How to configure custom cookie options in the new Microsoft Edge browser

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser comes with quite a few options to manage and control cookies. Apart from blocking all cookies and blocking third-party cookies, Microsoft Edge users may also browse all cookies that sites set and define block and allow rules.

While it is without doubt time-consuming to allow or block cookies individually, it may be useful for some users.

Allowing plays right into the browser’s capability of deleting cookie data on exit. You may use the feature to keep some cookies while all others are deleted on exit.

Blocking on the other hand prevents the saving of cookies from select sites automatically.

Microsoft Edge’s cookie options

microsoft edge cookies exceptions

To open the cookie options, load edge://settings/content/cookies in the browser’s address bar. You can alternatively select Menu > Settings > Site Permissions > Cookies and site data if you prefer it that way.

Here are the options provided on the page currently:

  • Allow sites to save and read cookie data (recommended) — Enabled by default. Allows sites to save and read cookies.
  • Block third-party cookies — Disabled by default. Will prevent any third-party cookie from being saved or read in the browser when enabled.
  • Block — Use the Add button to add sites that you want to prevent from saving and reading cookies in the browser.
  • Allow — Use the Add button to allow cookies from select sites. These cookies are retained even if Microsoft Edge is configured to delete site data on exit.
  • Clear on Exit — You may add sites here to have their cookies deleted automatically on exit.

Edge users may configure the browser to delete data on exit automatically. Just load edge://settings/clearBrowsingDataOnClose in the browser’s address bar to open the configuration page.

The following data may be deleted automatically when Edge is closed:

  1. Browsing History
  2. Download History
  3. Cookies and other site data
  4. Cached images and files
  5. Passwords
  6. Autofill form data (includes forms and cards)
  7. Site permissions
  8. Hosted App data

Each of the options can be enabled individually. If you just want cookies deleted, toggle the Cookies and other site data option to do so. Remember that you can allow some sites to keep cookies in Edge; this may be useful to keep logins active on sites

Now You: Which cookie rules do you use in your browser?

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Cloudflare launches For Families with filter support

Cloudflare launched its DNS service back in 2018 (on April 1) to the public promising a fast, private, and secure service. The company promised that would be privacy-friendly, that it would not sell user data or use it for targeted advertising, and revealed that the service would never log full user IP addresses and erase logs every 24 hours. A recently published audit by independent auditing companyKPMG uncovered some minor issues but backed up Cloudflare’s claims.

Yesterday, on April 1, Cloudflare announced an expansion of its DNS service called for Families which adds new DNS Server IP addresses and filters to the service to block certain requests automatically. Users who used OpenDNS and some other DNS providers in the past may recall that these providers offered something very similar for quite some time already.

Filtering functionality was the number one request from home users according to Cloudflare and the main reason why for Families was created. For Families for Families comes in two different versions: the first blocks known malware requests, the second malware and adult requests. Here is the information required to use the new DNS servers on your devices:

Malware Blocking Only

  • Primary DNS:
  • Secondary DNS:
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1112
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1002

Malware and Adult Content

  • Primary DNS:
  • Secondary DNS:
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1113
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1003

Cloudflare DNS without Filtering

  • Primary DNS:
  • Secondary DNS:
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111
  • IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1001

The filtering is automated at this point in time; Cloudflare plans to introduce management options in the coming months to whitelist or blacklist sites, schedule filters for certain times of the day, and more.

For now, the only option that you have to bypass filters, e,g. when a non-malware or non-adult site is blocked, is to switch the DNS service.

How to set up for Families

Windows users may do the following to replace the current DNS provider with Cloudflare’s:

cloudflare family dns

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-R to open the run box.
  2. Type netcpl.cpl to open the Network and Sharing Center (note that this may not be available in the newest builds of Windows 10)
  3. If it is not available, right-click on the network icon in the System Tray and select Open Network and Internet settings.
  4. On the page that opens, click on “change adapter options”.
  5. Right-click on the active connection and select properties from the menu.
  6. Double-click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  7. Switch to “Use the following DNS server addresses”.
  8. Enter the primary and secondary DNS server in the respective fields.
  9. Close the configuration window.

Pro Tip: You may also change DNS servers using PowerShell.

powershell change dns

Here is how that is done:

  1. Use Windows-X to display the “secret” menu.
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the menu to open an elevated PowerShell console.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt.
  4. Run the command Get-NetIPConfiguration and note the value of InterfaceIndex of the Network Adapter that you are using (use other information, e.g. the InterfaceAlias value to identify the right interface if multiple are available).
  5. Modify the command Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex 10 -ServerAddresses, and run it afterward. Change the value after -InterfaceIndex to the right one on your device, and the IP addresses behind ServerAddresses to the desired DNS servers (first primary then secondary)

Installation guides are available here for routers, Linux, Windows, and Mac. Cloudflare has created applications for Android and iOS that users may download to use the DNS service on their devices.

You may use a program like Gibson’s DNS Bechmark to test the performance of the servers.

Now You: Which DNS service do you use, and why?

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Microsoft's new Edge browser will get vertical tabs soon

All modern browsers use a horizontal bar to display open websites in tabs; that has been the status ever since browsers started to allow users to open multiple sites in a single browser window.

Vertical tabs were introduced as extensions, a prominent example the classic version of Tab Mix Plus for the Firefox web browser which was one of the most popular extensions of its kind.

Moving tabs from a horizontal bar to a vertical bar has several advantages, especially if a widescreen or high resolution display is used. Vertical space is available in abundance on these systems whereas horizontal is not. Vertical tabs offer other advantages as it is possible to display more open tabs at the same time without scrolling and easier to manage tabs. Extensions like Tab Mix Plus or Tree Style Tabs added other interesting features to the experience, from defining event behavior to session support.

