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This article was published on February 1, 2016

Take privacy one step further and use this extension to block content delivery networks

Take privacy one step further and use this extension to block content delivery networks
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

If you’re like me and you’re using a combination of an anti-tracking extension and adblocker to ensure your privacy online, you’ll want to know about a new extension called Decentraleyes that takes it one step further.

Decentraleyes is free, but only available for Firefox, and lets you load scripts from content delivery networks (CDNs) without ever accessing them directly — circumventing a huge blind spot in current blockers.

Many sites choose to host critical libraries on external services, like Google Hosted Libraries, to improve load times and ensure they don’t go down, but this also provides another avenue for companies to track the sites you visit.

The problem with extensions like Privacy Badger and Disconnect is these requests can be blocked, but mean that the site loads broken or not at all.

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To circumvent this, Decentraleyes bundles a number of commonly used files like the jQuery library and serves them locally instead of from remote sources.

The extension is compatible with a number of CDNs: Google Hosted Libraries, Microsoft Ajax CDN, CDNJS (Cloudflare), jQuery CDN (MaxCDN), jsDelivr (MaxCDN), Yandex CDN, Baidu CDN, Sina Public Resources, and UpYun Libraries.

As it gets harder to avoid tracking online, extensions like this are an important way to defend against unwanted eyes watching your browsing habits.

Decentraleyes [Mozilla Firefox]