at least a request a minute to download something onto my harddrive.

I’ve read through the conv above and no one seems to know exactly what it is? Is it really trying to send cc or bank info? Can it be stopped using IE and still using AIM?

• Posted by: Dan on Dec 16, 2003, 6:41 PM

Since I last posted on 11/24, I went into my cookies listing and found a couple of atwola ones. I deleted them and also deleted AOL cookies, and checked the block on my cookie manager (Netscape) to not accept cookies from those sites. So far I have not had any “attacks” from atwola to download or seek info. I do not know if there is a correlation but if it continues to work I will post in a couple of months.

• Posted by: tom on Dec 19, 2003, 9:55 AM

I just installed a 30-day free trial of Outpost firewall (jury still out, had never heard of it before but it sounds good and cheaper than renewing Norton) and it has a wizard that pops up as various things happen, asking if you want to let that happen, once always or never. This ar.atwola kept appearing, trying to make connections when I wasn’t doing anything, and just now even trying to run ActiveX controls. And I have always (for 8 or 10 years, at least, since the internet became available to actual humans through ISPs!) assiduously avoided any contact of any sort with AOL — never had anything connected to it on this machine, for sure. I came across this site from a Google search trying to figure out who and what this was — thanks for letting me decide quickly to ban anything it asks for! And remarkably enough, I too had wondered what the heck obidos was or meant, so score two for you! Have a happy!

• Posted by: Susan on Dec 25, 2003, 1:20 AM

I used to love Netscape a long time ago, before Internet Explorer existed. But ever since AĜL took it over, Netscape just hasn’t been the same and it’s not that widely supported anymore. I never liked AĜL to begin with and I don’t understand the appeal and probably never will. It’s bad enough that Micro$oft Window$ is bloated - I don’t need more bloatware from AĜL. If this atwola is some sort of adware/spyware crap, AĜL/Time Warner is looking at a class-action lawsuit. But it doesn’t seem like it is since many of the adware/spyware detectors don’t suspect it. Still, if it is doing some type of data mining on your system, AĜL/Time Warner is looking for trouble.

• Posted by: Chris on Dec 26, 2003, 5:00 AM

why is this such a secret? what are they trying to hide, and…why????

• Posted by: paranoidwithreason on Jan 4, 2004, 10:28 PM

I was wondering what the was for and what does web server rc4-128 for? I recieved a junk mail with a link file that hooked me in there not sure why? And many users seem to be linking
into my emai.

• Posted by: KOCWay2b on Jan 5, 2004, 4:01 PM

SO if you want to get rid of atwola-ads (assume you use windows)

XP/ME : Open C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
W2k: Open C:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
with a texteditor and add below the line localhost

the following lines:

save it and restart your computer.
the next time your browser sends a request to one of these adresses it will be directed to your own computer
effect: you see a blank space and that’s much faster then waiting for blinking clickme-banners. :-)

• Posted by: grEEn-raGe on Jan 13, 2004, 11:54 AM

I don’t mean to muddy the waters, but…
I am using LindowsOS (a linux OS program) to access my email account. When I delete a message, the list of remaining email messages again appears on the screen. There is a small lag time (.5 - 1 second) between the deletion and the remaining messages to be displayed. I get a message in the bar at the bottom of the browser which says “waiting for AR1.ATWOLA.COM” during this lag time. So, what’s up?

• Posted by: Jonathan on Jan 16, 2004, 10:49 AM

At the risk of committing a breach of etiquette, I’d like to ask if someone knows how to find out the POP3 and SMTP addresses used so that I can access my email account with through an email client such as Outlook or Eudora? Right now, I have to go to the website, click on MAIL and then log on to get to read my email and to write email. Maybe it can’t be accomplished, but I’m hoping that it can. Can anyone help?

• Posted by: Jonathan on Jan 16, 2004, 11:09 AM

Sorry Jonathan; I don’t believe you can do that outside of their web client. The primary reason this is a good thing is that it prevents spammers from using them as a relatively anonymous relay. I believe MSN was whored out this way for a while until they stopped allowing non-web access to their mail engine.

• Posted by: E on Jan 30, 2004, 4:11 PM

I have been having a lot of trouble with the net in the last few days, and from careful observation my conclusion is that it clearly involves (ar.)

I am glad other people find suspicious. I suspect something political is involved. My computer went from being just about perfect to having serious problems after I posted something political (anti

• Posted by: Weird on Feb 8, 2004, 2:01 AM


• Posted by: Weird on Feb 8, 2004, 2:02 AM

I would be interested in hearing from anyone affected who also suspects some kind of politically-motivated harrassment.

• Posted by: Weird on Feb 8, 2004, 2:06 AM

I just don’t know how to respond to that without including the words “tin-foil hat” and “black helicopters.”

• Posted by: Jason on Feb 8, 2004, 12:09 PM

I cannot believe other poeple are going through this same problem. When I look on my cookies/security I the same problem. It is as if we use our service and other people are on my computer using it.. It seems as if other people are trying to connect and use this computer and when I am not doing anything?

• Posted by: I had no idea.. on Feb 12, 2004, 1:40 AM

yes “black helicopters” do exist and have you ever seen “the three big green ones” they aren’t from mars.One other thing a “tinfoil hat is much better than no hat, at any place,anywhere,and at any time.”

• Posted by: therealjason on Feb 17, 2004, 1:11 AM

I just found that atwola thing as well, and I will try some of the suggestions on this site to get rid of it. LOL when I saw the one word response “Bush” posted by Weird. I took log onto political sites (proud to say LIBERAL ones!). I have another word—Ashcroft—now that should scare the bejeezes out of you!! Seriously, I think it’s just AOL doing their sneaky corporate marketing stuff. I’m going to take great pleasure when I finally banish it!!!

• Posted by: librarynancy on Feb 21, 2004, 10:57 AM
Please note that comments automatically close after 60 days; the comment spammers love to use the older, rarely-viewed pages to work their magic. If comments are closed and you want to let me know something, feel free to use the contact page!