This Chrome/Firefox Add-on Lets You Leave Almost No Trace Browsing Online

toggle-button

Trace Browser add-onTrace is a browser add-on/extension for Firefox and Chrome that blocks multiple tracking techniques used by many websites.

Trace is a new browser extension that has some advanced blocking features- it blocks tracking pixels, page ads, media requests, code requests (3rd party scripts and ping requests) and more. Here's what Trace blocks:

  • Canvas Fingerprinting
  • Audio Fingerprinting
  • WebRTC Leaks
  • User-Agent Tracking
  • Browser plugin fingerprinting
  • Beacon Requests
  • Bad Top Level Domains
  • Hyperlink Auditing
  • HTTP Referrer Headers
  • Chrome Header Tracking
  • E-Tag Tracking
  • JavaScript Crypto Mining
  • URL Tracking Cleaner (experimental)
  • Trace Page (injects code into sites to disable certain functions)

Most of us probably don't know what all the things on that list are, but you can find an explanation of each and why you may or may not want to enable it in the settings. Click the name to get an expanded definition.

After installation, Trace adds an icon to the browser's main toolbar which enables easy access the settings and statistics.  In addition to blocking features, Trace comes with the ability to whitelist sites, if you run into an issue with a website you can whitelist it to restore functionality.
There's a basic version and a premium version - the premium version supports further development of the extension and gives you access to a premium blocklist for a few dollars. I didn't notice any functionality difference between the two versions. Trace is under active development and the developer welcomes bug reports.
I've noticed faster page load times since I installed Trace, which is more than welcome on this slow internet connection.

Trace officially works with Chrome and Firefox. I've successfully installed it on Opera, Vivaldi, and Waterfox, where it's running with no issues so far.
All in all, Trace is a nice addition to your browser privacy collection. Get Trace for Chrome and Firefox here:

Trace: Browse online without leaving a Trace
 

(h/t Ghacks)

You can find more Tech Treats here.

 

Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
4.775
Average: 4.8 (40 votes)
toggle-button

Comments

Hi rhianon. Just noticed I misread your name and misspelled. My apologies ...

I too like it and will continue to experiment. Take care and anything you discover new I look forward to reading about it!!! LOL

Name spelling is not an issue. No worries and no apology necessary. :)

Thanks rhlannon for your response. I'm 'learning' more about this add-on, but won't claim I understand it all. LOL It's pretty nifty from what I'm experiencing and I carefully always check the Browser Console, Today's comment in the Browser Console reads as follows: The resource at “https://bcp.crwdcntrl.net/5/c=5117/b=49273876” was blocked because tracking protection is enabled.[Learn More]. I haven't been on the internet much today, but as i surf I'm sure more such comments will be added to the Browser Console.

I did check all the items you suggested and am getting more than a warm fuzzy, this add-on is good. I've got to experiment more with enabling/disabling different functions to see if I blow up my set-up. LOL Thanks again, young man ( I think I can write that as I'm 78 and still 'playing' with computers. I'm a relic from the old, very old days using assembly code, microcode, wiring boards, etc. Take care.

Bo Dirigo

You're welcome, and thank you.

Experimenting is good - Trace is still in beta but I'm liking it quite a bit even with the occasional hiccup.

 

Hi,
I installed this on Firefox and it doesn't seem to cause any problems. The question I have is related to when I first start my browser a Browser Console appears. Is this normal? Most of the time this Browser Console is blank, but a few times there have been informational comments made and displayed in this console.

I've tried going to the creator's web page for more informational ... basically looking for a user guides to learn more about this extension, but never did get connected. On the surface it looks pretty good, but I'm not familiar with all the things it is purportedly doing.

Thanks in advance.

Bo Dirigo

I don't know  if it's a Firefox issue, or an issue with the add-on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You can identify the components of the add-on and what they do in the add-on interface - click the icon on the toolbar and select "Settings". The list of features appears, click on any feature and it will expand with a definition.
You can contact the developer and ask about this, the address can be found in the Privacy section of the add-on. They are very responsive.


Thank you for reviewing this product.

I am having problems with Trace and Google Docs.  I whitelisted the site, and even whitelisted I get redirected to an error page saying I need to change my browser.  I had to disable the Trace plugin to get to my spreadsheets.

 

Here's what I heard back from the developer, hope this fixes it:

"I wasn't able to recreate this error but I have had some issues with Google Docs in the past which have been fixed by disabling "JS plugin hide".

