The browser wars are back, but it’s different this time

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ronjor, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  2. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Privacy is a lost cause. It's not that I don't care, it's just a no win situation with all of them. I am more likely to choose a browser based on security and usability.
     
  3. Azure Phoenix

    Azure Phoenix Registered Member

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    At first, users were forced to decide between Firefox (privacy) vs Chrome (security)

    With Brave around, I don't need to concern myself with such "war" nor the current one. Since Brave already covers both areas (security and privacy)
     
  4. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I don't see why this should be the case? This is the time that browsers like Brave, Vivaldi and Firefox should be able to take market share back from Chrome, by simply focusing on privacy. By now, everyone should know that Chrome can't be trusted. BTW, on smartphones I almost never use a browser.
     
  5. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I tend to agree. Although with usability I would include the ability to use a decent adblocker.
     
  6. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    There are too many thing to track. DNS queries, ISPs monitoring traffic, etc. Cell phones track way more than you will need to worry about a browser doing. Firefox seems to be making an honest effort but the privacy war is already lost and any fight to get it back goes way beyond a browser.

    @Daveski17 A decent ad blocker is my primary requirement for a browser just because of malware.
     
  7. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    An often seen error is assuming privacy is uniform. No, privacy is individual matters. You can't say A is better in privacy w/out specifying a context. Firefox by default sends almost as much data as Chrome, but a difference is you can disable most of them. And data sending itself does not necessarily mean privacy invasion. It can be compatible w/ privacy (as a matter of identifiability & linkability in this case) like Brave does. OTOH Brave had given worse control on 3rd-party cookie than Chrome until recently. But it only mattered if you take web tracking as privacy invasion, which is not the case for me except for some edge cases.

    Security is also not uniform. Firefox can be much more secure about TLS if tweaked properly as Chromium doesn't give such a flexibility while Chromium's sandbox is tougher than Firefox. But it's questionable if either of them matters for common home user.

    Decent ad-blocker is again an individual matter. I guess most people only care if they see ads or not. They will be satisfied even w/ significantly neutered Contents Blocker on iOS or future blocker on Chromium w/ Manifest v3. Others care if ads are removed, and thus any blocker on Chromium will not be decent for their inability to use HTML filter.

    Browser vendors are trying to use "privacy" as a marketing tool since most people won't think twice so if they hear X has better privacy they'll use it even when it doesn't matter for him, if other differences were not important.
     
  8. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    @Daveski17 A decent ad blocker is my primary requirement for a browser just because of malware.[/QUOTE]

    Which possibly rules out Chrome.
     
  9. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    It does but I only use Chrome at work for testing when required to do so. I can't even install it on my laptop because the "Software Reporter Tool" uses 60 - 90% of my CPU all day.
     
  10. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    If that was due to coming Manifest v3, I'd say even the current preview implementation of it will be suffice as long as you don't browse 5+ languages sites regularly and don't adopt default-deny approach, IF you really care ONLY about malvertising which is diminishing.
    If ad-blocker on Chrome w/ Manifest v3 is not decent for you, with all my honesty you should also give up using Safari, or rather Mac.
     
  11. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    You're not the only one with this problem from what I can see. Chrome was always a memory hog though. I don't miss it at all.
     
  12. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    with chrome portable by j. t. haller, you can block swrt. no cpu usage at all.
     
  13. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I think it can be removed anyway. It's funny that Chrome started out as a stripped-down browser with no bloat.
     
  14. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    indeed. and the same goes for google, the search engine.
     
  15. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK, I see what you mean, you meant it in a global way. Yes that's true, I also don't have any illusions that I can block ALL tracking. However, it would be cool if Vivaldi, Brave and Firefox could put up a fight against Google. The problem is that the first two are based on Chromium, it's not really clear to me if they can block certain changes to the browser framework that might be bad for privacy.

