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10-21-09, 07:29 PM   #1
Yhor
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Browsers (Security/performance ?)

I'll start off by saying that I've loved and used Firefox for a number of years now. I hope to find a solution to my problem without switching, but I'm prepared to go on a hunt for whatever is better for my needs.

It started back in May (I believe) with Microsoft injecting an addon into my Firefox without permission or notification. I had recently installed XP on a new drive and did an automatic update to save time. I removed the addon(s) via regedit and turned off updates and notifications by microsoft. Since then, I've had to remove this addon approximately 3 addition times... I have a problem with this and find it to be getting old really fast. I updated FF prior to the last removal of that addon (yesterday, 20th May, 2009) and I check updates for FF regularly.

My security, and my browser needs.
I use AVG and Comodo Pro for AV/Firewall-AV

I frequent sites such as YouTube, Hulu, and Fancast. So a stable video support is needed.

I'm a forums junky, and prefer to run adblock and noscript (or equivalent). As you can see to me left, I support sites I trust and frequent.


So, can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm opposed vehemently to Chrome and IE (security). I know there aren't many other choices out there for an XP user, but I wanted some trustworthy and (semi)unbiased advice (hence the reason I posted here, instead of Mozilla or other such sites).

Before I get flamed, lets get this out of the way...
I'm a loser
I need to lrn2interwebz
I kick kittens when confronted with something I need help for.

So, thanks for any helpful advice in advance .
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10-21-09, 08:20 PM   #2
Petrah
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Opera.

Or, you can keep Firefox and install a custom host file, use OpenDNS, and block the darned thing once and for all from being installed anymore.
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10-21-09, 08:45 PM   #3
zero-kill
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I use Chrome, live with the ads, and don't mind the occasional software glitch, after all nothing's perfect
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10-21-09, 09:18 PM   #4
Seerah
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The .NET addon stays disabled for me, though I wish it was gone completely. I actually had forgotten to disable it when I installed Win7, and I got a popup the other day from FF saying that it was an unstable/insecure addon currently causing problems, FF disabled it, and for me to restart the browser.
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10-21-09, 10:14 PM   #5
Yhor
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Originally Posted by Seerah View Post
The .NET addon stays disabled for me, though I wish it was gone completely. I actually had forgotten to disable it when I installed Win7, and I got a popup the other day from FF saying that it was an unstable/insecure addon currently causing problems, FF disabled it, and for me to restart the browser.
Same for me. I should be able to just live with it, but I'm concerned because of the installation process to begin with. Why hide it (the installation), why not ask for permission, and why make it so a regedit is necessary to remove it?

I've been checking out Opera, and so far I like it, even with no adblocking or noscript type features (that I've found yet, only just installed and checked performance). Everything I've read so far places it as #1 for security (browser code itself, without addons) and in the top tier for performance as well. I'm not ready to commit to it, but it looks and performs very well.

I'm looking at the option of keeping FF using the methods Petra described as well, but reading about Opera has me thinking about the bloat of other browsers (and I'm uneducated in regards to pros/cons of bloat, DNS, and custom host files... but I'll attempt to get educated asap).

Thanks again for the advice, comments, and general information. It is very much appreciated.
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10-22-09, 12:31 AM   #6
TekNoir
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In Opera: Alt+P and go to the advanced tab. Select Content and uncheck all options. This makes Opera act like NoScript; not allowing any sort of script or addon to run on the page unless whitelisted. To selectively enable options for a particular domain, right-click on the page and select Edit Site Preferences. This has been around for quite some time in Opera -- which has been on the bleeding edge of web-browser technology since they began -- and it functions better than NoScript in my opinion, especially when combined with content blocking.

You use content blocking to block ads (or anything else you tire of seeing). Right-click on a page and select Block Content near the bottom. The browser then displays instructions near the top. You can find extensive premade block-lists on the internet if you so desire.

Opera also supports user-javascript (think Greasemonkey) if you are into that sort of thing. It is certainly not necessary and goes above and beyond what the NoScript or AdBlock addons do; in its ability alter the content and layout of the page itself.

For what it is worth, Chrome was the only browser not hacked during the first day (or for the entirety of the event for that matter) in the recent Pwn2Own hacking event, due to its built-in sandbox that isolates the browser from the OS. I don't think Opera was in the mix due to low market share, but that should make it less targeted and therefore more safe (to an extent).

