So you’ve downloaded the desktop app, you’re connecting fine, you’re browsing anonymously, and your data’s encrypted - life is good. But could it be better? Heck yeah, it can! Just add our browser extension.
But why, you ask? Aren’t I already protected with the desktop app? Yes, you are! But the browser extension - since it has the ability to integrate into your browser in ways the desktop app cannot - can do some pretty amazing things that can’t be achieved when only using the desktop app. Let me give you a little run down of the top 5 reasons you should also be installing the browser extension:
1. Enhance Your Privacy and Security
Connecting to both the desktop app and the extension, aka “Double Hop”, provides enhanced privacy and anonymity, as it reduces the chance of a correlation attack on one of our servers. You are now double-cloaked, once at the system level and once at the browser level, and two cloaks are always better than one.
2. Stops Tracking in its… Tracks
R.O.B.E.R.T, our server-side platform, blocks ads and trackers (and more!) via the desktop app. He’s great, and we love him - but our extension takes it even further! With the use of the extension, you can:
- Delete cookies with Cookie Monster - this little feature will automatically delete all 3rd party or 1st party cookies when you close a tab (depending on how you have it configured).
- Change your user agent with Split Personality - Each browser has what's known as a "User Agent" which identifies what operating system you use, and the exact browser version. By enabling Split Personality, the extension will rotate your user agent between the most common ones out there to reduce the chance of basic fingerprinting.
- Spoof your location with Location Warp - Aren’t I already spoofing my location with the desktop app? Yes, you are, but this extension feature digs deeper by spoofing your location at the browser API level via GPS or Wi-fi SSID name. Location Warp will actually provide fake GPS coordinates to the location you are connected to.
3. Even MORE Features
We are JUST getting started, folks. There are two main feature areas in the extension: Blocker and Privacy. We’ve already dug into a few of the Blocker and Privacy features above, but let’s keep going, shall we?
Blocker - Social Distancing - this little toggle, when enabled, will block all Social media widgets and buttons (the Twitter “Tweet” button, for example), all of which are sneakily collecting your browsing history.
Privacy - Time Warp and Language Warp - your browser settings, such as time and language, could be giving away your true location. Turn on Time and Language Warp to match the time and language settings to the location you are connected to. Sneaky!
Privacy - WebRTC Slayer - turn this on and you will disable WebRTC in your browser. This is good because WebRTC can be used to determine your actual IP address.
Privacy - Do Not Disturb - this feature blocks websites from sending you those super annoying in-browser notifications. Annoying and invasive, as some sites will spam you even when you aren’t on their website. Rude.
4. Seamless Ad Blocking
Because the Windscribe extension can remove ads by removing the actual ad elements on a webpage (vs. the server-side R.O.B.E.R.T ad blocking), ad-blocked websites appear 200% more gorgeous when you enable ad blocking in the Extension. Instead of sometimes seeing blank/gray areas where those ads would have been, you see a clean webpage with nary a trace of ad space. Beauty to behold!
5. Be in Two Places at Once!
The additional browser-based privacy and blocking features outlined above should be enough to convince you to install the extension, but if you still need more convincing, then think of the practicality. Let’s say your favorite server in the desktop app is in another country. Speeds are good, and everything is humming along, but you need to access a specific browser-based service from a different location. Normally, this means changing locations on the desktop app, but with the browser extension installed, there's no need: simply connect to that location in the browser extension to access the service you want, and leave everything else still connected to your original location!
A Note On Incognito Windows
You may be asking - "But I use Incognito Tab/ Private Window, do I really need this?". Fair question. The only thing that those tabs/windows actually do is discard browser state (cookies, local storage) when you close the tab, kind of like the "Cookie Monster" feature of our browser extension. So if you use Incognito Tab/ Private Window, you don't have to use Cookie Monster, but all the other extension features are still applicable and useful.
The Bottom Line
With the use of the browser extension, you can block more, increase your browser-based privacy and anonymity, AND be in two places at once. What more could you want?