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Zero-Bullshit Web Browsing (12024-03-03)

brook > getlinks > browsers

It's hilarious to me how much human effort has gone into making browsers faster only for ads to quickly slurp up that extra headroom.

@theavalkyrie, 12021-07-02

The current state of the web? Total bullshit. If you're tired of dealing with stupid ads, tracking, ads with sound, scripts that make the page lag, and ads that deliver malware, here's a few tips on how to avoid them.


  • 11996-12005: Internet Explorer (3 - 6) on 5+ PCs.
  • 12005-12014: Mozilla Firefox (1.5 - 27.0 24esr) on 4 PCs.
  • 12014-12023: Pale Moon (24.6.2 - 28.15.0 28.13.0) on PC5014.
  • Since 12023: Waterfox (G5.1.2 - ) on 4 PCs.

  • 12009-12018: Opera (10.10 - 54) on 3 PCs.
  • 12017-12023: Vivaldi (1.11 - 5.6) on PC5011/PC5014.
  • Since 12023: Waterfox Classic (2022.11 - ) on PC5023.
  • Since 12023: Ungoogled Chromium for webshit broken on Gecko.

  • 12013-12014: Waterfox
  • 12017-12018: Lynx
  • 12018-12019: Brave

For Fun
  • Since 12011: Internet Explorer (9 - 11)
  • Since 12018: Opera 12.18
  • Since 12020: Netscape 7.02
  • Since 12021: Utilu MFC 12.12 (Firefox 2.0 - 68esr)
  • Since 12023: X Mosaic 2.7b6

Firstly, if you have Google Chrome? Get rid of it. It's no secret that Google wants to gather as much data about you as possible so they can sell it to their advertising-industry customers. No need to make it easy for them.


While I prefer to not do much on my smartphone, you may feel differently. For a better surfing experience on the go, try the F-Droid installer for FOSS apps. Then, for the Chromium experience, there's Bromite, and on the Mozilla side is Fennec.

Also recommended from F-Droid are Aegis (2FA code generator), NewPipe (YouTube frontend), personalDNSfilter (privacy-focused local VPN), and UntrackMe (social media to private frontend redirector).



Has a modern variant, which can install new Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extensions. Or, if you're olderschool, try Waterfox Classic, and make use of some historic yet functional picks from the Classic Add-ons Archive.


If you must use a Chrome-clone, this seems to be the least-bad of them. Spiritual successor to the classic Opera browser. Very customizable, and compatible enough to use most Chrome extensions flawlessly.

For Firefox enjoyers who feel that Mozilla has lost their way, there's the LibreWolf browser, but I haven't used it. If you'd like to give it a try, Obspogon has a list of recommended extensions to look for, as does Portfiend.

Still using Windows Vista/7/8? Try Supermium!

Recommended Extensions

Websites are like "in order to deliver the best experience blah blah blah blah"

I don't want you to deliver an experience, I want you to deliver some HTML, 12020-12-05
uBlock Origin (Classic)
Very efficient content blocker. Go into the settings, turn on some of the filter lists, and marvel at how much faster the Web gets. Also has support for manual whitelisting of large images, external fonts, and JavaScript.

For {Fire/Libre/G5 Water}fox users, Arkenfox suggests that only this and Skip Redirect are necessary due to strong privacy/isolation features built into the browser.

Filter for no autoplay rights: ||^$script

Decentraleyes (Older version in CAA)
Loads common libraries (jQuery etc.) from disk instead of a centralized source that could potentially track usage.
Neat URL (CAA: "Pure URL")
Removes common tracking/referral junk from clicked links.
Privacy Redirect (CAA: "Redirector")
Get it set up, and you'll automatically be redirected to more private frontends of your (least-)favorite social media sites when visiting them.
Consent-O-Matic (CAA: "I Don't Care About Cookies")
Deals with them "This website uses cookies to enhance your experience" shits that corporations are legally required to stick at the bottom of the screen.
Midnight Lizard (CAA: "Dark Background and Light Text")
Lots of websites confuse LCD screens for paper and attempt to sear your retinas with a blinding fluorescent white. It's an easy mistake to make, but one that you don't need to suffer from any longer.
Feedbro (CAA: "Bamboo Feed Reader")
Fuck an algorithmic social media feed - curate your own with RSS!
Wayback Machine (CAA: "Open in Wayback Machine")
If you clicked on something only to land on a 404 error, check if has a copy with the push of a button.
WebScrapBook (CAA: "Mozilla Archive Format")
Like webpages but hate when you go to visit them again only to find they've disappeared? Crunch any page into a small .MAFF file for easy future viewing and sharing.
MIDI Player
Blast tunes on those old homepages instead of having the browser chuck them in the downloads folder.
Bypass Paywalls
Take a wild guess.
Indie Wiki Buddy
Redirects you from Fandom to higher-quality websites.

