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Old 08-03-2010, 04:16 AM   #1
tronkel
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A faster and safer Firefox experience


Here are a few tips to make your Mozilla Firefox experience faster, safer and more private. Most "average" users might not bother with these, but the more discerning types will find them helpful.

1. Install the following Firefox extensions - NoScript, Ghostery, Adblock Plus, OptimizeGoogle.

2. Type "about:config" (no quotes) in the address bar.

Toggle network.http.pipelining to "true".

Toggle network.http.proxy.pipelining to "true".

Then set integer value for network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to 40.

Right-click anywhere that's blank on the page and then create a new item called "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its integer value to 0 (zero)

The Ghostery extension will allow you to selectively block hidden data-gathering activities such as traffic-ranking, click-throughs and such stuff like that, which can monitor what you do on the net. Some of that stuff is probably harmless but slows down your browsing experience during its data-gathering phase. The other extension recommendations are well-known as to what they do.
 
Old 08-03-2010, 05:39 AM   #2
TobiasH
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Thanks for the tip!
 
Old 08-03-2010, 07:06 AM   #3
tronkel
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You're welcome TobiasH!
 
Old 08-05-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tronkel View Post
Here are a few tips to make your Mozilla Firefox experience faster, safer and more private.
How much faster?
Any statistics?

How much safer?
How did you test that?
 
Old 08-05-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Another thing to look at is Flash cookies. You can set Firefox to control cookies in various ways, but that doesn't stop the Flash plug-in from creating cookies that Firefox knows nothing about. They live in both
~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects
~/.macromedia//Flash_Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys
If you don't trust them, the only cure seems to be making these directories read-only.
 
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
kindofabuzz
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The pipelining set to true could actually cause problems on some sites. BTW, for the best Firefox forums go to forums.mozillazine.org. I've been a member since '04, great community there. and everything you want to know about Firefox, Thunderbird, dev builds, etc...
 
Old 08-06-2010, 09:49 AM   #7
tronkel
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unSpawn wrote:

Quote:
How much faster?
Any statistics?

How much safer?
How did you test that?
I have done no formal tests on the speed aspects using say a timing tool, but the difference is very noticeable in real use. For example, I installed a new distro, installed Firefox and forgot to make the about:config changes. The difference was immediately noticeable, so I went back into about:config, made the changes and the effect was as before.

Perceived speed is more about what you are used to. Faster loading of say, a complex page such as a personal iGoogle page is a welcome improvement IMHO.

Browsing safety is a subject in itself, but to cut a long story short, the less analysis that is done on web-page visits, the more difficult it is to build up a statistical profile. Hence the Ghostery recommendation. In my book that is an important real-world safety paradigm.

I'm getting more and more annoyed with the way information is covertly being hi-jacked via the Internet.

The original Internet was supposed to be simply a means of facilitating the exchange of research information between academic institutions.

Nowadays though, the net is now in real danger of being hi-jacked by big-business, political and such-like interests. Net Neutrality? - not for much longer the way things are shaping up. A return to the original safer and nicer internet model has become a first priority as far as I'm concerned.
 
Old 08-06-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
GrapefruiTgirl
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tronkel,

you may like this thread here too, if you have not yet seen it:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ox-3-a-728014/

All sorts of our favorite goodies there!

And, thanks for the tip about Ghostery - never heard of it, but it sounds worth reading about at least.

Cheers
 
Old 08-06-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
craigevil
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Extensions to block crap or to get rid of it that I use:
- Adblock Plus 1.2.1
- Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper 1.0.6
- NoScript 2.0
- OptimizeGoogle 0.78.1
- BetterPrivacy 1.43.3
- HTTPS-Everywhere 0.2.2

I would read the reviews on Ghostery, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../9609/reviews/
When I tried it, Firefox ran slower than usual.

If you are really worried about Privacy use a hosts file, Tor, and do not accept cookies.
Also do not use Google to search, instead use ixquick or duckduckgo or scroogle.