Also, the next release of Firefox is supposed to have a "fix" for situation with the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant addon. It may have already been released by now. *shrug* I don't use Firefox on any of my systems.

Last edited by TekNoir : 10-22-09 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Battery almost died on me while typing.
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10-22-09, 01:27 AM   #7
Yhor
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Thanks Tek .

I have been enjoying 'playing' with the features and reading up on Opera, and forgot to come and update regarding Block It and an optimized ad blocking script (load time). Seems to be a great deal better in performance than other browsers I've used as well. No issues yet with anything... I might be an Opera convert.

Regarding Chrome, if you're anything like me and actually read eula/tos then you know why I wont use Chrome, among a few other reasons. Security with Chrome for me has nothing to do with hacking/malware from outsiders, it's that I don't trust Google. I know I'll get flamed for that, but I just have no reason to trust them (and I prefer not to debate the legitimacy of my paranoia ).
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10-22-09, 02:07 AM   #8
Torhal
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Originally Posted by Yhor View Post
<snip>I don't trust Google. I know I'll get flamed for that, but I just have no reason to trust them (and I prefer not to debate the legitimacy of my paranoia ).
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10-22-09, 02:28 AM   #9
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You always have the Iron version of chrome without usage tracking and such, but I'm not sure why you would trust anyone at all.
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10-22-09, 04:35 AM   #10
Zyonin
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Seeing this issue with the .NET FF extension makes me glad I am running Linux. Sure I have Mono (FOSS implementation of .NET for *nix based systems such as Linux and OS X) installed, however Mono does not insist on installing unwanted and unsecure Firefox extensions. I saw the brewha regarding Microsoft's meddling last winter and avoided the .NET extention on Windows by not upgrading to .NET 3.5. I did not have any need to upgrade as I did not use much in the way of .NET applications and the one or two I did have where happy with 3.0. Then again, I had Windows Update ask me BEFORE it downloaded or installed ANYTHING. This gave me a chance to look over what it wanted to download/install and research if needed. So there was no enforce upgrade nor any meddling with my Firefox installation.

I recommend (if you are comfortable with Windows) to NOT use Windows Updates Automatic Update. Instead choose the option for Windows Update to notify you of new updates waiting to be downloaded.
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Last edited by Zyonin : 10-22-09 at 04:38 AM.
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10-22-09, 05:50 AM   #11
ffxiedyn
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Lykofos, do you run WoW in Linux too? hubby has tried to use Ubunto, but when trying to install WoW via Wine, it just does not preform well.

If you do run WoW in linux, could you tell me how you solved this issue?
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10-22-09, 06:22 AM   #12
Zyonin
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Originally Posted by ffxiedyn View Post
Lykofos, do you run WoW in Linux too? hubby has tried to use Ubunto, but when trying to install WoW via Wine, it just does not preform well.

If you do run WoW in linux, could you tell me how you solved this issue?
First of all, you need the latest version of Wine.

Then you need to change WoW's config to use OpenGL rather than Direct3D. Add this to config.wtf (open with a text editor, I like SciTE for this):

Code:
SET gxApi "opengl"
There some other tweaks you can do. Check the World of Warcraft in Ubuntu's Community Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WorldofWarcraft

The other thing is you need the latest version of your GFX card's drivers. If you have a NVIDIA card, you usually will have the latest version by default if you let Ubuntu auto update. However if you have an ATI card, you may run into issues. Essentially if your ATI GFX card uses a GPU older than the R500 series, you are out of luck.

ATI's driver support for pre R600 cards stinks and does not support 3d models (such as those used in WoW) every well if at all. I have this issue myself. R600 and new GPUs are supported with ATI's fglrx/Catalyst drivers and the FOSS RadeonHD (which are built by Novell sponsored by AMD/ATIm support 3d modeling for R500 and R600 series GPUs). For 3d gaming, you are better off using the fglrx/Catalyst drivers as the RadeonHD drivers are still a work in progress.

