It’s time to switch web browsers

Last week, Mozilla announced that they’re going to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) by default in Firefox for US users. Chrome, Edge, and Opera also use DoH. Today, more and more websites are using HTTPS — an encrypted connection that, amongst other things, makes your browsing history invisible. However, the way the Internet works, you need to look up an address in order to get to it. That’s what DNS does, and DNS is currently not encrypted, which means that while people can’t see the content and specific pages you’re viewing, your ISP and others can still see which websites you’re visiting, by looking at your DNS traffic. In order to prevent this, these browsers have been implementing this new feature. That sounds good, but a) they’re changing the behavior by default; and b) one company can still see all of your traffic (so, for example, in the case of Firefox, where the default is Cloudflare, Cloudflare will know all of the sites you’ve visited). You may or may not trust Cloudflare, and you can switch to another provider that perhaps you trust more, but to my mind, there are bigger issues. This is not something that your browser should be doing, at all. It’s something your operating system should be doing. The result of this switch by default means, amongst other things, that your operating system’s parental controls will no longer work. It looks to me that most people who understand this stuff and are at the cutting edge of network technology are dropping Chrome and Firefox, and switching to Brave. It’s faster, has better ad blocking, and hasn’t yet broken your trust by changing defaults that override your OS preferences and send all of your browsing history to a single third-party. Perhaps you should, too. (Full disclosure, I use Safari almost exclusively, but now use Brave instead of Chrome when another browser is required).

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