Avoiding Manifest V3 – Escaping the Ad-Pocalypse
While Manifest V3 has not been implemented yet by Google, the far-reaching implications of ad blockers being unable to function properly on any Chromium browser should already put the usability of Chrome/Chromium-based browsers under a question mark.
I have been exploring what browsers would fit my needs as a gamer, and whenever I thought I had finally reached an answer, something groundbreaking like Manifest V3 would be introduced forcing me to conduct more research.
No Chromium Browser Is Safe
Just to make sure I have emphasized this enough, but the moment Manifest V3 takes effect fully no Chromium-based browser will be safe from it – Chrome, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, etc. In short, anything that runs on Chromium as a foundation will most likely be unable to completely evade their extensions not blocking ads properly online.
What Options Are Left?
With most popular browsers being based on Chromium, what is there left to use? From my research and personal experience the only other real alternatives are Firefox and Firefox forks. I have been actively using Thorium for quite a while (before Chris Titus made it a mainstream browser) along with Ungoogled Chromium and a backup Firefox installation but soon I might be forced to part ways with my first 2 choices and focus on Firefox.
What Firefox Forks Are Worth Investigating
Firefox by itself is not exactly a champion of privacy with Google Analytics still running in their browser and Mozilla itself collecting telemetry data. There are however ways to make Firefox usable from a privacy perspective and also from a performance standpoint.
The most thorough way of enhancing your Firefox experience is to harden it yourself by using a custom user.js file which contains all of the parameters you would want to configure to make Firefox run leaner and more secure.
You can explore different options like arkenfox, Narsil, or the most user-friendly option Betterfox. The first two user.js files are a lot more privacy-oriented, disabling a lot of what normal users might still want to use (login data, history, etc), so you can either tune the first two ones yourself or try Betterfox as an alternative.
LibreWolf is a pre-hardened Firefox installation (based on arkenfox) that comes with all of the work done to it by default. This means you do not need to fiddle with user.js files or tune anything manually – you just download the installer and run it.
LibreWolf is a leaner, more privacy-oriented Firefox that allows you to enable some of the options you might like, through their advanced settings options to make the browser a bit more user-friendly.
Waterfox is yet another Firefox fork that is focused on more privacy and a much faster browsing experience. Waterfox does not come with all of the bloat and telemetry normal Firefox comes with but it also does not outshine a properly configured Firefox.
There are a lot more forks and user.js files for Firefox so this short list is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to configuring your browser the way you want it.
For now, with Firefox supporting both Manifest V2 and V3 the only real shot at efficient ad blocking comes by using a configured Firefox fork or something similar to it. It is unclear if Mozilla will maintain its promise to support Manifest V2 which allows extensions such as ad blockers to work, but for now, it might be a good idea to introduce a Firefox fork/user.js as a secondary browser into your routine so you can be used to it if the ad-pocalypse hits as hard as predicted.
Surround Sound for Gaming – A Gimmick or a Useful Feature
Surround Sound is a well-known feature for home cinemas and speaker setups which can improve directional audio by using more than 2 channels. This feature bled into the gaming industry as well with Surround headphones and audio software that supposedly would improve the ability to locate targets around yourself. Certain gaming communities (Tarkov people) swear […]
KovaaK’s vs Aimbeast vs Aimlabs – Which Is the Best Aim Trainer?
Anything and everything in the aiming community is heavily influenced by preferences and subjective opinions formed or ingested from random sources. This is especially true when you want to discuss the most important part of aim training – which trainer should you use? This question popped into my head recently so I have decided to […]
How to Achieve Higher FPS in The Finals – Alleviating a CPU Bottleneck
The Finals is the newest addition to FPS shooter games that are somewhat interesting to play due to the destructive environment and wide array of game strategies available. What is annoying about this title for competitive-minded players is the low FPS values you get during gameplay. While your average FPS might look decent your percentiles/low […]
Getting Rid of Discord Monitoring Inputs
Discord is probably the app that everyone in the gaming community has running in the background while being on their PC. While you can tune the settings, strip the app, or even mod it entirely, and these options are great for resource usage and privacy, there is still one glaring issue with Discord that not […]
Setting Affinities for Better Performance in Games
The concept of using specific cores for your gaming needs is not new, especially if you have dealt with the Interrupt Affinity Policy Tool while setting affinities for your GPU, USB controller, etc. The point of allowing certain cores to be used specifically for your game stems from the fact that CPU cores/threads keep increasing […]
Micro-Adjusting the Timer Resolution – Automating the Process
I have already talked about Amit’s discovery of increased precision while micro-adjusting your timer resolution in a previous article. The process of finding the value at which you have the best precision is a pretty tedious manual task in which you would have to run a benchmark and change the values of the timer resolution […]