    BTW, you can install OSArmor to tackle this problem. It will kill the "Software Reporter Tool" once it starts, because it sees it as an exploit like attack. But it's probably best to drop crappy Chrome. I only used it for testing, but I now use Edge for this.

    https://www.novirusthanks.org/products/osarmor/
     
  16. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Yes, Edge makes a decent replacement. So far. I'm not putting Chrome on my personal machines.
     
  17. Surt

    Surt Registered Member

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    I've been using the absurdly and ineptly named AdGuard for Android for over five years, first purchased for my Nexus 7. I now have two lifetime licenses for my MotoX4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.1.

    It should be named AdGaurd Internet Security for Android. Or something that specifies it's more than just and ad blocker.

    As it's not in the Google store, initially needs sideloading but updates/upgrades are in-app. The lifetime license is about $20 USD, as I recall.

    Under the hood:
    AdGuardDroid4wilders.jpg
    All those settings drill down to critically granular options. User rules are easy, I have ||yahoo.com/$app=system, for example, because Samsung thinks the Galaxy needs such connectivity. I disagree.

    Monitoring with Anti Spy Mobile's Network Connections, the difference with AdGuard toggled off and on is distinct. It's amazing how quiet and snappy the device becomes. Far more than any ad-block only app.

    I can't imagine using any Android device without it. And just the default install won't upset the mainstream users' experience. I know as the few folks I've recommended it to haven't called me other than to thank.

    Excellent docs:
    https://kb.adguard.com/en/android

    Tons of providers with plenty of settings to toggle. Much more fun than Android's interface.
    AdGuardDroid4wilders2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  18. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    That rule blocks any connection to yahoo.com made by system, is it what you meant? While AdGuard Pro works perfectly on Android and Windows, it's very neutered on iOS so AdGuard team recommend to combine AG DNS on the platform (but still quite limited). iOS is the least adblock-friendly environment on earth which anyone who wants cutting-edge adblocker have to avoid, IDK about Mac except Contents Blocker on it is equally neutered.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  19. Surt

    Surt Registered Member

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    Exactly. Any other app is allowed.

    ||facebook.com^ blocks it in all apps, but not system.

    174.129.166.49$network - blocks access to 174.129.166.49:*
    I haven't dug into if 174.129.166.49:8080$network, for example, is valid or if there is a method for an IP range or cidr.
    Haven't needed 'em. Yet.

    iOS users have no for need these things. Apple's security is 110% bulletproof and they would never use anyone's data for anything. Apple users embrace whatever advertising is pushed to their devices. [/SARC]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  20. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    The problem is, I consider Edge to be just as untrustworthy as Chrome when it comes to tracking.
     
  21. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    What if I told you that it's possible to have a very bare bone browser with zero tracking, based on latest Blink engine running in secure OS in a virtual machine?
    Would you be interested?
    Would anybody else be?
     
  22. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Depends on what you mean with bare bones. But I'm not interested running a browser inside a virtual machine. I'm quite happy with my Vivaldi protected by Sandboxie combo. I believe Vivaldi isn't doing any massive tracking, I kinda trust them.
     
  23. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I consider them to all be untrustworthy. Between Edge and Chrome, I don't get the "Software Reporter Tool" using all of my CPU all day long in Edge.
     
  24. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Yes, it was one of the dumbest moves ever seen, it's almost like Google is trying to sabotage themselves. Chrome sucks, Gmail sucks and they also had to ruin Google Search. I still like YouTube, they haven't messed it up yet.
     
  25. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    By bare browsing I mean:
    Just browsing and downloading. No WebRTC, no geolocation, no USB enumeration, no Bluetooth API, no WebAudio Api, not zillions of useless w3c approved JavaScript Apis that are only good for tracking, just basic JavaScript that you could turn on and off as you like (aka NoScript), no hyperlink auditing (aka <a> tag ping attribute), Images and possible media file support (like mp4, mpeg etc..).
    And if you want history support.
     
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