Current Version plugins

HTTP Useragent Cleaner: toggle Firefox privacy settings

HTTP-useragent-cleaner is a browser add-on for the Firefox web browser that provides you with a large list of privacy toggles and improvements.

Word of warning: the extension gives you a lot of control over privacy features, but explains little. It does not help that it has been translated from Russian to English either, but more about that later.

The extension does not modify settings right after installation. It places an icon in the Firefox address bar that you may click on to open its interface.

There you find a truckload of options divided on several pages. As far as configuration is concerned, it is HTTP and FireFox that you may be interested in the most.

HTTP Useragent Cleaner

http-useragent-cleaner

HTTP displays all the features that you may enable or disable in Firefox. The wording is a bit misleading on the page, as disabled means that the feature is active in Firefox, and enabled that it is not.

It is easier to look at the color codes instead. Green means it is enabled in Firefox, red that it is not.

You find several of the standard privacy toggles on the HTTP page including disabling canvas, WebRTC, plugins or images. Next to that are several features that are not that common. You may disable WebGL, HTTP Authorization, HTTPS, the leaking of the locale or resolution, or the Fetch API.

None of the options is explained on the page, and it is sometimes difficult to understand what they do. Cookies for instance is not a toggle, but lists the usual options to disable them completely, or only third-party cookies.

Other preferences, AJAX and CORS, are not explained anywhere and it is unclear what they do. There is also a “Hold” tab on the page, and tabs for Mozilla sites. While it is clear what the Mozilla sites are there for, it is unclear what Hold refers to. Maybe a second set of preferences that you may enable for specific sites?

The extension’s massive list of features does not end there though. When you switch to FireFox, you get to control certain HTTPs related settings.

firefox privacy

You may change the min and max TLS level, enable or disable ciphers in an easy to use interface, or change other features such as prefetching.

This is really useful and requires little explanation, provided that you know what you are doing.

The same cannot be said for the Side tab. My best guess is that you may use it to override certain features for sites you connect to.

It still does not end there. You get two tabs with logs that are pretty useful. One displays TLS information, the other is a blocking log that highlights all things that get blocked on connect.

Last but not least, it is important to check the options of the add-on as well. You get there by loading about:addons and clicking on options next to the add-on.

There you will get another bunch of preferences. One disables access to the resource:// scheme for third-party sites you connect to.

You find several tracking options there, for instance to track TSL certificates in various ways.

Closing Words

HTTP-useragent-cleaner is a mighty privacy extension. It suffers a bit from a lack of documentation, but that is something that can be corrected rather easily by its author.

It would make sense to display tooltips for the options that you can toggle, and a short intro that explains how you use the “Side” page and other functionality that is not explained.

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