Saturday, February 16, 2008

best practices: firefox + adblock + noscript

I've been a long time fan of AdBlock Plus, but until recently I haven't discovered the true power of another Firefox add-on - NoScript. The magic with this one is that the little Serpent removes all the JunkScript (err, JavaScript) from the page your are visiting, unless told otherwise. Thing that will break lots of sites in this web2.0+ world, but brings a bit more safety to your browsing.

There's also a helper add-on for AdBlock, which is Adblock Filterset.G Updater and handles the task of feeding up-to-date filters to it; What filters? (Internet) Ad removal filters, you'll see the sites as never seen before! :-)

Side comments:

  • if you enable NoScript, don't forget to allow Google Analytics or other trusted visitor tracking engines outhere (be fair towards the webmasters)
  • FireFox 3 Beta seems to be (a bit) more faster than FF2 and the support for 3rd party add-ons is growing; just take it for a ride if your time allows it
  • hey, you have commercials/ads on this page! What?! I don't see any... do you still see them? :-)


Shanx said...

It is painful to see this ignorance perpetrated all over the web. AdBlock Plus blocks everything you wish it to block: scripts, Flash, little trinkets of code. Just specify the rule you wish blocked, it even takes sophisticated regular expressions (regexp).

Best of all -- people much more dedicated than you or I are blocking new ad sites that keep cropping up every day, and AdBlock.FiltersetG brings us that goodness EVERY WEEK without any extra effort on our part. It's totally automated.

These days, you can skip Filterset.G and simply subscribe to AdBlock Plus' rules: (EasyElement + EasyList option should do)

NoScript is not only functionality-challenged, it is also a big annoyance because every time you visit a website you need to whitelist it! This is overkill for almost every modern surfer to the extent that it is stupid. It's like browsing with cookie informants. If you like this anal style of surfing and throwing "baby with the bathwater" then go for it.

The rest of us will continue to use AdBlock Plus which doesn't hurt any good functionality at all, blocks ALL the ad networks and malicious spyware thanks to my rules, and does so without being a performance hog.

tester said...

thanks for your comments.

about NoScript: I've seen instances when AdBlock will break the layout of the whole page (by removing ads and keeping the .js code, etc) and NoScript fixing it :-)

yeps, it's an annoyance to whitelist the new sites, but this is quite ok if your usable Internet "world" doesn't expand every second day (which is quite the case: how many useful things do you discover every second day and -use-daily- from that point on?)

also, the casual Internet user is not a born RegExp guru ("ha, what's regexp?"), I personally don't enjoy FUBARing everything with one wrong placed symbol, I'm in for a KISS, which is:

AdBlock + Updater + NoScript :-P

Anonymous said...

What about firefox + adblock + noscript + privoxy + squid + IP block + proxy server in a third world country filtering?

tester said...

+ pivoxy + ... + ...

require a bit more skill than installing firefox and a few add-ons :-)

plus the cost in running/maintaining a (dedicated) server reduce further the user base.

@anon: one thing I don't get: is only the proxy server in a 3rd world country or the whole setup?

but yeah, running a few load balanced & anonimized & filtering proxies could be fun :-)

Carl said...

@Shanx: The number one thing that NoScript provides over ABP is to block by default, instead of allowing by default. This avoids the eternal problem of the block lists lagging behind the bad guys.

The number two advantage is probably the behind-the-scenes protections like XSS protection and ClearClick. NoScript doesn't just block scripts, it also fights hard to make sure that the scripts can't work around it.