A grain of sand in the browser war with FreeBSD
First of all, let me be clear browser war is not really the topic of this post... rather how browser war led me to a way of protecting some of my privacy (f*** tracking).
- For years, I mainly used one browser, it was easy and blocking some dns in the router allowed me to enjoy a clean internet.
- When I tried to open Netflix or Amazon Prime on my FreeBSD, it didn't work, and got me quite pissed of when I learned that the sole reason is that they used WideVine, a proprietary codec from Google, who would not release a FreeBSD codec.
- I considered ditching both services, but there seem to be some complex dependency issues with my girlfriend :s
- So hey, easy peasy... I installed a debian in bhyve, got chrome installed and tadaaaam: no sound!
- There's always a way around, so I tried linux-browser-installer and it worked!
- So I tried to login to google in that browser, and it wouldn't let me.
- Tried in the bhyve-vm installed before: google works.
- At this point, note that I have 6 browsers working on my machine:
- google-chrome and brave in a silent bhyve vm.
- google-chrome and brave as linux apps
- Firefox and chromium as native FreeBSD apps
- So of course I wondered... which one(s) should I keep? - Surprisingly my conclusion is all of them:
- The tracking behemots where I need open sessions (so far): Google, facebook, amazon, whatsapp (oups mentionned fb allready), ... all run in chrome in a vm. I don't use that vm to browse anything else than their websites: please feel free to track.
- The ones that need sound: netflix, amazon prime run in the emulated linux chrome, I don't use that browser for anything else.
- youtube: in the emulated linux brave: not logged in and blocking ads.
- I built another debian vm, that I use especifically for banking or cryptocurrency exchanges
- I do some browsing in native chromium, and some in native firefox - both loaded with security extensions:
- NoScript (block all js by default)
- Privacy Badger (because yes)
- Cookie autodelete (because no)
- https everywhere (what else?)
- AdNauseum (I love it, it just clicks on random ads and renders AI tracking datasets useless)
I believe that everybody is happy: every participant of the browser wars has a little market % on my computer: it is good for their numbers and that is what their managers look at. Ram producers are happy too.
Some tracking data appears somewhere, so someone must be happy (at least as long as they don't realise the data is fake).
I am happy, because I see less ads, am less tracked, and last but not least: it is much more secure.
Using so many browsers, managing passwords could potentially become complicated, so I decided to switch to KeePassXC, and pull all my passwords of the cloud.