Whitelisting was recently improved in an update I pushed, so if they make sure they're on the latest version that may fix the issue. The latest version at the moment is 1.8.15."
 

Thanks for mentioning it, I'll pass it along to the developer. :)

Thanks! I've installed it in Chrome.
One little thing: You write you installed it in Opera - but I can't find it in the Opera extensions....

It's not in Opera extensions as yet. I installed it from the Chrome Web Store. You can use Chrome extensions in Opera, directions are here:
How to Install Chrome Extensions in Opera | Gizmo's Freeware

Thanks! I had forgotten that ;-)

You're welcome. :)

The only issue I have observed was videos (flash? & Twitter) at certain sites not playing or loading. White listing the entire site sometimes resolves and sometimes does not.

YouTube and it's embeds run fine. I do have both uBlock & Priv Badger as well as FlashStop running as well. Will investigate changing the WebRequest Controller in Trace, and see if that has any impact.

Is it videos (HTML5 or Flash) or animated GIF's or both?
I hope changing the WebRequest Controller works. If not let me know and I'll let the developer know or you can drop them a line if you like. Contact information is in the add-on/extension.

Can I choose to use Trace when I want/need to use it?

It can be enabled and disabled in the browser add-ons/ extensions settings.

If you want Trace turned off for a particulare site, click on icon in the toolbar and whitelist the site.

Thank you for your review of Trace, rhiannon!

Question: here are the security / privacy add-ons currently being used on Firefox (ESR 52.8):

— NoScript

— uBlock Origin

— HTTPS Everywhere

— Privacy Badger

— Better Privacy

— Hoxx VPN Proxy

Which, if any, of the above might Trace supersede (and / or would work well in conjunction with)?

Again, thank you!

Cheers,

AJN

It's working fine with uBlock Origin, Disconnect, & Privacy Badger on Firefox, Waterfox, Vivaldi, Opera, and Chrome.

I'll pass your question on to the developer, they've been very responsive and you'll get an accurate answer from them.

Thank you, rhiannon; I look forward to learning their response.

Cheers,

AJN

I heard back from the developer, if this doesn't answer all the questions let me know - they are very open to answering anything else. And of course you can contact them as well. Here's their response:
 

"Firstly, I personally use HTTPS Everywhere, find it very useful and necessary; Trace works well with it and although the two may conflict in some rare instances, it's never caused any problems whilst browsing the web for me.
 
 
As for the rest:
 - NoScript should also work fine with Trace although I haven't tested it, the main difference with NoScript and Trace is that NoScript can stop all JS running on a page whereas Trace aims to disable certain functions that can be used for tracking.
 - Privacy badger and Trace are very similar, personally I'd use Trace, but I suppose I am a bit biased.
 - Regarding better privacy, I know nothing about it due to the fact it was removed by its author.
 - Any VPN should work fine with Trace as the two will never interfere.
 
Concerning uBlock, you *can* use Trace and uBlock together, however if you do decide to do that, you should disable the WebRequest Controller in Trace so that they don't interfere. That would mean that uBlock handles all the domain blocking whilst Trace handles other things such as defending against Canvas & Audio Fingerprinting, Google tracking headers etc."
 

Thank you so much, rhiannon! This is exactly the information I was hoping for (and includes some which I could not find at the developer's site).

Cheers,

AJN

You're more than welcome. :)

No problem. I'll update when I hear back. They've been very responsive.

Thanks for articulating the question better than i did, AJN.

You're welcome, liandro — and thank you for your kind comment.

Cheers,

AJN

I've been using UBlock. Can I continue with UBlock AND Trace? Is Trace better than UBlock?

I use them both together with no problems. I haven't tested them separately.

Thanks, appreciated. Didn't try the Premium$ part though would be nice to add in development. Maybe next time.
Fast install from store. Right away results shown. It also has some anti-bitcoin ability. Been running 2 sep apps that
do that and surprised me with what they do report blocking. No major sites I believe since those rarely if ever triggered
but less used or known ones do pop up now & then. This extra layer should help. Even on a slow cable w/ Win x64 Pro
and high end PC there's no noticeable draw down on webbing & I have a lot of open web connected apps too. Test more.
Trace has been protecting you since 2018-05-25
Trace is currently blocking 2,781 records from the uncached Regular blocklist.

Thanks for adding that information. :)

Pages