privacy-focused browser

privacy-focused browser

technical paper

After giving a comprehensive overview of the right browser for safe surfing in spring 2020, we would now like to introduce a new alternative. Librewolf! We have summarized in this article why it is so simple as well as so good.

problem with installed browser

But first, a quick review of Browser installed for safe surfingGoogle’s Chrome uses a variety of tracking tools and evaluates the data it collects. Microsoft’s Edge is suspected of sending data to the US intelligence agency NSA. Opera should be treated with caution after being sold to a Chinese consortium. Firefox still offers the best overall package of speed, level of data protection, security and freedom, but there is room for improvement when it comes to data security.

Librewolf: the best of old and new

In the meantime, though, there’s an interesting new option: LibreWolf. LibreWolf is a fork of Firefox, which is a fork of the famous Firefox browser. LibreWolf is a personally edited version of Firefox. This means that the source code from the Firefox browser is used, but has been expanded to include additional functions and mechanisms. LibreWolf is a so-called “community-driven project”, that is, it is voluntarily further developed by interested users.

The changes in Firefox are primarily in the increased level of data protection and the maximum possible degree of privacy. Since LibreWolf is based on Firefox code, the user interface is hardly different from Firefox. Users find their way right away. This proven and sound utility is now continuously supplemented by LibreWolf with protection of data security, security and privacy. This is why LibreWolf is so different from the “normal” Firefox browser. Nice: All Firefox add-ons and extensions are also supported by LibreWolf.

But what makes LibreWolf better than the others now?

The changes – especially compared to “normal” Firefox – appear minor at first glance. On second glance, however, it becomes clear that LibreWolf addresses exactly the points that give reason for criticism in all other browsers: privacy, security, and data sovereignty.

History, cookies and website data are deleted when the browser is closed. It’s definitely part of the standard for data-saving browsing. But Librewolf goes a few steps further:

  • LibreWolf does not collect any data about the user.
  • Neither diagnostic data nor crash reports nor user telemetry are transmitted.
  • The standard search engine (usually also recommended) is DuckDuckGo.
  • The validity of the certificates is verified by querying the OCSP server (hard fail mode).
  • The tracking and ad blocker uBlock Origin is pre-installed by default.

uBlock Origin is a powerful add-on that provides comprehensive protection against tracking by websites – inclusive fingerprinting – While blocking ads while browsing.

The search engine can of course be changed, but only for data protection and privacy-friendly options (StartPage, MetaGer and SearXNG). Popular but still to be enjoyed with caution google search engine generally cannot be selected. Key words: privacy by design.

downer update

However, there are also disadvantages. According to the developers, LibreWolf is based on the always current version of Mozilla Firefox. However, experience has shown that it can take up to a few days for this to be implemented in LibreWolf.

In addition, the user will have to update LibreWolf manually, as there is no automatic update process. The same applies to add-ons installed by the user. At least “LibreWolf WinUpdater” can help here.

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With the exception of Android, LibreWolf is available on all common operating systems. In addition to Windows, the browser is also available for macOS and Linux.

Is Librewolf a serious alternative?

In short, it becomes clear that LibreWolf is an exciting and well-thought-out alternative to well-known browsers. While Mozilla’s Firefox is already clearly outperforming its competition, LibreWolf may top it here as well. With its consistently implemented maxims (privacy and security by design), LibreWolf represents a true privacy-friendly browsing option.

More clear information. available on LibreWolf FAQ page and at Expert magazine “c’t” (paywall),

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