Other than the driver issue, WoW does work rather will under Linux and some users have reported WoW to be faster and more responsive under Linux. It does help that WoW was natively designed to use OpenGL (as it does on OS X) and there is a very active community to support WoW on Linux. The only major that has arisen was a mistake on Blizzard's part (Blizz banned some accounts of Linux users by mistake. The accounts in question were restored). There is no official Blizzard support for WoW on Linux, however the WoW fan community as well as the Ubuntu community have undertaken this themselves.

You do not need CrossOver or other third party, for pay Windows api/emulators, Wine will take care your needs quite nicely.

Guild Wars (another MMO I play) also has excellent Linux support (with information on the official Guild Wars Wiki).
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Last edited by Zyonin : 10-22-09 at 06:28 AM.
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10-22-09, 07:51 AM   #13
Laurent
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Try having a look at http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea...y_and_tomorrow It's Maximum PC's internet browser review.

Hope that helps

Cheers!
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11-08-09, 05:21 AM   #14
Yhor
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Thanks for all of the information and help. Only 2 sites have trouble with Opera, my bank and my isp webmail. I ended up grabbing openDNS and implemented a HOSTS file, but I'm sticking with Opera for everything other than the two sites I have issues with. Opera just runs so much faster and it's layout and themes seem like they're made for me.

Thanks again,

~Yhor
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11-08-09, 06:03 AM   #15
Elhana
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http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...1-6383ba034eab

lets you uninstall ClickOnce crap from firefox
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11-08-09, 10:34 PM   #16
Vyper
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Originally Posted by Yhor View Post
Thanks for all of the information and help. Only 2 sites have trouble with Opera, my bank and my isp webmail. I ended up grabbing openDNS and implemented a HOSTS file, but I'm sticking with Opera for everything other than the two sites I have issues with. Opera just runs so much faster and it's layout and themes seem like they're made for me.

Thanks again,

~Yhor
Yeah, I've tried Opera a couple times now, and wanted to love it, but just couldn't. The funny thing is that I think what turned me off the most had nothing to do with web browsing but rather with the mail client.

I never could get it to connect to my personal mail server, or even get a useful message out of it. It would just tell me it couldn't connect and nothing else, even when I enabled "advanced logging". Meanwhile my server logs showed that it kept establishing a connection and then disconnecting for (apparently) no reason.

Crappy error messages FTW!
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11-09-09, 12:13 AM   #17
Yhor
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Originally Posted by Vyper View Post
Yeah, I've tried Opera a couple times now, and wanted to love it, but just couldn't. The funny thing is that I think what turned me off the most had nothing to do with web browsing but rather with the mail client.

I never could get it to connect to my personal mail server, or even get a useful message out of it. It would just tell me it couldn't connect and nothing else, even when I enabled "advanced logging". Meanwhile my server logs showed that it kept establishing a connection and then disconnecting for (apparently) no reason.

Crappy error messages FTW!
I had the same problem, but I never used a mail client for FF either. No biggie and I only check my email every other day or so anyway. I never answer my phone either...

The problem with my isp webmail is that it only recognizes FF and IE (and only recently for FF). When I go there on Opera it always shows java script as disabled, no matter what the settings are (disabled my custom scripts, enabled all cookies, made sure java was enabled... etc.).

My email consists of BestBuy junk mail, Pizza Gut offers, Papa John's offers, website notifications, and forwarded dumb jokes from family and friends. All of which can stay unread for as long as I want.
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11-09-09, 08:59 AM   #18
Slakah
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My god the Opera UI is worse than it was last time I used it, I do like the smoother than chrome scrolling though.
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11-09-09, 11:03 AM   #19
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Workaround

For a good number of websites, the fix is as simple as loading the page that you are having trouble with and then right-clicking to bring up the context menu. Select Edit Site Preferences from near the bottom. On the new dialog box, select the Network tab. Change browser identification to be either "Identify as Firefox" or "Mask as Firefox". Try both, starting with Identify, to see which works better for you.

These steps have fixed nearly all sites that I have encountered that aren't supposedly "compatible" with the Opera browser. It always tastes funny for me to say that, considering Opera is the most standards compliant browser and has been for a long time.
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11-09-09, 11:07 AM   #20
TekNoir
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Also, on Vyper's mail issue... My wife had that problem with our mail server a while back and fixed it but I don't remember how. If I learn more, I will post here for posterity.
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