Ad-Blocking DNS Servers
In the event that Manivest V3 renders your favorite content-blocker(s) less capable, here's a few alternative resolvers that block malicious, tracking, and advertising domains at the external DNS level.
AltDNS76.76.19.19 / AdGuard / / 2a10:50c0::ad1:ff / 2a10:50c0::ad2:ff Control-D / / 2606:1a40::2 / 2606:1a40:1::2 DeCloudUsDoT/DoH/DNSCrypt only NextDNSAccount-based


FacebookSpaceHey is here to help you say hey to your friends in cyberspace, 2000s style. MediumScribe rips out just the text for a distraction-free reading experience. Paywalls"You've reached your limit of free articles." This 12-foot ladder disagrees.
InstagramPixelFed lets you feed your pixels to all the creatives on the distributed Fediverse. imgurRimgo plops images and comments into a simple, streamlined interface. Use a gentle Breeze to blow away the bloat and ad dust on wikis.


Privacy-focused tree-plantin' Bing frontend.
Anonymized frontend to Google.
Surveillance-avoiding metasearch that uses 70+ sources via 20+ instances.
Noncommercial oriented search to find something obscure.
If you're looking for something on archived homepages, find it here.
Old-style search focused on finding you hobbyist pages and rabbit-holes.


SponsorBlock extension
Tired of intros, ring-the-bells, and Ring doorbells? Autoskip past them.
Annotations Restored
Brings back pop-up text, because the links never were in the description.
Lightweight frontend for YouTube with dark mode and other great features.
WebTorrent-based distributed video sharing service on the Fediverse.
LiiVid / Tracle (dead)
Nostalgic recreations for those who prefer 12006-12012 YouTube.
Ad-free user-supported video sharing site. Aimed at pros, but welcomes all.

Twitter Brand X

Bwitter / Blips
Microblogging sites mimicing Twitter's original layout.
Mastodon [?]
Distributed social network with moderators who actually do shit.
Status Cafe
Microblogs that are hugely customizable with CSS.
TWTXT Specification
Decentralized microblog format using text files on websites.


XKit Rewritten
Makes the site much more convenient to use.
A streamlined interface for viewing your favorite blogs.
Dashboard Unfucker
Userscript to de-Twitterify the main feed.
Highly expressive blogging and scrapbooking platform.
Non-profit tumblog that goes ham with post customization.


Blogging site that's been around since they were called WebLogs.
Improved fork of the original making smart decisions to avoid bullshit.


Lemmy and Kbin
Aggregated links from across the Fediverse.
Bird-alien hybrid combines following with discussion.
Privacy-focused left-leaning discussion board.
A relaxed place to post links and chew fat.
Invite-only tech discussion forum.


TorGuard (H/T VPN Tier List)
According to independent reviewer Tom Spark, this is the #1 VPN on the market (out of 60+ tested), and that works for me. Use promo code TomSpark for 50% off for life.
Avoid any further fuckery by throwing the browser into quarantine.
Defragments and optimizes internal databases to make browsers snappier.
Got a Tumblr blog you like? Grab everything on it fast and easy. (Note: For archiving your own blogs, it's a better idea to use the built-in export feature, which also provides IM chatlogs and individual HTML file blogposts.)
Bytemoth's Essential Programs
When you're done online, feel free to further enhance your computing experience with some of the other fine software I've enjoyed over the years.
Historical Downloads
[Arachne] Wicked-sweet DOS suite for HTTP/FTP/Gopher/NNTP/email, plus file browser and screensavers. [Links2] TLS-supporting DOS WWW browser that runs in graphics or text modes. Dillo 3 Super lightweight graphical web browser for DOS.
[Lynx Enhanced] Lynx Portable 2.8.9 (text-only web browser) for Windows. [Netscape Now!]Small collection of Win/Mac/Unix installers for Mosaic (0.6-3.0) and Netscape (0.4-4.08). [Firefox]Utilu Firefox Collection - a single download containing every release from to 92.0.β6 [Opera Browser]Archive of Opera installers formerly available via (3.21 - 17.0.1246.0).
Bored of HTTP? Why not try Gopher! The Firefox Legacy Collector's Dump Ogg Media Codecs for EdgeHTML Opera 12 security and privacy guide Supermium - Newer Chromium builds for XP+ Web Browsers for Windows XP

Further Reading (Safety and Privacy) Awesome Privacy Apps/Sites Basic Web Safety Primer But Should I Block Ads? Data-Sharing Opt-Out Deep-Links JustDelete.Me account removal reference Safety 101 /r/FreeMediaHeckYeah's Adblock, VPN, and Privacy Linkdump

Further Reading (Existing online easier) Alternative Frontends Digital Wellbeing Google Search is becoming useless How To Improve Your Experience Online Join the Quit Social Media Club today! The Social Cooling Effect

[Listen]Listen to "Ace of Base - The Sign" on YouTube?

[Nav]In too deep? Perhaps you could use a Roadmap.