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt

You might also consider using the HTTPS Everywhere Firefox Extension
http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/ef...tension-061810

The more extensions that you use the more overhead it creates which can lead to pages loading slower.
Extensions do not do much to speed up Firefox that comes more from tweaking.
tweaking the **** out of firefox 3
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ox-3-a-728014/

Also see
GoogleSharing :: A Special Kind Of Proxy http://www.googlesharing.net/
The SSD Project | EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Project https://ssd.eff.org/
Tor: anonymity online - https://www.torproject.org/
The Freenet Project - http://freenetproject.org/

Last edited by craigevil; 08-07-2010 at 01:29 AM.
 
Old 08-06-2010, 02:35 PM   #10
arizonagroovejet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Another thing to look at is Flash cookies...
...If you don't trust them, the only cure seems to be making these directories read-only.
I tried this once and found it can cause breakage. For example the BBC iPlayer website wasn't usable. Attempting to watch anything would cause an apparent hang and then Firefox would pop up one of it's 'this script is taking a very long time' messages.

So I re-enabled the write permissions and now just periodically delete the contents of the directory. Come to think of it I could put a wrapper script around Firefox to delete the contents when Firefox quits...
 
Old 08-07-2010, 07:08 AM   #11
tronkel
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Craigevil mentioned the use of TOR. I've installed it several times. It is slow.
I've been reading somewhere that it is crackable and that various government agencies are going after it and trying to make it illegal.
Anybody know more?

I've also looked into JonDo and it's recommended JonDoFox accessory.
JonDo seems to be a similar system to TOR but needs Java and is also slow. Performance seems to vary depending on the originating server that you connect via. There are paid-for options that claim to give a faster browsing experience. I've never tried a paid-for option. Does anyone know if they paid-for options are worth having in terms of performance?

JonDoFox is a severely locked-down Firefox install (either as a stand-alone Firefox installation or integratable into an existing Firefox installation as a separate profile). Again like TOR it is slow, but if you need this level of anonymity then it appears to do the trick. You can easily check its level of anonymity by clicking on a bookmarked site provided within the profile.

Personally I use a number of the extensions as listed by the contributors above. This seems adequate for me without having to resort to the use of TOR or a specially locked down browser profile - thus retaining full browsing speed.

Last edited by tronkel; 08-07-2010 at 09:57 AM.
 
Old 08-07-2010, 07:36 AM   #12
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil View Post
Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File
Please see http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...rowser-729149/ for objective reasons why using /etc/hosts is an inefficient and deprecated "solution".
 
Old 08-07-2010, 07:38 AM   #13
craigevil
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Legal FAQ for Tor Relay Operators
https://www.torproject.org/eff/tor-legal-faq.html.en

Freenet is harder to track but is slower and only works with Freenet nodes/sites. It also uses Java which might make it too heavy for older machines.
 
Old 08-07-2010, 07:49 AM   #14
craigevil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
Please see http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...rowser-729149/ for objective reasons why using /etc/hosts is an inefficient and deprecated "solution".
I won't argue that since it was explained quite well in that thread.

It works for me, and the file is updated at least once a month as it has been for yrs. If nothing else it blocks the click tracking cookies from things like doubleclick as well as known malware sites which helps keep the wife's Eee that runs XP safe. Two yrs with no malware on a windows Xp system isn't bad at all.

OpenDNS's Family Shield is another way to block questionable sites.
 
Old 08-07-2010, 08:03 AM   #15
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tronkel View Post
A return to the original safer and nicer internet model has become a first priority as far as I'm concerned.
With all due respect I somehow get the idea that you are mixing up disparate items. Personally speaking in any discussion on technical details I would try and leave out talk of politics as long as possible as not to confuse things unnecessarily. Sure ISP and carrier policies may affect ones browsing experience but why drag a bigger concept like Net Neutrality into this? And while using NoScript sure has a tangible effect on ones security while browsing the 'net why would you rally against profiling while you use iGoogle yourself? I mean it requires JavaScript to be enabled and its offered by a company which data-mining practices at least raise eyebrows every now and then?..
 
  


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