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Add-ons - Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sun, Dec 1, 2019

Table of Contents

Ad blockers

Host file

Ad blockers usually block most ads, but they increase the amount of memory and CPU. This slows down your browsing experience. I recommend to use a host file instead of an ad blocker. A host file also blocks ads that are included in your apps.

Steven black's hosts

License: MIT (Type of MIT: Expat License)

AdNauseam

I recommend to use AdNauseam if you don't want to use a host file (or if you want to use an ad blocker and a host file). AdNauseam uses uBlock Origin in the background and fakes the tracking data.

Google banned this add-on from their web store, but they had no great reason for doing that. AdNauseam is a good way of protesting against ads. It will click on ads and fake the ad-data. companies will lose money by using this. Google probably removed it because it also clicks on their ads.

License: GPLv3

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is the last option that I can give you if none of the other options are for you. It uses less CPU and RAM as the most ad blockers. There is no proof that they allow some ads. Adblock plus does allow some ads.

uBlock is actually not an ad blocker. It's a general-purpose blocker. This add-on is not the same as the uBlock add-on. The development from uBlock stopped. Donations to uBlock will not benefits those who contributed to uBlock Origin.

License: GPLv3

Passwords

KeePassXC

Saving passwords in your browser is insecure according to many security researchers. The main focus of browser developers is probably not security.

Programs which do have a main focus on security exist. One of those programs is KeePassXC. Online password managers also get leaked sometimes and this is the reason why I wouldn't recommend them.

A password manager is also pretty easy to use. You only have to remember your master password (use a strong password for this) and the other passwords are generated. Generated passwords tend to be secure.

License: GPLv3

HTTPS

Smart HTTPS (revived)

Connecting to a website with HTTPS protects the user from many attacks, since it is encrypted. Using HTTP is less secure.

HTTPS doesn't secure you from man-in-the-middle services like Cloudflare, but HTTPS is important.

The Smart HTTPS add-on tries to force HTTPS, but will use HTTP when this is not possible. In fact it is itself an upgrade from the very popular add-on developed by the EFF known as HTTPS Everywhere. The Smart HTTPS add-on is lighter on your resources.

License: MPLv2

Disabling JavaScript

NoScript Security Suite

NoScript Security Suite is a add-on which only allows JavaScript, Flash, Java and other executable content to run from trusted domains of your choice.

License: GPLv2

GNU LibreJS

GNU LibreJS only allows JavaScript with a free license to run. I no longer recommend this add-on.

I think that GNU LibreJS will never work in practice unless some law forces people to license their JavaScript in a GNU LibreJS way. It kinda misses the point. The idea is not bad, but it just does not work currently.

License: GPLv3

Block tracking

Cloud Firewall

The Cloud Firewall add-on can block connections to pages and web resources hosted in major cloud services if the user wishes to do so. Supports blocking Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Cloudflare. Cloud Firewall has a whitelisting option, so that it can disable blocking on specific websites.

I highly recommend this add-on. It might be a bit extreme for some, but it has the possibility to block popular CDNs, which many people associate with spying.

Read my Say no to Cloudflare article for more info about the Cloudflare problem.

License: GPLv3

Privacy Possum

Privacy Possum makes tracking you less profitable.

The owner of the add-on worked on Privacy Badger which is an EFF add-on. He found the privacy benefits limited which is why he created this add-on.

License: GPLv3

Theming

Stylus

Stylus is a fork of the popular Stylish add-on, which can be used to restyle the web. Stylus is a fork of Stylish that is based on the source code of version 1.5.2, which was the most up-to-date version before the original developer stopped working on the project.

The Stylish project added a tracking analytics component which collects data when the original developer left.

License: GPLv3

More privacy add-ons

This section is aimed at those who want to take their privacy to the next level. The next add-ons are pretty “extreme”.

TorSwitch

This privacy focused list couldn't be complete without mentioning Tor. This add-on connects to a Tor proxy. The Tor package on GNU+Linux and variants of it use this proxy by default.

This add-on will make your browsing experience slower. Tor claims to offer anonymity, but you shouldn't trust it completely. Exit nodes can be sniffed and such.

License: GPLv3

User-Agent Switcher

You can spoof your User-Agent string by using this add-on.

Pretending to be a different browser can be useful in a number of different situations. Web pages can require someone to use a specific browser to access their site.

License: GPLv3

uMatrix

This add-on is a bit like a small firewall. It gives you lots of control of your privacy.

uMatrix puts you in full control of where your browser is allowed to connect, what type of data it is allowed to download, and what it is allowed to execute. Nobody else decides for you: You choose.

License: GPLv3

Suggestions to expand this list

Feel free to contact me.

These are my recommendations and I prefer to keep the list small and browsable, but I appreciate suggestions. I only want to include the add-ons which I find the best. Feel free to try to explain why some add-on might be better.

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