Mozilla tracking protection versus 10.4Fx FPR ad block

Alex Perrier's Avatar

Alex Perrier

20 Mar, 2018 02:19 AM

Hello Cameron! Thanks for your team's quality work with TenFourFox and the prompt security fix with FPR6 SPR1. I was wondering what the difference was between Mozilla tracking protection and TenFourFox ad blocking. For the sake of consistency and compatibility, I prefer to use Mozilla's solution, which is aggressive enough on the basic Disconnect.me list (a strict list blocks even more trackers). How does your ad blocker differ, and is there a way to toggle it on and off? I know yours blocks certain JavaScript code, but I'd like to know more. Also, could you also please consider adding a GUI option in Preferences for the Mozilla method? Thanks again for your time.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 20 Mar, 2018 02:52 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    There is an overlap between the two but in general they cover different purposes. Tracking protection helps protect against certain kinds of tracking beacons and software, which includes some JavaScript (mostly analytics), but also other kinds of tracker content such as image beacons and social network share icons (which usually have analytics attached to them). Some ads do get blocked by Mozilla's tracking protection but doing so is not its primary function.

    Private browsing automatically enables Mozilla tracking protection. Unfortunately, it is possible for false positives in Mozilla tracking protection to cause problems with sites, which is why I don't have a special option for enabling it separately from private browsing. If you want to enable it yourself, go to about:config and set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled to true. Here is more technical information: https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/files/2017/09/tracking-protection-...

    Basic adblock in TenFourFox is really a misnomer, but that's what it disproportionately tends to catch. It is exclusively for preventing expensive JavaScript from running from certain ad and tracking servers, but as a nice side-effect, this prevents most ad networks from functioning properly. It does not specifically deal with tracking servers even though it will block many of them, and it is not designed as a complete ad blocking solution (for example, plain images will not be blocked). I also consider it a bug for basic adblock to disable basic functionality on a site even if that means some ads get through.

    The basic adblock option will be exposed in the UI in FPR7, but you can set the preference tenfourfox.adblock.enabled to true to enable it in FPR6 (you may wish to change tenfourfox.adblock.logging.enabled to false at the same time unless you want to see what it ends up blocking; the hosts are logged to Console.app).

    Do note that both can be enabled together, and you can add other adblocker addons if you want -- basic adblock and Mozilla tracking protection are designed to be additive, not exclusive.

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