Firefox users are still waiting for a good vertical tabs extension for Firefox 57 or newer; and while Firefox users are waiting, support for vertical tabs comes from a company that most Internet users would not have expected to release such a feature natively in the browser.

microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft published the new article “The top 10 reasons to switch to the new Microsoft Edge” browser to highlight some of the existing and upcoming features of Edge. Vertical tabs are highlighted as the second of the ten reasons.

If you are like me when you research online, you find yourself with dozens of tabs open at any given time. When that happens, there’s less space for me to see which tab is which. I find myself losing track or I’ll accidentally close a tab as a result. Utterly frustrating as that is usually exactly the one page I needed.

Today we announced vertical tabs, a feature that helps you easily find and manage many open tabs at once. Microsoft Edge is the only browser that allows you to manage your tabs on the side with a single click. Vertical tabs is expected in the Insider channels in the next few months.

In other words: Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) users will soon be able to switch between horizontal and vertical tabs in the browser natively. All it takes is a click to switch the display and either display open tabs vertically or horizontally in the browser.

microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft plans to introduce the vertical tabs feature in the coming months in the Insider channel. From there, it will find its way into the stable version of the Microsoft Edge browser.

The company highlighted another handy feature that is coming soon: smart copy. Smart Copy makes it “easier to select, copy, and paste the exact content you want from the web and preserve the rich web format”. Also upcoming are a password monitor to receive prompts if passwords were found in breaches, and inPrivate Browsing enhancements.

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DeepL Translator gets support for Japanese and Chinese languages

DeepL, a popular online translator and translation service, has added support for the languages Japanese and Chinese (simplified) in its latest update. The update raises the number of supported languages, those that users may translate content between, to 11.

While language support is not as extensive as that of other translation services, Google Translate or Bing Microsoft Translator, both of which support more than a hundred different languages, it is also quality of the translated content that plays a role when it comes to selecting a machine translation service.

DeepL launched in 2017 with the promise to provide more human-like translations. The service introduced document translation functionality, the desktop program DeepL Translator for Windows and Mac, and support for Russian and Portuguese languages.

deepl translator chinese japanese

DeepL notes that the improvements to the translation quality that it announced last month have paved the way for adding Chinese and Japanese languages to the supported languages.

Japanese Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana are supported as well as thousands of Chinese characters.

The result is an important expansion of DeepL Translator’s capabilities. The algorithms can now handle several thousand Chinese characters, as well as Japanese kanji, hiragana, and katakana. With this vast knowledge, DeepL Translator can now produce translations that use natural-sounding, context-appropriate language in two more of the world’s most-used languages.

The company ran blind tests once again to determine how often its translations were picked over translations by Google, Amazon and Microsoft translators (and for Chinese also Baidu and Youdao).

We asked Japanese and Chinese translators to evaluate a set of translated texts from various online translation providers, without knowing which site produced which translation.

DeepL was picked more often than the other translation services; while that needs independent verification, as several parameters, such as the translators picked by DeepL or the texts used, are unknown, it may convince some already to try DeepL to find out how good these translations really are.

Now You: do you speak Japanese or Chinese? Can you try DeepL’s translation service and let us know how good the translations are?

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Vivaldi introduces ad-blocker in latest browser snapshot

Vivaldi continues its work of integrating protective features into the company’s web browser. The company launched tracking protection in a recent snapshot to block known trackers automatically when the feature is enabled.

The latest snapshot goes a step further by introducing a full-blown ad-blocker in the web browser.

Vivaldi announced the change last week on the official desktop snapshots blog.

In an earlier snapshot, we introduced a tracking blocker. Today we take this a step further and offer a more complete, built-in ad blocker for those who want it. We are adding this because many of you are already using ad blockers, in the form of extensions, but would prefer something maintained by us.

Vivaldi notes that the ad-blocker complements the tracking blocking functionality but does not supersede it. Users of the browser who want both protections need to enable the full blocking level in the browser’s settings.

Vivaldi does not reveal information about the ad-blocking functionality that it integrated into the browser. It appears to be list-based but it is unclear which blocking list or lists it uses.

A quick test showed that it blocked advertisement on the majority of sites visited while the feature was enabled in the browser.

vivaldi ad-blocker

Vivaldi users need to enable ad-blocking in the settings as it is disabled by default. Here is how that is done:

  1. Select Vivaldi Menu > Tools > Settings.
  2. Open the Privacy tab once the Settings window opened.
  3. Scroll down to the Tracker and Ad Blocking section.
  4. Switch the Blocking Level to “Block Trackers and Ads”.

The changes take effect immediately, a restart is not required. Management of the feature is limited at the time of writing.

The only option that is provided is to create exceptions for sites. If you want to exclude Ghacks from the blocking, you’d need to click on the Shield icon while on the site and switch the blocking level to no blocking or tracker blocking.

vivaldi blocking exceptions

All exceptions are listed on the Settings page underneath the Blocking Level preference. There it is possible to remove sites from the exceptions list.

Note that you can also add sites to the block list this way if the blocking level is not set to block tracking and/or advertisement.

Closing Words

The native ad-blocking worked well during tests and it may persuade some users to switch from using an extension for that to using the built-in functionality.

Some users may skip it for now as it offers less features than extension-based content blockers such as uBlock Origin; theser offer features such as custom filters, blocking list managements, additional protections, or options to block certain elements on sites which Vivaldi does not support at the time of writing.

Now You: What is your take on Vivaldi’s integration of ad-blocking and tracking-blocking in the browser?

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